A report released by eMarketer is predicting that e-Commerce sales are projected to hit $4 trillion by 2020. That comprises 14.6% of the sum total of retail spending this year. In the middle of this pandemic, the number of new online shoppers are continuing to rise and retailers are perking up to the financial potential that e-Commerce presents.
Something to keep in mind is that, as sales begin rushing in, it will become increasingly difficult to keep track of the volume. As things grow complex, it would be in the best interest of your business to set up an e-commerce integration to keep track of sales.
E-commerce Integration Defined
So what exactly is e-Commerce integration? It is simply when a merchant links their e-Commerce site to additional online sales channels and “back-end systems”, such as an ERP or a POS system. By integrating your systems, you are enabling the two-way flow of data between all those systems.
Through e-Commerce integration, you are eradicating the need to manually enter the information in each individual system. With the integration, the data flows seamlessly into the one system. This means that the data is only entered once.
Indications That Show You Need E-commerce Integration
If any of these events have occurred in your business, it’s time to consider e-Commerce integration.
- Order Volumes Are Increasing: Your orders, as they are being received have to be entered to the ERP system in order to be fulfilled. If you are still doing this manually, this can produce errors, which can mean overselling or sending merchandise to the wrong address, leading to very dissatisfied customers and loss of business.
- Your Product Catalog Is Changing: Do you have a dynamic product catalog? Do you change/update your product descriptions? Do your prices change regularly?
If you answered yes to any of the above, how do you tackle these updates? The tricky part is that it can get complicated having to update all this information across all your systems. Although you can manage them all manually, this is not the best approach. Going about it this way can get expensive and expose you to errors.
- You Sell (Or Plan To Sell) Within Multiple Channels: As you begin to employ more channels within your “sales ecosystem”, you have to make sure that all the product and inventory data is consistent for all of them. Things already get complicated when sales volumes and product information updates get complicated to manage with the two systems of e-Commerce and ERPs. When you start adding additional channels…this is just asking for more trouble.
- To Keep Your Business Going…Stay Compliant: In an e-Commerce business, staying in accounting and sales tax compliance can pose a tremendous challenge with many standards affecting it and continuous changes. You must ensure that both your e-Commerce and ERP systems have the same information at all times. Failing to do so can have dire consequences for your business.
- You’re A Fan Of Data: If you are, you are more than convinced that your e-Commerce and ERP contain enough data that will empower you to make decisions such as for sales forecasting, marketing, and even promotional offers. However, none of this data would be useful if your systems are disconnected or manually-entered. This data will more than likely be inaccurate and inconsistent.
Having e-Commerce Integration Could Save Your Business
As your business starts to grow, it is imperative to have the right systems in place to handle that growth seamlessly so that your profits and your customer deliveries will go uninterrupted. Take time to research and determine which integration would be the right fit for your particular business.