Businesses can grow at the speed of thought, provided all of the right tools are available for both the customers and the business itself. Knowing what is available for your customers and when new products are coming in; tracking any loyalty programs that customers may be enrolled in; and keeping track of outbound shipments, order information, production and more can involve multiple software programs that may or may not communicate with each other. If a step is missed, or the information is not updated in a timely manner, problems can arise. This can lead to delays in shipping, inaccurate ordering, running out of product, and other costly or embarrassing issues. That’s where eCommerce integration comes in: coordination between a company’s back-end accounting system, or ERP, and their eCommerce site.
eCommerce and ERP systems
Retail ERP systems are a major component of eCommerce. These systems are crucial in accounting for everything from instock inventory management, shipping and payment information, sales and marketing, as well as cost and planning. An ERP system combines information that would normally be handled by several different software programs and would be dependent upon updates being made to each of the different programs in a timely and efficient manner. With an ERP, all information is updated automatically across the system, giving the consumer an accurate display of what products and services are currently available. This will also give owners a real-time snapshot of what is going on with their business, ensuring they always have the most up-to-date information about stock levels and other key details.
ERP systems can also include an integrated suite of back-end office software, which may include systems for accounting and human resources, POS systems, inventory management systems, customer loyalty and tracking software, or CRM, as well as business intelligence software. An ERP gives managers and business owners a clear view of all of the company’s resources: human, monetary, and stock on hand. Having easy access to a big-picture overview of the company makes it easier to make smart decisions about purchasing, hiring, and expansion.
Customer loyalty and eCommerce
With the current proliferation of eCommerce sites, customers have the entire world at their fingertips. Owners have to find a way to stand out from their competitors; eCommerce integration is one way to do this. When owners are able to see real-time information about what customers are looking for, they are able to target their client base with customer loyalty solutions that are tailored to their exact needs. Another great advantage to ERP and eCommerce integration is allowing customers to save their information on your site, enabling them to have a faster checkout experience, thus encouraging them to return based on their experience. Having a fully integrated system also helps ensure that ordering mistakes are not made which could cause a delay in shipping, forcing the customer to wait longer for what they have ordered. A fully integrated system ensures that the customer’s order is in stock and gets shipped out quickly, giving the customer a better experience with the eCommerce site, which encourages them to return in the future.
eCommerce integration is a great tool that streamlines how a company does business and provides a better shopping experience for customers by eliminating undue delays, retaining their information to speed up their purchase process, and sharing tailored special offers, encouraging them to stay on your site longer. ERP also helps with many of the back-end processes allowing owners a better overview of exactly what is happening in their business at any given point in time.