A recent study from the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce revealed that ecommerce sales have increased by almost 30% over the past two years. This level of growth naturally indicates that the sellers navigating the sector are handling high sales volumes. This level of transactional pressure, combined with already heightened demand for quality customer experiences, puts retail businesses in tough positions. That said, by aligning backend systems — Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, for instance — with front-end online sales portals, retailers can more effectively tackle these and other significant challenges.
ERP integration is particularly important here, as these expansive platforms tend to propel most of the internal functions that matter. This is the subject of Pixafy’s new ebook called “Integration Underpins Ecommerce Integration.” This piece examines the benefits that accompany ERP integration, as well as some of the challenges that accompany connecting ecommerce systems such as Magento with ERP offerings like Sage 100 (MAS 90). The in-depth ebook also covers what retail businesses can do to tighten their operations, ensure positive buying experiences and develop truly cohesive customer-facing workflows. It takes on the issue of vendor selection too, as ERP integration can be a complex process requiring functional and technical expertise found only outside of the internal information technology department. Why?
As mentioned above, the roadblocks that materialize on this particular journey can be hard to manage. For instance, retailers pursuing Sage 100-Magento integration typically encounter some challenges. These include:
1. Data duplication
Ecommerce installations and ERPs that function in isolation tend to hold duplicate information, from customer purchasing histories to product categories. When retailers bring these two tools together, the risk of mass data duplication materializes. While Sage 100 and Magento have the ability to resolve matching information without direct user intervention, replications can squeeze through the digital cracks. Fortunately, there are some elegant third-party solutions that sellers can use to prevent this from happening, including real-time integration tools that alert retailers to instances of data duplication.
2. Poor connectivity
Integration obviously hinges on wireless connectivity — without internet, data transfer is simply not possible. For most sellers integrating Sage 100 and Magento, this is an afterthought. Most assume they will have more than enough bandwidth to connect the two systems. While this is the case in most instances, some sellers do encounter poor connectivity during integration. That said, like this issue of data duplication, this problem is easily solved through the use of external connectors, many of which have caching capabilities. This means that they temporarily store the information that flows through them, making it possible for them to resume the process, without data loss, even if their internet connections fail.
3. Inaccurate integration roadmapping
Sellers connecting ecommerce platforms and ERPs typically create integration roadmaps. These planning documents help all parties involved grasp the scope of the work ahead and coordinate throughout the lifespan of the project. However, some retailers doom themselves during the roadmap development phase by either setting unrealistic goals or arranging key steps out of order.
Avoiding this kind of misstep and the others mentioned above is easy with the assistance of a reliable external ecommerce development partner such as Pixafy. We help retail businesses of all sizes looking to optimize their technological infrastructure. And in addition to designing and deploying award-winning Magento ecommerce experiences, our team of skilled Magento developers and web support specialists coordinates and executes sophisticated backend work, including Sage 100-Magento integrations, with the help of proven third-party solutions.
Connect with us today to learn more about our work and how we can help your retail company move forward.