You can prevent data duplication as well as manual data entry and have multiple systems in sync if you integrate ecommerce with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. It will help your business to operate more efficiently. E-commerce is an innovative method of selling products at lower costs. It has revolutionized the way companies do business and interact with their customers. Having an online store is no longer an additional thing, it is a need now. The online store is beneficial for retailers as well as customers. But if the storefront of retailers is not integrated with their ERP system, it can become difficult to maintain an online storefront.
The Reason Behind Integrating Ecommerce With ERP?
You will have to modify your current systems if you integrate e-commerce with ERP and it is costly as well which is why businesses usually overlook the need for it. But the business interruption, as well as the cost, will seem worth it as you notice its fabulous results vis-à-vis your operations and customer experience. Your business will work even more efficiently once you integrate e-commerce sales channels with your ERP system.
The key types of data including shipping/tracking, order, customer, item, and inventory are all connected to your independent systems. You won’t need to manually enter data from one system to another as the data between your systems will pass automatically. It will rid you of the painful and time-consuming process of hand-keying the sales orders into ERP. You won’t have to go through the hassle of updating product data in Excel, and then uploading to the online store.
You might oversell if you are dependent on decreasing inventory in your systems manually, or totally unable to do it. Chances of error are high as these processes are not automated. Wrong shipping addresses, incorrect inventory levels, missing, incomplete, or incorrect product information are some of the common mistakes that can put your consumer’s experience, and even your business at risk.
Benefits Of ERP Integration With An Ecommerce Storefront
Below are the seven major benefits that you can have if you integrate your e-commerce storefront with ERP system:
- Reduces Data Redundancy, Human Involvement, and Error:
The payment and shipping information, web orders, and web customer details are integrated into the ERP system with the integration of e-commerce storefront. Similarly, it will help in uploading the details of product and inventory from ERP to the e-commerce portal. It will remove the need for re-entering the data and reduce data redundancy, human involvement, and most importantly error.
- Reduces Operation Costs:
The ERP system makes the real-time data available on to the storefront. It will help customers to check the status of their latest order as well as available inventory. It also allows them to track shipments with tracking numbers. Automated data inputs help reduce errors, re-works, and order backfires. One of its biggest benefits is that it helps to reduce operational costs.
- Increases Internal Productivity:
Numerous business processes can be streamlined with the help of integrated systems. It decreases the participation of human resource in the processes. Since the web sales orders are integrated into the ERP system in real-time, therefore a back-office ERP user can instantly track the order and begin the further processing. Hence the order fulfillment cycle is reduced by integration.
- Reduces Inventory Cost:
The information regarding web sales is promptly shown by your ERP system. ERP item inventory will also get updated based on these web transactions. This updated information about inventory and web sales allows an ERP user to plan the purchase properly and reduce inventory costs.
- Increases Customer Satisfaction:
The satisfaction level of a consumer will obviously increase due to the ease of getting updated product information, order tracking details, and inventory availability detail from the ERP system.
- Generates Financial Reports in ERP:
Ecommerce applications generate financial reports of sales. The integration of ecommerce with ERP will help your business to produce trial balance, balance sheet, cash flow, and P/L Statement and provide you the needed clarity in financial information.
- Better Control of your Business:
You will have competitive gains and better control of your business as you integrate ecommerce storefront with ERP business processes.
These are just a few benefits that you enjoy when you integrate ecommerce and ERP platforms. There are numerous other benefits when your front and back platforms work in coordination. Ecommerce can be organized to work independently of any other process but entering or exporting/importing data from the ecommerce store into backend systems manually is time-consuming and it will not provide a correct view of product data available inventory or latest pricing and promotions in real-time. If there are any disruptions in merchandise procurement and delivery, which can happen if shipping and tracking details are not sent on time, then it will cause customer dissatisfaction, returns/refunds and ultimately loss of revenue. The chances of mistakes are totally eliminated when these processes are automated and that is what the integration of ecommerce with ERP does.