Staying ahead in the dynamic eCommerce industry isn’t just about having a great product; it’s also about leveraging the right systems and tools to make life easier both for online businesses and their customers. Many eCommerce owners are unaware of the benefits they can gain from third-party systems and their overall value. Additionally, people often do not want to change what worked for them so far despite the problems and challenges that come up.

Third-party integration aims to streamline the operations on the website and increase the efficiency of our team’s efforts. Moreover, they often reduce costs related to running an online store. For example, some companies buy additional hosting services instead of optimizing the website, so it requires less resources but works the same, if not better.

To easily integrate with external systems, it’s certainly worth looking after an eCommerce platform based on microservices architecture, like Sylius. This approach enables managing and integrating systems independently, allowing for adding or removing systems as needed.

With that said, the goal of this blog is to explain microservices architecture in Sylius, showcase the benefits of external systems implemented in an eCommerce store, and explain how they can improve efficiency and sales.

Quick jump

Microservices architecture in Sylius

As Sylius is a modern eCommerce platform based on the Symfony framework, its architecture is designed to be flexible, extensible, and user-friendly, catering to a wide range of eCommerce business requirements. For this task, microservices architecture fits perfectly. The microservices architecture in Sylius offers a decentralized approach to building eCommerce websites, where the store itself is divided into smaller, independent services, each responsible for a specific business functionality. These microservices communicate with each other through well-defined APIs, often using protocols such as REST or GraphQL.

This separation allows for easier maintenance and faster development cycles, as each service can be developed, deployed, and scaled separately. This fact is crucial in the eCommerce industry, as the developers can modify or remove a part of the eCommerce store responsible for it without negatively impacting the whole tech stack.

Lastly, the API-first approach in Sylius facilitates the integration of various microservices, whether custom-built ones or existing third-party services. Therefore, let’s explore the most popular systems for eCommerce, discussing their purpose and the benefits they bring to our business. 

Product Information Management (PIM) 

Let’s begin with the PIM system. These systems are particularly valuable when our eCommerce store is not the only sales channel present. Why? A Product Information Management System can be used to gather all the information regarding products and works as a centralized source of data information for all other applications. Thanks to it, the product’s data (descriptions, images, prices, etc.) is consistent across many channels. To better visualize it, think about the product description and its photos on the company’s eCommerce store and the Amazon marketplace. If the data is managed manually, it is easy to forget to make the necessary changes and updates on both platforms. However, when the source of information is PIM software, both platforms have updated product information, and there are no inconsistencies, e.g., in the graphics or prices.

Furthermore, PIM software allows one to manage hundreds of products much easier. One person can be assigned to manage the formation in PIM instead of hiring several people to manage all the information manually. Moreover, some PIM software, such as Pimcore, Ergonode and Akeneo allows businesses to assign employees to specific roles. This solution improves workflow and helps to avoid errors, as each person has their role and responsibilities (copywriter creates product descriptions, designer uploads photos, etc.)

Benefits of PIM:

  • Advanced creation of relationships between products
  • Consistent product information across all sales channels
  • Access Control Layer – the ability to set rules for a specific user
  • Built-in translations
  • The ability to restore previous versions
  • Providing accurate, consistent, and up-to-date product information to customers enhances their shopping experience

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Another extremely useful system that can be implemented in eCommerce is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. In standard eCommerce, an online business can access the information that the client provided and the purchase history. However, an external CRM system can be integrated and used to gather all the information related to customers, including their preferences, feedback, and interaction history. What’s more, the CRM system can track the customer’s activities, in what category they most often make purchases, where they abandon the shopping cart, etc. Then, a CRM system can work as a unified source of customer data and be utilized for marketing efforts. They can segment customers for targeted marketing campaigns and track their effectiveness through various reporting tools and dashboards that provide insights into sales performance, customer satisfaction, and overall business health. Information gathered by CRM systems can be leveraged to build customer loyalty, as the better the targeting, the longer a customer will be interested in our products and services.

Benefits of CRM system

  • Increased customer retention
  • Improved sales
  • Better forecasting
  • Simplified collaboration
  • Better customer service
  • Centralized source of customer information

Content Management System (CMS)

The CMS system is widely used around the world to easily manage content on all kinds of websites, including the ones used for eCommerce purposes. This system makes it easier to manage content on the website, including text, images, and multimedia files. The undoubtful advantage of this system is how easy it is to use it, eliminating the need for programming skills or advanced technical expertise to run the website. Nowadays, most eCommerce platforms offer out-of-the-box CMS systems, but external CMS solutions also become handy and can be easily extended if the built-in CSM does not meet our expectations.

