In today’s times, online shopping has become the common mode of purchasing items and services. Having an ecommerce store for small and large businesses has become critical to attract customers and boost revenue. The key to successful business is ecommerce integration that involves combining sales and customer information with the existing ERP, PSA, CRM or accounting systems. To put it simply, it is the integration of front-end website and back end system so that everything is stored at one place. Achieving this correctly is the key to streamline process across all, in turn helping to facilitate business.
Ecommerce integration is no easy job and often regarded as a time-consuming process. However, if you are serious about expanding your business, you simply cannot ignore ecommerce integration. To ensure proper coordination between your ecommerce site and back-end inventory and accounting (ERP), you need to implement the following steps:
Review your e-business Architecture
As the ecommerce store is likely to grow in the long run, due to addition of software and hardware features, make sure your ecommerce software is scalable. To put it simply, the software should be easily upgradable as the business requirements increase over time. Also, find out whether the ecommerce platform easily integrates with other software solutions such as ERP or CRM system
Your ecommerce platform has to be compatible with existing systems as well as new software applications that will be integrated. Loss of data often arises out of incompatibility between different software applications. For instance, if your ecommerce platform is not compatible with ERP or accounting system, it is not possible to give your customers up-to-date information when they visit the e-store. Moreover, the customer and sales order information entered on the front-end never reaches the back-office.
Data synchronization means when a new item is included in the back-office ERP, it should immediately appear on the front-end ecommerce store as well and vice-versa. Data synchronization is extremely important to succeed in ecommerce business. So when you integrate ecommerce platform with your existing business systems, it is necessary that there is consistent flow of information. To put it simply, real time updates have to be reflected in all business systems for workflow. Inconsistency of data among different systems can lead to inaccuracy in pricing and information. This can negatively affect customer experience and customer loyalty.
- Centralize Data
Different business systems in your organization such as ERP, Order System, CRM, and warehouse system will store data in different formats. This data available in different organizational units needs to be combined and stored in one centralized database that is updated in real time. Thus using a single user interface, you would be able to access data of all departments. So any changes in any of the business systems would be directly reflected in the master data. This decreases cost and time in getting data from multiple sources. Also, with real time data available in one centralized database system, taking critical decisions becomes much simpler.
On the whole, ecommerce integration is critical to streamline business process and for better customer satisfaction and customer service efficiency. But take into account the aforementioned factors before you proceed to integrate ecommerce with your existing business systems.