Online retails sales have been growing at an enormous rate, even as overall economic growth and high street sales have stagnated, according to the global business and technology consultancy Capgemini and U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group – they predict online sales will increase by over 11% this year, following on from a 14% growth in 2012.
With such a growing market, is your business in the position to exploit the growing demand and take advantage? If your businesses’ ERP solution and ecommerce website are operating completely separately, then it’s likely you’re missing a big opportunity to improve your service and grow your business.
By integrating your ERP and ecommerce platform you can keep both systems synchronised, with constant and instant bi-directional data flow, allowing you to maintain identical data sets across both systems – increasing your order potential, order processing and shipment times, and customer service. Every aspect of your business is affected by a customer’s shopping experience – which means improving order and fulfillment processes has an exponentially positive affect.
However, many companies will overlook the need to integrate ERP and ecommerce systems, or decide to forgo the integration, due an incorrect assumption over the level of business disruption or cost.
Why integrate your business ERP System and ecommerce website
Integration between systems allows for items, orders, accounts and other sales data to be synced between systems automatically. While an ecommerce shop can operate independently, the time and costs of administration creates a hidden resource sink that system integration can completely remove.
By linking both systems, an order placed within an ecommerce site can be automatically sent directly into your companies ERP system, allowing for the order to be processes as part of standard ERP processing procedure, without any delay or special actions required first. This not only allows for a short time to shipment on orders, but improves customers service by allowing for order confirmation and identification of any potential problems far earlier.
Additionally, your company will become more flexible. Integrating your ecommerce site with ERP will allow you to view all new orders and customers in your business ERP system. Items and pricing can be controlled from a single source –making the whole process far simpler. Integration provides a much more accurate exchange of data, which scales as your business grows.
The benefits of integrating ERP and ecommerce:
- Leveraging existing customer, items, inventory, sales and shipping information from your ERP system can be crucial in reducing monotonous manual data entry, helping you increase efficiency while reducing errors.
- An integrated ecommerce solution cab streamline item & inventory synchronisation updates while providing an accurate and up-to-date overview of stock levels available to customers. As well as processing orders while reducing employee costs and resources.
- An integrated ecommerce & ERP solutions can automatically inform customers of different order status (processing, shipped etc.) and allow them to track the delivery of order.
- Price and item modifications to inventory, such as quantity or promotional discounts are simplified
- Control multiple online and offline sales channels to increase revenue and profit
- Simplifies overall businesses process operation as your expand and grow.