Running a successful ecommerce business, whether it is exclusively ecommerce or a multi-channel retail operation, is becoming more challenging as consumer demands put an emphasis on positive experiences. This may sound like it isn’t much, after all, haven’t people always wanted a positive shopping experience? The simple answer is, yes. What has changed, however, is what people consider to be a positive shopping experience.
Just a few years ago, multi-click checkout processes, rough shipping estimates and the possibility of product returns were enough to keep many shoppers satisfied. Today, consumers expect full mobile functionality for websites, single-click checkout, shipping in just a few days with end-to-end package tracking and return policies that are extremely friendly from a customer’s perspective.
“ERP integration ensures that the ecommerce platform communicates with the ERP.”
These new expectations have created an environment in which the website’s backend, particularly integration between the web platform, enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and customer relationship management (CRM) software is especially important. Three particularly noteworthy benefits of this backend integration are:
1. Accurate shipping and availability estimates
eCommerce ERP integration ensures that the ecommerce platform communicates with the ERP at all stages of the shopping process. If a user is browsing products and inventory levels change dramatically, the ERP can notify the platform so users will be able to see that supply may be running low. In the same vein, the ERP can verify user data during checkout to identify the best warehouse for shipping and provide an accurate delivery estimate. All of this backend integration adds up to a positive user experience by letting the ecommerce platform tell the ERP what customers are doing and get relevant data back to inform consumer actions.
2. Common customer journeys
Using CRM for ecommerce is increasingly important as businesses today are tasked with providing an omnichannel experience. A customer who interacts with your site and saves a product favorite while using a smartphone will likely expect that same favorite to be set aside when browsing your site at a traditional PC or using an app. Similarly, somebody who contacts customer service on social media and calls later that same day will want the representative on the phone to easily pull up the record of the social media interaction.
Getting web systems integrated with the CRM running in the background empowers ecommerce organizations to create common customer journeys across devices and touchpoints, ensuring a positive experience regardless of how consumers choose to interact with your brand.
“Don’t let technology limit your business.”
3. Simplified management
Running a website can come with a great deal of management overhead, particularly when your web platform doesn’t integrate with your other background systems. For example, imagine you update your product catalog with some new prices and products that are listed under current tabs within your website. These updates are reflected on your site, but not in your ERP. As such, you need to now manually go into your ERP and enter the same data you just put into the web platform in order to ensure correct billing, shipping and inventory management processes are maintained across the various components of your business.
Complex proprietary platforms can add another barrier of overhead within all of this as users often require specialized knowledge to make updates across multiple systems. Working with powerful mainstream platforms, such as Magento, and integrating with ERP and CRM systems in the backend can empower ecommerce organizations to streamline their operations and create the kinds of customer experiences that are increasingly in demand. Don’t let technology limit your business. Instead, take advantage of ERP, CRM and web platform integration to empower your customers to interact with you when and how they want without having to sacrifice experience quality.
Let’s discuss how linking your backend technologies can help business operations for the long haul.