According to Statista, we’re projected to hit $2,842 billion (USD) in worldwide e-commerce revenue in 2018 alone (with that number almost doubling to $4,878 billion by 2021). Is your business ready for this unprecedented demand? Having your e-commerce platform integrated into your ERP system is commonly overlooked due to the perceived disruption a change like this can cause to the business. Unfortunately not having these critical sales channels tightly integrated into the rest of your operations will be detrimental.
Connecting your e-commerce platforms into your ERP system not only pays dividends in the form of customer experience, but also allows you to take a holistic approach to your distribution and fulfilment functions. Not only will integrating eliminate double data entry of sales from your e-commerce channels to your ERP, but it will also provide your e-commerce channels with up to the minute stock levels for each of your products. Having up-to-date inventory information available to your e-commerce channels avoids overselling of products and in turn makes happier customers. Just as having extensive per-channel sales data allows you the ability to plan for demand not only for purchasing, but also for managing your stock across your warehouses and 3PL providers.
The benefits of integrating your e-commerce platforms with your ERP are not exclusively limited to transacting sales and inventory data. Another key function people commonly overlook is shipping. Staff can make mistakes entering address information from one system to another leading to an unhappy customer. Completing this integration will allow you to enable live shipping rates to your customers, and your staff will be able to generate a shipping label at the picking stage with no additional work. Further to this, your e-commerce store can be setup to receive tracking information. This affords you a great opportunity to engage with your customers, sending out personalised emails updating them with their shipment details at scale.
Have you considered your process for releasing new products across all of your sales channels? If you’re an omni-channel retailer, it can become quite an arduous process to ensure your products and their associated pricing information all match across different systems. Centralising your products and pricing to your ERP will allow you to automate this release process allowing you to enter in the new product information, images and pricing tiers once. Your ERP will then update all of your different sales channels with these new products.
Leaving your sales channels to operate independently is a very unscalable practice, and with e-commerce sales rapidly growing your business may not be able to keep up. At ALTSHIFT, we specialise in working with omni-channel retailers to consolidate their business systems into a single translatable process across channels. If you’re not sure where to start when embarking on an integration project, get in touch with us to talk about your needs.