As the internet continues to be a flourishing platform for communication, it’s no surprise that merchants are exploring eCommerce to take advantage of the time spent by people online to market their products.According to research by Statista, almost 4.57 billion people spend their time online. That’s 59 percent of the world’s population, which is a compelling reason for brick and mortar stores to redirect their resources to the eCommerce platform
Ecommerce is a modern way for companies to sell products online. The current online marketplace is rapidly evolving, fast-paced, and demanding. Being able to compete regardless of size is possible. Small business owners have that fighting chance to compete with big players in the market. Because of its virtual nature and lean model, even startups can compete. As long as they have excellent products, a strategic market presence, and exceptional customer services, they will be able to boost revenue and gain a sustainable client base. Every retailer or merchant needs to have an online store; otherwise, they will be left behind by their competition. However, maintaining an online presence that satisfies customer’s demands can be an arduous task for retailers. Companies need to find new ways to expand their market and operations if they don’t have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system integrated onto their storefronts.
Today, most companies have an online presence, with ERP as an essential ingredient. Integration is easy and is available pre-built in some ERP systems or are available as modules that companies can add on the fly. Integrating eCommerce sales channels with an ERP system enables companies to function in the dynamic marketplace competitively. Integration means that companies need to link data (orders, customers, product items, inventory, and shipping/tracking information) with an ERP. There are also types of integration that automatically pass data between systems, eliminating manual input from one site to another.
Why do you need to integrate, you might ask? It’s because, without an ERP, handling sales orders can be tedious and time-consuming. Manual updating of product data onto the online store can cause inventory errors, wrong shipments, missing information, and all other concerns that could give birth to irate customers. On the other hand, having an integrated system provides business owners speed, consistency, and game-changing possibilities that increase productivity, grow customers, and boost profitability.
In this article, we have lined up some benefits as to why companies have adopted and integrated ERP onto their systems, and what modules are available.
Eliminates Data Redundancy And Error
Integrating ERP with an eCommerce storefront means enabling automation. ERP automates
customer data input – payment details, shipping information, product orders, and quantity, as well as product information – description, inventory levels, etc. Because human intervention is limited, there are fewer risks for mistakes in entering data.
Reduced Operating Costs and Increased Operational Productivity
Because business owners can view data in real-time, owners have more visibility, which allows them to connect various workflows. Employees, customers, and order receivers can also have a clear line of exchange, enabling faster processing of orders. Customers can see their order status, available inventory, and deploy shipments with their corresponding tracking numbers. This automation capability helps save time on correcting errors, reworks, and managing backfire. Resources may be allocated elsewhere more beneficial, which reduces operational cost benefits.
The right ERP system with integration capabilities for both front and back-end is the one that makes expansion easy for any business. It should allow your business to increase and decrease inventory volumes accordingly without incurring any nightmares in fulfilling orders.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Because customers have a real-time update of their product information, order tracking, and trail details, as well as inventory updates, they would be more enticed to do shopping online. Companies can also manage multiple online as well as offline channels to maximize revenue and profitability. A streamlined sales process promotes client satisfaction.
In terms of modules, what do eCommerce companies need to have? The following are standards that any online retailer must have:
Cash flow management, accounts receivables, accounts payables, and audit concerns are essential for any company, let alone one that is with an online presence. Bank integration and security features should protect both customer payment information and the company’s. Strong encryption capabilities should be adopted to ensure that hackers will not be able to hack into the system and compromise the security of transactions.
ERP inventory management systems empower businesses to manage business operations and inventory from a single location. This includes stock and warehouse tracking and management, sales and purchase order management, multi-channel orders, payment gateway functionality, intelligence reports, and analytics, etc
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) modules consolidate customer-facing and back-office information required for a streamlined operations and an effective sales and marketing process. You will be able to reduce errors, increase cost-efficiencies as well as elevate the customer experience.
Order Management/ Data Warehouse And Analytics
Order management software aligns company inventory and orders across different channels. It also handles the management of complex shipping schedules, tracking fulfillment SLAs with third-party logistics. It also handles reporting, evaluation, and analytics.
Having an online sales channel is paramount to growing your business, whatever the size, but most especially to small players who are gearing up for the success of their brand. Having an ERP and all these modules provides an end-to-end pleasant shopping experience that benefits customers. Consider adopting it and implementing ERP solutions to gain more traction and, eventually, sales and a loyal customer base.