These days customers expect their online experiences to be extremely convenient and hassle-free. The rapid growth of online retail and e-commerce has changed customer behaviour. Customers no longer have the same kind of patience that they had a few years ago. If your platform cannot deliver an optimal experience, the customers will jump ship and instead shop from a competitor.
As per a recent report, the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is just under 70%. This means that every 7 out of 10 customers will not complete their transaction. This doesn’t paint a good picture for online retailers. As demonstrated Customer loyalty is difficult for businesses to retain these days.
As of 2020, there are about 2.05 billion online shoppers in the world. This shows the potential that e-commerce holds. But to leverage this huge potential, businesses need to provide a shopping experience that caters to customer needs. It should be seamless, it should be convenient, and it should be omnichannel.
The way it can be achieved is through the integration of your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with your e-commerce channels. Let’s discuss in this article how ERP and e-commerce integration could be the key to scaling your business.
Understanding ERP and e-commerce integration
ERP systems help manage and combine all aspects of a business into an integrated system. It allows the administration of multiple back-end functions like inventory management, IT services, HR functions, and warehouse management, to name a few.
When ERP is integrated with e-commerce, it empowers businesses to benefit from a single data hub. It makes the e-commerce website more manageable and organised with a streamlined process.
For instance, when a customer adds an item to the cart and makes the payment, the ERP system will send a confirmation message (such as email or SMS) to the customer. The system then gathers information from the inventory data and creates a shipping label. It also shares tracking details with the customer while also updating the company’s accounts and finances.
Thus, this integration helps keep customers in the loop and keeps the inventory data updated with minimal effort and zero-errors.
Benefits of making ERP and e-commerce work as one
ERP, when integrated with the company’s online ordering processes, can offer many benefits including:
- Reduction of operational costs - Customers can view the latest order status, inventory availability, and shipments — thanks to the availability of real-time data from the ERP system. The automated data inputs help avoid errors, re-works, and order mismatch. All these benefits reduce the overall operational costs.
- Ensuring the stock is sufficient - The ERP system automatically updates product stocks and offers real-time data. This helps ensure the business never runs out of stock for any product.
- Streamlined processes - The integration helps keep the operations streamlined and connected. It connects back-end finance, supply chain, inventory and warehouse management, etc. with web stores or e-commerce marketplaces.
- customer satisfaction - Since everything is connected, the integration helps deliver better customer experiences. The ease of getting up-to-date information, order tracking details, and inventory updates help deliver a superior customer experience.
- Omnichannel strategy implementation - Omnichannel campaigns have a 287% higher purchase rate than a single-channel campaign. For any modern business to succeed in the marketplace, it is essential to have an omnichannel strategy in place. Irrespective of whether your customer is purchasing a product through your e-commerce website, offline store, through phone/SMS, or the online marketplace, s/he will always have access to up-to-date, accurate inventory information like availability and pricing. This can be achieved by the integration of ERP with your sales channels.
- Convenient order tracking - An ERP solution, when integrated with the online store, can keep the customers updated on where their orders are and the expected delivery date. It also automatically alerts the customers regarding any updates about their orders.
- Automated accounting processes -Automating accounting processes can help reduce human errors. When a company’s ERP and e-commerce work as one, it ensures accurate accounting that, in turn, reduces the likelihood of tax errors.
- Real-time inventory management - ERP solutions can automatically update stock on the e-commerce platform without relying on manual inputs. This ensures the stock is always sufficient for customers. Real-time inventory management proves to be extremely beneficial for businesses.
- Managing increased traffic and sales - With an integrated ERP and e-commerce solution, you won’t have to worry about handling increased demand and sales. The ERP system will automate your services without having to rely on hiring additional staff.
- Financial report generation - ERP and e-commerce integration allows the financial reports of sales to be generated in ERP. It helps businesses produce a balance sheet, trial balance, and cash flow, etc. which gives the required clarity in the company’s financial information.
- Improved order to cash cycles - The integration plays a vital role in streamlining the business processes and increasing internal productivity. The reduction in human involvement allows for automation in business processes. Since the web sales orders are updated in real-time in the ERP, the back-office users can instantly track the order and start with further processing. This significantly improves order to cash cycles.
The benefits of ERP and e-commerce integration shared above paint a bright picture of its possibilities. Now is the time for you to comprehend these benefits and adopt them for the success of your business in 2021. If you are also looking at achieving a seamless integration between your webstore and ERP, then Abacus can help. Our proven SAP ERP-integrated eCommerce solution allows you to innovate and grow your business at scale. With real-time integration of your e-commerce operations with an ERP system, you can automate and streamline your processes while ensuring growth with built-in analytics and customer services.
With our integration solution, you can achieve some critical benefits like seamless integration with SAP Business One ERP, integrate and manage as many marketplaces as you want on one centralised interface, automated courier and drop shipping, real-time analytics, and customised product listings, just to name a few.