As a content management system is used to create and edit content, it also allows one to optimize the website for search engines by editing the „title” and „description” meta tags, which are crucial to optimizing the page for SEO.

Nonetheless, the CMS system has some limitations. Thus, it is best for less complex websites and stores. If your eCommerce business is rapidly growing, it is best to choose a PIM system to handle broad product catalogs and other complex data.

Benefits of CMS

  • Easy website management
  • Cost-effective
  • A lot of extensions
  • SEO-friendly features
  • Content consistency and quality
  • Efficient content update and publishing
  • Scalability to the size of a business

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

DAM is specifically designed to store, organize, and retrieve rich media assets like images, videos, audio files, and PDF documents. It provides advanced features for cataloging, tagging, and managing the rights and permissions to these media files. In other words, DAM helps to gather and store all the company’s media content. This system is mainly used by large companies with vast amounts of graphics and multimedia files, for example, wall paint distributors or companies with unique business ideas, like selling graphics for photo wallpapers or murals regulated by copyright laws. Compared to PIM, DAM is more about unstructured media content and is crucial for marketing, branding, and content creation processes.

Benefits of DAM system

  • Centralized storage of multimedia files
  • Asset usage analytics
  • Improved workflows
  • Better file security

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Now, let’s focus on bigger players in the market and enterprise-level eCommerce stores. In such cases, there is a lot of information that must be properly gathered and stored. Therefore, an enterprise resource planning system can be integrated to help the eCommerce system and become a very important system that gathers data from all the other external systems, such as sales reports, statistics, stock levels, number of products expected for the upcoming months, order tracking from other systems, finance including invoices, and much more – it all depends on the business requirements.

To not overcomplicate that, the ERP system is often the central point of business and customer data, serving various purposes. It acts as an integrative hub, streamlining workflows and ensuring consistency across different departments and business functions.

Benefits of ERP system

  • Streamlined business processes
  • Improved data accuracy and consistency
  • Better financial management
  • Reduced IT costs
  • Regulatory compliance and reporting

Warehouse Management System (WMS)

As the name indicates, a Warehouse Management System is used in the eCommerce industry to track and manage inventory in warehouses. Similarly to PIM, it helps to keep information consistent and updated in the context of product stocks. Its role is particularly valuable for companies that use multiple warehouses and sales channels for their operations. WSM system is usually integrated with the ERP system and not the eCommerce itself, as ERP is also responsible for product stocks and keeping the information up-to-date.

Apart from the eCommerce world, the WSM system is widely used in manufacturing and other fields related to physical logistic centers and warehouses, where WMS is used to manage the storage and movement of raw materials and finished products within the warehouse. It helps track inventory levels, optimize storage space, and streamline the flow of goods from production to shipping. Another example of utilizing WMS is the pharmaceutical industry, where WMS helps manage sensitive products that require special storage conditions, ensure compliance with health regulations, track expiration dates, and maintain proper storage environments.

Benefits of WMS

  • Optimized space used for storage
  • Better inventory visibility
  • Improved workflow in warehouses
  • Tracing products and materials
  • Effective shipment management

Marketing Automation (MA)

Simply put, the purpose of marketing automation software is to increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts and support the marketing team. Thanks to the CRM system described above, this software has access to information about our customers and can leverage it for automated personalization and targeting. For example, it allows for more efficient and effective marketing campaigns by automating repetitive tasks (such as sending emails) and optimizing marketing strategies based on customer data. By utilizing the insights gained from customer interactions and behaviors, marketing automation software helps create a more personalized and relevant experience for each customer, enhancing the overall impact of marketing efforts.

Marketing automation software automates various routine tasks such as sending out emails, setting reminders for subscriptions, or updating sales records. Also, this tool can be used for scheduling posts for social media, autoresponding, targeted discounts, and much more. This saves time and reduces the chance of human error.

Benefits of marketing automation

  • Generating better leads
  • Dynamic personalization (e.g., a discount or a gift card for a birthday)
  • Reduce the workload of a marketing team
  • Improved efficiency of marketing efforts


Summing up, external systems can bring many benefits to our eCommerce business. Unless our eCommerce store is a highly customized solution with unique requirements and needs, it’s easier to integrate eCommerce with other systems than creating functionality from scratch and “reinventing the wheel.” 

Microservices architecture in Sylius provides a great modern environment for online companies that want to suit eCommerce websites for current business needs, enabling scalability, flexibility, and faster deployment, essential for adapting to the dynamic eCommerce world. 

However, the tools mentioned in this blog should be the answer to the problem and not a blind whim. Using resources for redundant systems can significantly impact the budget and harm an online business. Therefore, discuss their implementation with your team or developers.