An omnichannel strategy is a key to success, which retailers are aware. It is vital as well as a necessity to do business across multiple channels. However, today many e-commerce systems are different from the retailer’s ERP and customer relationship management applications.
In order to become a fully loaded data-driven organization, retailers need to break away from the traditional system based silos and collect all pertinent data in one readily available data source. The key requirement would be to have the tools and systems in place to enable them to evaluate the information, mine valuable information to respond quickly. Combining eCommerce, ERP, and CRM systems with in-store applications are now possible by efficiently using the correct retail business solution.
The main reason for getting retail ERP integrated to a better eCommerce is to get best customer relationship. Without integration, the out-dated practice of feeding or logging the customer details manually will continue to exist. Employees are bound to make mistakes when entering orders into any retail system. The incorrect address may lead to delay in shipments or end up without being delivered. The slip-ups may even lead to inaccurate inventory levels which could lead to overselling or carrying over excess inventory. Consequently, a compromised customer experience may have a not so cordial business relationship and profitability may take a beating.
An integrated eCommerce and ERP system makes life simple. Whether the sale is made online, in a store, or online for in-store pick-up, it is quite easy to track fresh orders and execute them. Moreover, the products and prices can be centrally managed.
The global eCommerce market is growing by leaps and bounds. Thus, it has been found that retailers are planning to devote most of their time and investment in eCommerce. By the end of 2018, the worldwide retail eCommerce sales would reach over a whopping $2.5 trillion. Quite amazing! The customers are getting more sophisticated as well as choosy and in return, they expect the same level of service across all channels. To meet customers’ expectations, integrating ERP, CRM and eCommerce systems is the only answer.
Essentially retailers should not forget the volume of customer-centric data that is held within their business. Moreover, without integrating customer data with their financial data, the retailers can view only half their business information.
Investment of time and money is required in any system integration project. However, the following benefits far outweigh any other consideration in the case of ERP, CRM and eCommerce integration:
Manual data entry job becomes a thing of the past with integration. The ERP system tracks eCommerce orders and details of the customer automatically and eliminates the manual data entry job. The item descriptions and inventory levels get uploaded to the eCommerce interface. Eventually, the unwanted data and human errors are reduced.
The automated eCommerce process in an organization makes life easy with very less requirement of employees involved. They can be relocated and utilized for more productive tasks as the order fulfillment process gets streamlined with the integrated system.
Instant and accurate sales updating is possible through eCommerce ERP inventory system. This makes easy for the purchasing department to accurately track and record inventory by avoiding a stockpiling situation. Besides, the inventory levels can be accessed by the customer without any assistance from the organization.
Maintenance of inventory management with accuracy means there is less likelihood of stocked items to be oversold reducing the number of back orders.
Inventory information is controlled at one location. So changing item prices and adding or eliminating products can be done once which renders data entry useless.
Better and improved customer satisfaction is the result of access to real-time information from the ERP system to the eCommerce interface. This facilitates clients to review available inventory, order status, and track shipments until delivery takes place.
The customer need not check the status of orders, as the system intimates the shipment details when the order is shipped, besides, for the convenience of the customer, tracking information is also provided.
Financial reports are not consolidated when eCommerce and ERP systems are separate. It, therefore, becomes all the more necessary to combine these separate reports into a unified one. Nevertheless, with an integrated system in place, the reports don’t need to be consolidated; the management gets perfectly clear financial facts.
Generally, customers’ expectations are large. They want seamlessly an easy experience even while their personal information is secure. In an integrated ERP, CRM and eCommerce systems, the customers’ expectations get fulfilled. Retailers leave no stone unturned to better their customers’ shopping experience by providing self-service and functionality online as they would get in a store.
ERP, CRM, and eCommerce Integration is an advantage for retailers. Why?
In the present market prospects, it is not correct for retailers to further delay the integration process. Integration in today’s emerging market trend will place the retailer on a different pedestal altogether thereby creating a competitive advantage to develop across wide-ranging channels.