Let’s Communicate: Getting Your ERP to Talk to Your eCommerce Site
There are many ways to get your business online, from online marketplaces, like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Overstock, to having your own website using a dedicated eCommerce platform like Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. In fact, many businesses have a presence on multiple marketplaces besides their primary web store.
This blog will cover some of the considerations for selecting an eCommerce solution and integrating it with your ERP.
Etailing: The need for integration
Selling online is more than simply taking orders over the Internet. The buying experience should be the same for a customer whether they purchase regardless of which website they purchase from. Online customers want to know if you have the items they want in stock, the size and color they want, and the price they want. They also want to know if there are shipping fees, discounts available, the length of time before they receive the product, if they can rush the order and more. This means that your web store must be able to communicate with your back-office ERP functions (financials, warehouse management, fulfillment, etc.) in real-time to ensure your customers see accurate information at all times.
The reality is that today’s online consumers research the type of product they want first. They read reviews and compare features and prices. They will only look for a vendor that carries that product after they make their product selection. This translates into repeat visits and positive reviews.
Integrating between eCommerce and ERP
Your customer-facing web presence should be able to integrate with your warehouse management, inventory, and order fulfillment, functions typically handled by your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, with a minimum of data duplication.
Benefits of this integration include:
- Product descriptions, photos, and pricing updates from the ERP are automatically displayed on the eCommerce site.
- eCommerce orders are automatically transferred to your financials, reducing the amount of manual entry and the risk of errors.
- Returns and refunds can be processed efficiently and seamlessly.
- Customers see item availability in real-time, avoiding the frustration of ordering out-of-stock items.
- Sellers can offer more self-service capabilities to customers, including viewing past orders, managing invoices, and tracking order shipments.
- Utilize business analysis tools to identify trends, track profitability, and report on performance.
Business Central for eCommerce integration
Most eCommerce platforms and marketplaces provide an application programming interface (API) that lets your ERP exchange information with the eCommerce site. Conversely, most modern, cloud-based ERP systems have the ability to interface with these APIs and communicate bidirectionally in real-time.
Business Central offers a native connector to Shopify and the ability to easily create interfaces with various business systems, including eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.
In addition, ArcherPoint offers Channel Sales Manager, a fully integrated eCommerce management tool that connects your instance of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with one or more online sales platforms, including Amazon Marketplace, Magento, Shopify, and more. Channel Sales Manager helps you control and grow your eCommerce business effectively and efficiently, with a complete view of all your orders, listings, inventory, and payments, all in a single place.
Business Central is also supported by a robust community of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), some of whom develop interfaces for eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Big Commerce, Amazon Marketplace, eBay, and more.
Contact ArcherPoint to learn how our experts can help you get your online business on track!