Top 7 Benefits of eCommerce and ERP Integration
With the explosion of eCommerce in the last two decades, many businesses now have online storefronts in addition to their brick and mortar ones; some companies even solely deal online. Unfortunately, managing multiple eCommerce platforms in addition to software for internal business functions can be burdensome. Furthermore, each application is an independent silo with no communication in between. Given this, integrating these can bring huge benefits. Here are 7 benefits of eCommerce and ERP integration:
- Manage everything from one location:
As stated above, managing multiple eCommerce channels in addition to internal business software separately can be a hassle. Integrating eCommerce with your ERP allows you to manage and examine everything from one location. It also unifies your eCommerce system with your inventory, manufacturing, CRM, financials, etc., meaning you can take advantage of communication between each of these (more on this further below). Finally, if you make money online and offline, integration allows you to have one holistic picture of your sales.
- Save time and increase productivity:
eCommerce integration also reduces labor since employees no longer have to manually input data from one platform to another (e.g. shipping info, inventory levels, product info); instead, communication takes place automatically. This saves companies a lot of time and money and also frees employees to be productive in other ways.
- Improve the customer experience:
By integrating your eCommerce platform with your back-end operations, you can update your customer with relevant information from there. For one thing, customers interested in purchasing a specific item can see how much of the stock is remaining in inventory. After purchasing, they can automatically be notified when the shipment goes out, and from there they can track the shipment along its journey. Simply having knowledge about what’s going on behind the scenes adds value to the customer experience. Even if there’s an issue, e.g. a delay or lack of stock, knowledge about the situation can minimize any dissatisfaction.
- Update and predict inventory:
eCommerce and ERP integration also brings benefits in the opposite direction. For example, online sales data can now translate directly into your ERP system and accurately update inventory levels. With this knowledge, you can track inventory in real-time and also forecast how much inventory you need in the future.
- Gain business insights:
As the last example suggests, eCommerce and ERP integration gives you the ability to make powerful insights, too. After all, you have one holistic system with data from all parts of the business. Insights from this data can be used to improve business processes, make better predictions, etc. This unified system also informs business leaders more accurately, helping them make better decisions about the company.
- Reduce errors:
Since data transfers from one system to another are now automated, human error is reduced. For example, individuals can no longer misenter shipping information, meaning you have a happier consumer.
- Easily handle spikes in sales:
Increases in sales should be a good thing, but if you rely on employees to manually input data, orders, etc., too many sales may become unmanageable. By automating this, your business immediately becomes more scalable and you can deal with short-term demand spikes without issue.
Watch Christina Barea and Todd Sellers discuss more about eCommerce connectors below: