If you integrate your eCommerce platform with your ERP, you’re enabling a smooth flow of information between the two systems. This means data only needs to be entered once and you can locate what you need quickly and easily as it’s stored in one place. This is the main reason for an eCommerce and ERP integration.
Let’s discuss a few more…
The benefits of an eCommerce-ERP integration for your customers…
1. Gives the customer more autonomy
Integrating to your back-office software means customers can find the information they need more easily without needing to speak to your customer service team. For example:
- Inventory levels
- Notifications when orders are shipped
- Order tracking
- A variety of shipping methods (particularly useful for global addresses, this allows your customers to choose their own shipping options based on costs and speed of delivery)
- Price quotes
- Automatic tax calculations, such as currency conversions and tax jurisdictions
Customers can access this information whenever they want - it’s available 24/7 which satisfies them and your customer service team have more time back.
2. Improves customer trust and satisfaction
If customers order an item or service and are later informed that it’s out of stock or it’s no longer on sale, it creates frustration. This may then prompt them to search for a similar item or service elsewhere - leading to sales for your competition.
On the flip side, if the information on your website is always accurate, this situation wouldn’t happen. This generates trust, enhances satisfaction and make customers more willing to do business with you - perhaps more than once (boosting customer retention).
3. Enhances customer experience
By giving your customers more autonomy and allowing quick access to accurate information, you’ll be meeting their expectations. This, in turn, boosts your customer service and creates a great experience.
…and benefits for your business
4. Reduces manual work and the chance of human error
Integrating the two systems means automatic consolidation of data into one place. For example, payment and shipping details, web orders and customer information can feed into the ERP. And inventory/warehouse stock levels can go from your ERP to the eCommerce portal.
It doesn’t matter which system you look in - the relevant information can be accessed quickly and you don’t have to switch constantly between the two. This also means you don’t need to re-enter the data more than once which reduces data redundancy, the amount of manual work and the chance of human error (such as missing, duplicate or inaccurate data).
5. Streamlines operations
Integration means every department can access essential data in real-time. They no longer need to suffer from fragmented information or painstakingly comb through multiple systems. Not only does this increase productivity (discussed below), it also reduces delays and operational costs.
It significantly reduces the reliance on paperwork and spreadsheets too because up-to-date information is stored in one centralised location. There’s no need to make duplicate entries or create several versions of the same document. The data can be updated in real-time.
6. Boosts productivity
If your data is centralised and stored in one place, it’s easier to find the information you need. Cross-team collaboration is also possible. This boosts your team’s productivity and gives them time back - they can quickly find up-to-date information and spend more time on other tasks rather than handling fragmented, outdated versions and disparate systems.
They also no longer need to manage certain manual tasks. For example, the task of entering web sales order details into the ERP system can be automated. Real-time data will automatically feed back to the ERP from the eCommerce platform so a back-office ERP user can start with their processing tasks.
This reduces the overall order fulfilment cycle.
Ultimately, by reducing human involvement, your team becomes more productive and your business processes more efficient.
7. Enables complete business visibility and more informed decision making
Integrating with your ERP means you can gain a 360-degree view of your business processes. For instance, all the actions carried out on your eCommerce platform will pull through to your ERP system such as:
- Web order details (e.g. product types and quantities)
- Customer details (e.g. name, contact details, addresses)
- Payment details
- Shipping information
Likewise, any actions on the ERP side will also pull through to your eCommerce platform, such as:
- Product information (e.g. details on new, upcoming or discontinued products so your website always shows the products that are available at any time)
- Inventory levels
- Pricing updates
Ultimately, this leads back to all the benefits we just discussed. Thanks to the free flow of accurate information, you gain complete insight into your business which makes it easier to make more informed decisions. For instance:
- Your sales team can sell more confidently
- Your marketing team can create more tailored campaigns
- Your customer service can give more informed advice
- Your finance team can create more accurate reports based on real-time, complete data
When you integrate your eCommerce platform with your ERP, you’re taking a step towards maximising your overall sales. There are other integrations to consider too, such as a PIM system and CMS. And adopting a Connected Commerce strategy.
These are all areas we focus on in our guide. Discover how you can increase your average basket value by clicking on the button below.