In the past, if you wanted to sell products online, you spent a ton of money with your marketing or advertising agency to build your storefront. While many businesses still use those resources for their eCommerce websites, integrating your shop with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system now requires working with someone with a deep understanding of how integrations work. Why? Because the typical marketing or ad agency doesn’t have the knowledge, staff, or technology to connect your eCommerce website to your existing ERP system.
Marketing or advertising agency employees aren’t necessarily data and integration experts, which is the key to a successful marriage between software platforms. Data science is highly specific (and sometimes tricky) knowledge, so the route to a successful integration between your eCommerce site and your ERP requires complex development and understanding of your current systems.
Let the Designers Design and the Developers Develop
Website designers and developers are a necessity at any marketing agency, but their specialties are building site structure, keeping the site ‘on brand,’ and optimizing user experience. They generally have no experience with ERPs, so leave the intricacies of integrating your eCommerce store and your ERP to experts with extensive knowledge of that process.
The Importance of ERP and eCommerce Integration
Managing an eCommerce site involves a lot of administration, especially if your web platform isn’t integrated with your other back office systems. Consider updating your product catalog with new prices and product images – the updates are visible on your site, but not in your ERP, so you must manually enter the same data into your ERP to ensure inventory, shipping, and billing information are replicated across your business.
Here’s what can happen if the information doesn’t flow correctly between systems: an order is placed on the eCommerce site, sent to your warehouse, and fulfilled. The same product is ordered via a different sales channel (e.g., the phone, a third-party seller like Amazon, etc.), and is entered in the back-end system. Because the systems aren’t connected, however, the back-end system doesn’t realize the product is out of stock due to the order on the eCommerce site. Therefore, your customer service department must notify the customer that the product is out of stock, at which point they can wait for it – or take their business elsewhere. To avoid that situation, don’t entrust your eCommerce and ERP integration to a marketing or advertising agency without that expertise.
Whether your eCommerce focuses on retail, wholesale, or manufacturing, consider the benefits of integrating your ERP with your eCommerce platform using experienced professionals. To avoid pitfalls, reduce overhead, and increase sales, contact us today to learn more or request a free product demo.