The Benefits of Business Central Integrations with Multiple Sales Channels

The Benefits of Business Central Integrations with Multiple Sales Channels

For many companies, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP is the hub that directly controls or integrates with warehouse and inventory management, order acceptance and fulfillment, customer relationship management (CRM), reporting, and much more.

For online sellers, integrating Business Central with their eCommerce websites and marketplaces is an important extension of their business operations and helps improve operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.  

Integrating multiple sales channels with Business Central

Online sellers (eTailers) face the same issues as traditional brick-and-mortar stores: displaying products, having prices available for all items, providing discounts where appropriate, knowing how much inventory is available for each item, where to get additional inventory if supplies are dwindling, establishing reorder points, and ensuring the customer receives the product they requested.

For eTailers, the product information is transferred from Business Central to the website or marketplace. When an order is received, the order and fulfillment information is transferred from the online site back to Business Central.

Examples of the information sent by Business Central to the online retail site include product name, description, price, and quantity in stock.

Examples of the type of information sent by the online site back to Business Central include the order information, payment, fulfillment instructions, and quantity purchased.

Different sites, different interfaces

One of the challenges that makes integrations with multiple eCommerce sites complex is that the different eCommerce sites (likes Shopify, BigCommerce, Adobe Magento, and WooCommerce) and marketplaces (like Amazon, Walmart, and Etsy) all have different application programming interfaces (APIs) that are used to exchange and synchronize information between ERP systems and their sites.

Companies must either build or purchase individual connectors for each type of site or build or purchase a single integration platform that interfaces with the various sites. Individual connectors can be customized and optimized for each site, but developing custom connectors can be cost-prohibitive. On the other hand, a single integration platform would serve as a central bi-directional translator for the different sites but might not be as flexible as custom integrations.

Online sellers must be diligent when deciding on the best tools for Business Central integration with their eCommerce sites.

Benefits of integrating multiple sales channels with Business Central

There are many benefits to having Business Central communicate with the various sales channels – eCommerce websites, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores, etc. These benefits include:

  1. Automating the fulfillment process – Orders from the eCommerce site can initiate an automated workflow for customer fulfillment, beginning with order confirmation, pick-pack-and-ship, tracking information, and final delivery confirmation.
  2. Accurate sales information – All sales are tracked in Business Central automatically, reducing the chance of manual entry errors and providing real-time updates of your revenue and expenses.
  3. Real-time inventory – Stock-outs can seriously damage customer satisfaction. Bi-directional synchronization of inventory information between Business Central and a retailer’s online and brick-and-mortar stores guarantees that the proper inventory count of each product is continually updated and always current, no matter where the sales occur.
  4. Automatic replenishment – Real-time inventory also facilitates automated reorders when inventory is low. Business Central can also monitor inbound orders in transit from suppliers.
  5. Track sales across the company – Since all sales are recorded in Business Central, retailers have a wealth of information to perform in-depth analysis, such as sales by region, sales by channel, most profitable product, most popular product, etc.
  6. Integration with CRM – Recording sales information in CRM helps companies track all customer interactions, from pre-sales through service after the sale. Sales and support staff can review email interactions, phone inquiries, and support calls to provide personalized customer service.

Contact ArcherPoint if you need help integrating Business Central into your eCommerce sales strategy.

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