The final touchpoint in the customer journey is shipping. Even though it’s viewed as the ultimate destination in the trip and last contact with a customer, fulfilling and shipping orders is an opportunity to build loyalty with your B2B audience.
When an order is processed, B2B customers expect it to be delivered on time, to the right location with the correct products. They rely on an accurate and timely delivery to maintain their internal processes, so it’s of the utmost importance to not overlook this final touchpoint. When shipping is done correctly, it can build trust between businesses and customers and lead to more orders. On the other hand, when shipping goes awry, it can lead to confusion and frustration for both parties involved.
Accurately fulfilling orders relies on the cumulation of all the information collected throughout the customer journey. From customer information to order details and payments, one piece of data out-of-place can cause a delivery to be delayed, misplaced or duplicated. When this information is siloed between front and back-end systems and shipping relies on the manual relaying of data, it opens up the process to these faults.
Only by integrating your business’s eCommerce and ERP solutions can you achieve a seamless and efficient shipping process that benefits your organization and enhances the customer experience. Let’s continue to explore the importance of this final touchpoint and how your business can optimize it.
How to use your shipping process strategically
Shipping is much more than just transporting a product from one location to another, and businesses shouldn’t view it as such. Bigcommerce explained that the most successful B2B merchants use strategic shipping options to differentiate their brand and increase margins. To achieve this, businesses must be sure to set clear goals, choose a shipping strategy and continue to innovate their processes along the way.
While there are an endless number of goals you may want to achieve from optimizing your shipping such as lowering costs, expediting processes and so one, you should be strategic with how you achieve said goal. While many businesses laud free shipping as the No.1 thing customers desire, this isn’t necessarily true for B2B organizations.
As the article pointed out, in the B2B eCommerce space, free shipping is usually impractical and fails to impress customers. Rather, their companies should focus on ensuring their eCommerce platform allows for accurate dimensional-based pricing. As discussed in our previous pricing blog, this individualized approach to sales is possible and encouraged.
Furthermore, businesses should provide a page on their shipping policy. Shopify reported that 68% of online shoppers review this policy before making a purchase, and this page can also include information on tracking shipments, returns, delivery times and more. Of course, this consolidated data is only available if shipping is integrated with customer and order information, and this is why merging your business’s two integral systems is essential.
The importance of ERP and eCommerce shipping integration
As you can see, shipping extends beyond just a delivery, it uses the foundation of customer information collected throughout the journey to fulfill orders correctly and efficiently. It relies on data from every previous touchpoint to complete its goal, and that’s why it must be integrated between ERP and eCommerce systems.
With a streamlined shipping process that can easily pull customer and order information, B2B businesses can distinguish themselves from the competition. USPS explained that there are a plethora of emerging opportunities in the B2B shipping landscape for organizations to capitalize on. This includes new technologies helping optimize and automate shipping processes and extending this final touchpoint to boost customer loyalty.
Furthermore, integrating shipping with other touchpoints helps businesses stay organized. With the correct customer information that is automatically being updated, businesses avoid sending shipments to the wrong location or duplicating orders. This is just touching the surface of why integrating shipping between ERP and eCommerce platforms is important, but the discussion around the solution that accomplishes this will shed light on some more reasons.
How shipping works with Pixafy’s erpCommerce™
As you know by now from our previous touchpoint articles, Pixafy has created the erpCommerce™ solution with help from our sister company Net at Work. By integrating front and back-end systems with ERP as the core value add, B2B businesses enhance touchpoints from customer information all the way to fulfillment. As the final touchpoint in the series, we understood that shipment is an opportunity to grow loyalty among a B2B customer base.
Our standard shipping integration is the same for B2B and B2C businesses and can be deployed quickly for businesses needing to optimize their fulfillment processes. That being said, it can easily accommodate custom workflows on a company-by-company basis. All shipments are first prepared and then validated in Sage X3. Once validated, it automatically sends a tracking number and quantity of items per shipment to Boomi.
From there, Boomi triggers a “shipment” to be created on the respective order in Magento. This includes all information on the shipped items, quantities and tracking information. As you can see, this wealth of data comes from the previous touchpoints on the customer, pricing and order ID. This also allows for multiple shipments to be placed for a single order while ensuring that no order itself is duplicated to be sent more than once. This helps businesses keep track of their inventory and invoices and gives customers the power to track their orders.
Magento automatically sends an email to the customer with this shipment information as well so they can ensure it’s being delivered to the correct location at the tight time. This is another important opportunity to connect with the customer. With erpCommerce™, businesses can customize this email to let customers know what products are being shipped and highlight any upcoming promotions to encourage future sales. With the ability to personalize the messaging in each email, businesses create a better bond and build loyalty with existing customers.
Whenever a shipment is updated in Sage X3 after being sent to Boomi or Magento, we will look for the time stamp on the update to ensure it’s synced. This helps avoid any confusion over changing customer details including shipping address or order quantities. Additionally, we are always tracking the shipment process on the business end to ensure customers are receiving the most up-to-date information on their orders. For instance, if two items go out with their first shipment, we will update the record in Magento and the customer accordingly.
This commitment to detail and customer communication ensures the shipping process is transparent. Integrated with other details from the customer journey, shipping is streamlined and forgoes the manual processes that can cause an error.
Our standard erpCommerce™ solution enables customers to go to market quickly but is also scalable enough to be customized in the future. For instance, shipments can have a customized integration with payments to ensure that credit cards are only charged once items are shipped. This effectively automates the process and ensures that shipment triggers payment collections. However, this is just one example of how our shipment integration can be customized to fit your business’s immediate needs and long-term plans for growth. Our experts are always happy to discuss how else we can personalize the process for your unique business operations.
Connect with us today
Creating a seamless shipping experience leaves customers with a positive memory of your business. B2B customers, in particular, care less about free shipping and more about receiving the correct orders at the right time and location for the previously agreed-upon price. Pixafy’s standard erpCommerce™ can help businesses achieve this quickly so your organization can exceed customer expectations right away. This swift delivery is made possible because our solution can work alongside any additional ERP systems your organization utilizes.
Contact us today with any questions you may have about shipping or to learn more about our erpCommerce™ solution.
Thank you for completing our erpCommerce™ Standard Touchpoint Series. The full series is listed below. Keep an eye out for more news surrounding our erpCommerce™ solution.
Why ERP And ECommerce Pricing Integration Is Crucial For B2B Companies
The Benefits of Streamlining Inventory with erpCommerce™ for B2B Companies
The Importance Of Product Integration For B2B Companies
Integrating Your Organization’s Most Complex Touchpoint: Customers
How ERP And ECommerce Integration Support A Seamless Ordering Experience
How ERP and eCommerce Invoice Integration helps B2B Companies Stay Organized