Understanding ERP E-commerce Integration and its Benefits
At this point, you can no longer say that e-commerce is the future of retail—it is the present. Giving consumers pathways to access your products and services via the Internet or on a mobile device has become a necessity.
With the emergence of e-commerce as a major element of business, several benefits have made themselves clear. Electronic sales bring a level of customer data with them that can be utilized to gain a better picture of your consumers’ preferences and habits.
With ERP e-commerce integration, you can more accurately and efficiently track the data that comes to you from your customer base. ERP integrated e-commerce doesn’t only benefit the seller—it benefits the consumer as well.
So just what is ERP integration? What specific benefits does it bring to the table? And how does it all tie back to WiRe Innovation?
Defining ERP E-commerce Integration
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. An ERP system is what you use to track your resources. This can include inventory, CRM information, accounting, human resources, your full supply chain infrastructure and so on.
Many organizations have yet to sync their ERP and e-commerce systems. This is a mistake. By keeping these systems separate, these organizations create extra work for themselves and their client base.
Think of it this way: if your organization was a restaurant, your e-commerce system is your front-of-house and serving staff. They are interacting with the customers, bringing out their orders, and ensuring that they get what they want out of their transaction.
In this scenario, your ERP system is the cooking staff and restaurant management—everyone that makes the business operate that the customer doesn’t see. Without the cooks, no food gets made. Without management, no ingredients come in, no building maintenance can happen, and no one gets paid.
An ERP system for e-commerce ensures that there is always a clear line of communication between the front end of an organization (the hosts and serving staff) and the back end (cooks and management).
In fact, that communication is instantaneous. A metaphorical server enters information into their handheld device, that information is immediately transferred to the figurative order screen in the kitchen. That means no chance for miscommunication and ensures the customer gets what they want as quickly as possible.
By engaging in ERP e-commerce integration, our “restaurant” ensures that customers always know what menu items are available, how long it will take for them to get their food, and can stay informed about specials and discounts.
The back-of-house, meanwhile, will know who is coming to their restaurant, what the most popular dishes are, when people tend to come in, how stable their profit margin is, and how best to communicate with their customers—all at a moment’s notice.
Because information goes from the front-end directly into the back-end, order processing, invoicing, inventory management, and analysis for business insights can begin sooner, while utilizing the most accurate, up-to-date information possible.
In simpler terms, a synced e-commerce ERP system makes your team more productive and therefore helps optimize your revenue streams by automatically delivering important information from your front end business to your back end organization.
Benefits of an ERP System for E-commerce
Now that we have a basic understanding of what ERP e-commerce integration is, we can better examine the benefits of that integration. We have looked at some of the general benefits, but let’s dig a bit deeper.
With ERP e-commerce connections, you lose money drip by drip. Your team members need to manually enter important information into the appropriate fields in separate systems to keep your information up to date.
This opens the door for human error. Lost paperwork, entering the wrong value into the wrong field, repeated or skipped entries, and more. Each of those errors costs extra time to fix—for example, 10 to 20 orders equates to approximately two hours of employee time that could have been spent more productively— which increases operational costs.
One error may not cost too much to fix, but over time, the cost of these errors increases exponentially. ERP e-commerce integration automatically transfers the information that your team members would otherwise have to enter manually. This hugely reduces data entry errors.
Increased Control and Competitive Gains
Since ERP e-commerce integration gives you actionable and analyzable information automatically, you are able to generate important business insights much faster than you would be able to without integration.
The ability to take swifter actions than you would otherwise allows you to outmaneuver your competition. It gives you the capacity to quickly pivot towards positive trends and away from negative practices, which can significantly improve your bottom line.
More Complete Financial Statements
Instead of trying to reconcile the reports that come from your e-commerce platform with the data you get from your ERP, an integrated system allows you to produce one, complete report. This gives you a bird’s eye view of your total business in one document.
Having one source of financial truth that factors in sales, cash flow, balance sheets, and so on will ensure that you always understand your financial environment. And again, thanks to automatic data transfers from e-commerce to ERP, you will always have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.
Improved Customer Experience
A business that does not prioritize their customer base is a business that will fail. People remember when they have a hard time with a company and they spread the word about it. The opposite however is also true—word of great customer experiences also spreads.
ERP e-commerce integration ensures that your customers don’t order products that are out of stock and allows you to better contact them with advertisements that are targeted to their desires and shopping habits.
A Great Reputation
Integrating your e-commerce ERP systems allows you to serve your customers better, make your team members more productive, and helps you take action based on up-to-the-minute insights and information.
These upgrades will all improve your reputation among customers and potential new hires alike. This improved reputation can be worth its weight in gold. It means your hiring pool improves, getting you better candidates to join your team and you get repeat business from satisfied customers.
The WiRe Difference
At WiRe Innovation, we recognize the value of ERP e-commerce integration. We also recognize that every organization has unique needs and requirements when they integrate their systems. That’s why we have set out to make sure we can meet your needs.
Our team has a deep understanding of how e-commerce works. Whether you utilize Magento, Woocommerce, Shopify, or anything else, we can make your integration happen.
We also have a deep knowledge of ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle Netsuite, and more.
We utilize API (application programming interfaces) to connect your e-commerce platform to your ERP system. Each integration we create is customized to our client’s specific needs, while ensuring that our solution for them is scalable and can handle increased usage from a growing business.
We also take into account what your business needs to keep operating while your systems are being integrated. We ensure as little disruption to your day-to-day operations as possible.
This, in turn, ensures you have the best e-commerce ERP integration experience that you can. Once you have integrated systems, you can reap the benefits. It really is that easy.
Eliminate Your Obstacles
ERP e-commerce integration eliminates data silos between your front-end and back-end operations, streamlines data entry processes, and massively reduces the risk of human error. You gain actionable insights faster and improve customer experience.
Integrating these systems is a key factor in optimizing your business operations. Make the most of the information you collect through e-commerce and reach out to us at WiRe Innovation to see what ERP integration can do for you.