As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, more and more brands are looking to establish a presence in ecommerce. Although selling online can be a great way to reach new customers and boost sales, it also comes with its own set of challenges.
However, managing an ecommerce storefront can also burden growing businesses because of the additional resources and expertise it requires.
One of the biggest challenges faced by companies today is integrating their ecommerce store with their back-office business management solutions.
Working with fragmented systems, a lack of single source data and an inability to work with real time data leads to losing time and money.
The main reasons for this ERP eCommerce integration among businesses are:
Growth support (31%),
Functionality improvement (20%),
Increase in efficiency (13%),
Separate systems consolidation and legacy software replacement (12%).
Ecommerce companies must take into account how their website will tie into their back-office business management solutions, like financials, CRM, order management and inventory management. Running a website that is disconnected from these core systems can create inefficiency in the rest of their operations.
The ecommerce company's merchandiser adding new items to the site, marketer creating promotional codes, warehouse worker picking orders and customer service representative processing returns will all pay the price when they have to take extra steps to their daily routines to avoid technology integration gaps.
Are you willing to take the risk?
What is an ecommerce integration?
Ecommerce integration is the process of connecting an ecommerce platform with other software. This allows businesses to automate their processes and transactions, making it easier to manage their ecommerce operations.
Integration, which is a short term for data integration, refers to the systematic process of accumulating data that was initially held in multiple sources into a centralized source. The data is then made available to those who need it as a single stream of “aggregated” information that is easy to comprehend/understand.
There are a variety of ecommerce integrations available, ranging from simple solutions that connect a single software application to more complex systems that connect multiple applications.
The right ecommerce integration solution depends on the specific needs of the business. However, all ecommerce integration solutions share one common goal: to streamline the ecommerce experience for both businesses and customers.
Ecommerce integration allows you to save a bunch of time and simply put - you only need to enter your data once for it to get transferred throughout and stored in a manner that allows everyone to access it for each individual customer account.
It allows your brand to keep up the pace with lots of customers converting on multiple channels at once and your ability to keep track of the path of your product transfer no matter which channels were used to complete a transaction.
Ecommerce integration may be defined as the constant but ever-evolving relationship between the front-end ecommerce website and the supporting back-end systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
Ecommerce businesses rely on a coordinated flow of information between the front-end website and back-end systems in order to keep the ecommerce machinery running smoothly.
Back-end systems provide essential data and functionality that enables the ecommerce website to function properly and provide a good experience for customers.
Ecommerce integration is therefore essential for businesses that want to maintain a strong online presence and compete effectively in the ecommerce marketplace.
Why is ecommerce integration important?
Ecommerce integration is important for several reasons.
First, it allows businesses to manage their inventory levels more efficiently. By integrating ecommerce with back-office systems, businesses can automatically update their inventory records when an order is placed. This ensures that inventory levels are always accurate, preventing overstocking or stock-outs.
Second, ecommerce integration can help businesses save time and money by automate tasks such as order processing and customer service. By integrating ecommerce with CRM and other systems, businesses can streamline their operations and reduce their reliance on manual processes.
Finally, ecommerce integration can improve the customer experience by providing a more seamless and consistent experience across all channels.
By integrating ecommerce with in-store systems, businesses can provide customers with a consistent experience whether they are shopping online or in-person.
Ecommerce integration is therefore an essential part of any omni-channel strategy.
The drawbacks of manual processes
When your ecommerce and other digital ordering processes are not automated, mistakes are common place.
Shipping addresses can be entered wrong
Incorrect inventory levels can lead to overselling
Product information could be incomplete, incorrect, or even missing
Ultimately, when two-way integration is not in place, your entire end-to-end customer experience is at stake.
Errors from manual entry
Inaccurate inventory and pricing
If you're managing a separate ecommerce product catalog alongside your main inventory management system, it's a constant struggle to keep stock levels and pricing changes in sync.
When you create new items in your system of record, you also have to add them to your online store. If the warehouse replenishes inventory, it may take time to reflect that change on the website. It's even more challenging to display available quantity on hand, so items are simply marked as "in stock" or "out of stock," and customers don't have a sense of urgency when making a purchasing decision.
Over time, you can end up with items sitting on warehouse shelves that aren't even visible on the website, or you have to cancel orders because you oversold what was actually available.
A common business concept is the 1-10-100 rule. This rule-of-thumb model illustrates the hard costs to an organization chasing mistakes and that failure to take notice and correct mistakes escalate in cost the later they are realized.
It costs: $1 to verify the accuracy of data at the point of entry, $10 to correct or clean up data in batch form, and $100 (or more) per record if nothing is done – including the costs associated with low customer retention, and inefficiencies. (Source)
Invoice and Order processing delays
Processing large numbers of invoices and orders manually leads to lost or duplicated invoices, meaning a customer isn’t billed at all, or, they’re double billed. Moreover, invoices could take longer to reach your customers, which can potentially delay payments from reaching your books.
