Internet Retailer recently reported: Wal-Mart grows global web sales 30% in 2013 and projects similar growth this year. It is no secret that the world’s largest retailers like Wal-Mart rely on a tightly woven web of automation to process every business transaction. Their value-chain network includes manufacturers, suppliers, logisticians, warehouses, distributors, physical stores and websites. This intricate web is made up of thousands of system integrations linking customer-facing kiosks, websites and mobile shopping apps with company-facing POS, ERP, SCM, CRM, HRM, financial systems and custom business applications. Multinational enterprises like Wal-Mart would be disabled, lose marketshare and eventually disappear if their tight-knit system failed to process the business data that enables them to quickly bring product to market and meet customer demand.
So how do small to mid-sized retailers, distributors and manufacturers begin to compete with these big-box stores and online giants? The answer is integration. The only way to attract and sell successfully to a $250 billion dollar eCommerce market is by having the technology in place to attract, provide and deliver what customers want. This article outlines the immediate and potential benefits of a Sage 100 ERP (formally known as MAS90/200) and Magento eCommerce website integration.
Immediate Benefits of Sage & Magento Integration
Integrating Sage ERP with Magento eCommerce is a popular request because it brings together the power of two equally important systems optimizing productivity and efficiencies far beyond their separate, disconnected use. For example, many companies rely on Sage ERP to expertly master their sales orders, inventory data and customer information for all of their sales channels, as well as manage the company’s finance and accounting activities. Separately, companies enjoy the modern technology and feature-rich design of a Magento eCommerce website and love the online sales success. But as business grows and new sales channels are added, it becomes critical to eliminate manual and redundant processes that are labor intensive, increase error and costs, and decrease productivity and profit. Integrating these two vital systems will do just that and provide significant and immediate benefits:
- Streamlined Order Management – Automatically route Magento eCommerce orders to Sage ERP as sales orders so you can view, route or split them – even have them automatically sent to other inventory locations such as warehouses, third party logistics companies or drop ship suppliers.
- Electronic Item Uploads – Push catalog item information into Magento eCommerce quickly with limited data entry. Easily edit or add web descriptions, SEO tags, assign web categories, manage images and pricing in just one place.
- Real-Time Inventory Updates – Update Sage ERP inventory counts automatically updated as Magento eCommerce orders are placed and fulfilled. Inventory displayed online will always be up to date so customers are not trying to buy items you no longer have in stock.
- Centralized Customer Information – Store customer account information in Sage ERP, and receive automatic updates from Magento eCommerce. Easily access customer account information and inquiries enabling expeditious support and response time.
- Improved Visibility – Stay informed with high and low level details and real-time status updates on item availability, orders placed and filled, customer inquiries and sales history. View the entire business from a single access point to make quick decisions, bring product to market faster and respond to customer demand.
Most companies who choose to integrate view it as a pipeline to automate and control data flow and are satisfied with just the immediate results. And most companies don’t even realize the range of benefits that can positively impact sales processes and revenue. But by using the intelligence and real-time reporting for sales, customer behavior and product performance, you can build upon the initial benefits, maximize the potential of the integration, and turn your company’s eCommerce sales channel into a revenue engine.
Drive sales with targeted marketing – Use the centralized customer details and information along with order history to create a targeted sales campaign directly marketing to the preferences and needs of your customers. Tailor sales and promotions by attributes such as location, past purchases, and product searches.
Beat the competition with new and available product – Leverage the knowledge of customers’ predictable online behavior and purchasing trends to get ahead of the curve adding new product, increasing supply for demand, and quickly redirect slow moving inventory to active sales channels.
Be everywhere – Increase brand awareness and expand your presence by opening eBay and Amazon Marketplaces as well. With Sage ERP, add as many sales channels as you like.
Turn browsers into buyers – Create content and pages on your eCommerce site that are automatically fed with product information directly from Sage ERP. Data and information that is up-to-date and accurate can create powerful and attractive pages drawing new customers with similar needs and interests.
Improve customer service – With all the automation in place, and so much knowledge and information at your fingertips, take the time to service your customers’ requests and inquiries thoroughly, listen to them and exceed their expectations. Reallocate your company’s cost savings from integration into boosting your customers’ experience.
Reduce Operations Costs and Optimize Revenue – Integration success is infectious, just ask Wal-Mart. Integration solutions will streamline your operations, increase your productivity and eliminate a lot of time and money spent on manual processes.
So as your company builds an eCommerce revenue engine, keep in mind, increased sales through a single channel creates revenue growth. Increased sales through multiple channels creates exponential growth. With exponential growth comes increased cost and challenges. To offset these barriers, consider using Multi-Channel Operations Management software to manage your growing web of automation. Multi-Channel Operations Management involves managing all of your multi-channel business processes through a single platform, including data, workflows, and reporting. A powerful platform can connect any application regardless of architecture and facilitate communication between back-end and customer-facing systems, helping you exponentially reduce implementation costs, ensure consistent and responsive customer service and exponentially increase revenue.