Ecommerce is becoming the primary sales channel for many merchants, especially those selling to consumers in countries with rapidly growing ecommerce channels. China and the U.S. lead the world in ecommerce adoption, combining for more than 55% of global internet retail sales in 2014.
According to eMarketer’s first-ever forecast of the global retail market and retail ecommerce sales worldwide, further growth is expected. By 2018, China’s ecommerce market is expected to exceed $1 trillion in sales, with the U.S. coming in at ~$500 billion per year in the same time frame. The U.K. comes in at $125 billion, landing it a distant third place.
By 2018, China’s ecommerce market is expected to exceed $1 trillion in sales, with the U.S. coming in at about $500 billion per year.
With rapid growth expected, many ecommerce brands are or will soon face similarly rapid growth in order volumes, leading to an increase in need for proper management systems including inventory, accounting, shipping and delivery, just to name a few. Here, increasing your data entry workforce simply does not make sense.
The easier and more cost-effective method of processing ecommerce data is to implement an integration solution between your ecommerce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. A tailored integration solution will streamline data processing and allow teams to focus on what is important for the business: scaling.
A tailored integration solution will streamline data processing and allow teams to focus on what is important for the business: scaling.
Below, we’ve highlighted five key benefits to implementing an ecommerce integration solution. At the end of the day, however, as your sales increase and your revenues begin to hit the seven-figure and above mark, an automatic integration between your ecommerce platform and ERP is simply the most productive business solution.
1. Eliminates Data Entry
By integrating your ecommerce storefront, online sales data will no longer need to be entered manually into your accounting system. Instead, orders and customer information will be exchanged automatically with your ERP system –– speeding up the order fulfillment cycle and eliminating expensive data entry processes. Similarly, inventory details can be passed from your ERP system to your ecommerce storefront, allowing your customers to see what you actually have in stock. As a result, both of these integrations will allow data to move seamlessly between your systems without your data entry team making costly errors.
These integrations allow data to move seamlessly between your systems without your data entry team making costly errors.
Teams most benefitted: In your organization, teams that are responsible for entering orders and inventory into the system will benefit greatly from the elimination of data entry. It will remove the headache of manually re-keying data and will be relatively error-free, creating much smoother business processes. As well, it will be to an advantage for the business as a whole as expenses related to data entry and resolving errors will be minimized.
2. Improves Customer Satisfaction
Let’s face it, there’s nothing more rewarding than having happy customers pleased with the experience provided by your business. An automated integration solution will aid in expediting order processing and shipment tracking, ensure inventory counts are accurate and reduce out of stock or backordered item purchases. This means there’ll be minimal operational disturbance, resulting in higher customer satisfaction levels.
Reduce operational disturbance, resulting in higher customer satisfaction levels.
Teams most benefitted: Your customer service teams will benefit with truly pleased customers. It will minimize the amount of unsatisfied customer queries related to shipments not received on time or not receiving the product ordered. Additionally, employees that deal with inventory management can quickly identify products that are out of stock or are running low, and notify sales and customer service teams to prevent or resolve any issues that involve products not available.
3. Provides a Platform for Business Growth
As the stress of manual data entry is eliminated, you’ll be able to devote more resources toward developing your organization for the future. Attention can be given to several growth opportunities including acquiring new customers, increasing sales and crossing over into new markets or product development. A flexible and scalable integration solution will enable continued business growth without requiring any additional tools or resources.
A flexible and scalable integration solution will enable continued business growth without requiring any additional tools or resources.
Teams most benefitted: Every team in your organization can benefit from the concentration on growing the business further. With eliminating the need of performing time-consuming tasks such as data entry, team members can devote their time to other important responsibilities that will help drive customer acquisition and sales.
4. Streamlines Processes
Integrating your ecommerce system helps to create an efficient workflow between departments and functionalities in your organization. It centralizes operations, allowing different departments to access all data including orders, customer information, products, and inventory levels all in one conveniently unified location.
This leads to improved decision-making that helps to determine the resources needed to align with your business strategy and objectives. In addition, the centralization of data makes it easier to forecast for the future, helping your organization to better understand customer demands and anticipate trends.
Improved decision-making helps to determine the resources needed to align your business strategy and objectives.
Teams most benefitted: The sales, finance, marketing, customer service and logistics teams will be aided through the centralization of data in one unified location. They will all be able to access information that they require without having to acquire information from other systems or departments, saving valuable time and increasing productivity.
5. Reduces Costs
When operating a business, saving money and increasing the bottom line are always top of mind. Integrating your ecommerce storefront with an ERP system reduces your costs significantly by requiring fewer resources for data processing.
Reduce your costs significantly by requiring fewer resources for data processing.
Teams most benefitted: With an ecommerce integration solution in place, management and human resources will be able to decrease the numbers of hours dedicated to data entry or even the number of resources required –– both of which will help to reduce operating expenses and drive the bottom line.
If you’re tired of dealing with tedious manual processes and need a solution that creates efficiency within your organization, strongly consider implementing an integration solution. Doing so will help your business to scale and give your employees freedom from manual data entry allowing them to focus on creating a truly engaging brand experience.