A Goldman Sachs report found that the direct and indirect costs of manual, paper-based invoicing costs businesses $2.7 trillion annually.
Any ecommerce business knows that there can often be delays in processing orders. This is typically because orders have to be imported into the order management system and they come in as batches. This can make it more difficult to pick, pack and ship.
Once orders are marked shipped, there is usually a delay posting the tracking information back to the ecommerce platform.
A 2009 paper by researchers at the University of Nevada and Anderson University found that automated data capture systems had an average mistake rate of 0.38 errors per 30 sheets of data versus 10.23 errors for humans against the same dataset.
Customers can get frustrated not being able to check the status of their order and are forced to contact your sales or customer service representatives.
By understanding these order processing delays, you can be better prepared to manage them and keep your customers informed.
No personalised customer experience
If you're not personalizing the shopping experience for your ecommerce customers, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.
If your ecommerce website can’t use your customer data, including web browsing behavior, cross-channel purchases and search history, you’re treating every shopper the same by showcasing the same products and promotions.
The easiest way to increase average order value is to upsell similar items, but ecommerce systems disconnected from financial or customer data typically only provides generic bestsellers instead of personalized product recommendations, which improve click-through rates by 2-5%.
Using customer data to customize the products and promotions shown to each individual shopper can result in a significant increase in engagement and lifetime value. Not to mention, it's simply a more pleasant experience for the customer, which can help to build loyalty and repeat business.
Of course, this isn't easy to do if you don't have the right tools or data at your disposal.
Without knowing anything about your customers, it's impossible to give them the individualized attention they deserve.
CommerceCore™ removes the complexity from your ecommerce operations
Ecommerce integration is critical for businesses that want to streamline their operations and create more engaging shopping experiences for their customers.
When ecommerce is natively unified with ERP, CRM, order and inventory management, businesses gain an unprecedented level of real-time visibility that helps them make more informed decisions.
Ecommerce integration can save time and money by automating tasks, reducing errors and making it easy to share data between systems.
Connecting an ecommerce platform with an integrated software solution like the CommerceCore™ Merchant Operating System (MOPS) can provide the flexibility to support a variety of business models and can be scaled as business needs change.
The CommerceCore™ Merchant Operating System is automatically unified with your core operational business systems, providing a single view of customer, order, inventory, and other critical data so you get real time visibility across your business while powering personal and relevant cross-channel experiences.
Benefits of CommerceCore™ integration for sales processes
The influence of integrated software solutions is evident, with the worldwide ERP software industry estimated to be worth $41.69 billion by the beginning of 2021.
While that figure is remarkable, people who have never used this kind of software may struggle to comprehend why an ERP solution like the CommerceCore™ Merchant Operating System is vital to their company.
However, since globalization shrinks the market for many sectors, it is critical to seek all instruments to provide your ecommerce company with a competitive advantage.
For many ecommerce companies, this is achieved through the use of the CommerceCore™ Merchant Operating System..
The CommerceCore™ software solution can assist ecommerce businesses with sales management by offering an integrated workflow that can fully automate sales processes and provide an overview of how it connects to the business.
The software is designed to be highly modular, so businesses can start with the basics and add new features as they need them. This makes it an ideal solution for ecommerce businesses of all sizes.
Enhanced sales management
Users can set rules across multiple sales processes where processing and cycle time can be reduced, allowing ecommerce companies to fulfil requests with greater efficiency.
Easily accessible and trackable sales data
A sales team that uses CommerceCore™ will find that all the information they require is accessible from anywhere at any time. With all customer data stored in one location, tracking a sale from start to finish will be easy.
Detailed data records on contacts can also be kept securely, including all relevant information, with communications logged and trading information like sales history, payment terms and delivery requirements always close at hand.
As a result, CommerceCore™ provides sales teams with the tools they need to be efficient and effective.
Increasing outreach speed
An effective sales process is always driven by your company's sales team outreach speed. This means that the speed at which your sales staff can reach the correct customer with the right information is crucial to your success.
However, this can be difficult to achieve without a sales function built into your ERP system. With this type of system in place, your sales staff can quickly and efficiently deliver the correct information to customers in a timely fashion, improving your outreach speed and overall sales process.
The CommerceCore™ sales module is an essential tool for any company looking to increase its outreach speed and improve its sales results.
Enhancing customer relations
In any business, sales are essential for keeping the doors open and the lights on. However, making a sale is only the first step in developing a lasting relationship with a customer.
Enhancing customer relations is key to ensuring that customers keep coming back, and one way to do this is by integrating your ecommerce store with the CommerceCore™ modular solution software.
CommerceCore™ can help team members maintain clear lines of communication with customers, where it will record client preferences and relationship milestones. This detailed information and reporting also enables enhanced levels of aftercare.
Whether you're just getting started with ecommerce or you're looking for ways to streamline your operation and remove complexity, CommerceCore™ is here to help.
With its sales management, outreach, and customer relations features, CommerceCore™ can help you take your ecommerce business to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our services or get started on your implementation process.