eCommerce & ERP Integration Improves Online Sales, Inventory Visibility, and Order Fulfillment
According to Forrester Research US, eCommerce is expected to reach $250 billion by 2014 with an expected 10% compound annual growth rate. Are you ready to handle this demand? If your ecommerce and ERP systems are working independently, then the answer is- probably not.
Many companies forgo eCommerce & ERP integration needed to truly optimize sales and and keep all systems running in sync to serve the customers 24/7, 365 days a year to reach maximum order fulfillment potential.
The need for an integrated ERP and eCommerce system is usually overlooked because of cost or the business disruption caused by having to change existing systems. Each aspect of your business is affected by a customers shopping experience which means fulfillment processes need to be examined before deciding how to proceed.
Why e-Commerce ERP Integration?
Integration enables items, inventory, orders, customers and other pertinent sales data to pass between independent systems to communicate with each other. A web store can operate without connections to accounting, financial systems, ERP etc. but the cost of manually managing and administrating sales data often costs companies more than they think. Without existing retail business systems sharing data retailers could see a loss in sales, delivery delays, poor customer satisfaction and most important reduced cash flow.
Some eCommerce and ERP integrations allow necessary data to be automatically exchanged in both directions. For example, an order created in the online store is immediately pushed to the system used to fulfill the order. Not only does this save time but eliminates human error and gets product, inventory, item, billing and sales information into a shared information system.
In order to be successful online and keep up with increased demand, your eCommerce strategy should include integration to ERP, accounting and inventory software (or other systems you use in your multi-channel environment, like POS). Having this integration will ensure that products shown on the web store are actually in stock.
Additionally, your business will become more flexible. Integrating your web store with ERP will enable you to see all new orders and customers in your business system. Products and pricing can be managed from one place – which makes the whole process much simpler. Integration provides a much more accurate exchange of data that scales as you grow.
Below are a few reasons for adopting an integrated approach to eCommerce.
Benefits of eCommerce ERP Integration
- Leveraging existing customer, product, inventory, sales and shipping data from your ERP system will be critical to reducing redundant manual entry and will help you increase throughput while reducing errors.
- An integrated eCommerce system will streamline inventory synchronization track updates and provide an accurate picture of inventory available to shoppers and process transations without having to hire staff to manage these tasks.
- An integrated eCommerce & ERP system can automatically notify customers when orders have been shipped and allow them to track the delivery of products with limited data entry.
- Price and product changes to inventory such as quantity or promotional discounts are simplified
- Manages multiple online and offline sales channels to maximize revenue and profit
- Simplifies overall operation (even as you grow)
- Meets tax requirements with automated tax compliance and eliminate exposure
- ERP integration allows for cheaper shipping by rate shopping the cheapest shipping method/carrier
Before you plan your web store growth strategy check out nChannel to connect, manage and streamline your existing eCommerce and ERP systems or contact us at 1-800-311-5944 for more details. View our introductory video today.