ERP integration for efficient ecommerce

By using the information that already exists in your ERP (or accounting system) to keep your web store up to date, you will save time, reduce human error and increase customer satisfaction for a more profitable business.

A lot of businesses decide against selling online because of the perceived hassle. It is seen as a lot of extra work for relatively low returns, and in some cases, there is concern that maintaining an online store might spread workforce resources too thin.

The good news is that if your company is using an ERP (or even a suitable accounting system), most of the “extra work” is unnecessary. By tapping into the database that is already tracking stock, controlling pricing and managing your business, you can reach online customers with very little extra effort. This means that any additional revenue generated from ecommerce sales is money for jam.

Open a feed of data

Leveraging your ERP for efficient ecommerce entails opening a feed of product data to the platforms on which you wish to sell online. This is usually facilitated in one of the following ways:

  1. Your products already exist on your web store, so your ERP is used only to update existing products.
  2. Products are to be synced onto your web store, so your ERP controls the creation and deletion of products.

Option 1 is fairly straightforward; the main requirement is that your web store’s SKU codes correlate with the relevant item codes on your ERP. Stock2Shop will then ensure that customers see accurate price and stock.

Option 2 is a popular choice because it means that you have the ability to add and remove online products from your ERP. Once your web store is populated with products, you will need to enrich them with images, long descriptions, categories and other information that make them presentable. It is unlikely that this additional enrichment information exists in your ERP, in which case it can be added either directly to your ecommerce website or on your Stock2Shop console.

Automatically sync orders

Order syncing is treated differently, depending on whether you are selling retail or wholesale. Best practice for a retail online business is to create a default customer account on the ERP (perhaps called “WEB001”) and funnel all orders from the web store into that account. A wholesale business requires that each customer’s orders are synced into their dedicated customer account. If you are a wholesaler, the Stock2Shop B2B Trade Store is a pre-built platform that accommodates this and so much more.

Benefits of integration

  • With your ERP as the “source of truth” for your company, you can present your products for sale on numerous online platforms (eg websites, marketplaces, B2B Trade Stores). When a customer buys an item on one platform, its stock availability is reduced on all the other online channels, greatly reducing your risk of overselling.
  • Price adjustments need only be made once, in your ERP. No longer do you need to log into each online sales channel or manage multiple upload spreadsheets, so your risk of selling at the wrong price is almost zero.
  • Automatic order syncing will cut your admin in half by eradicating needless duplicate data capture.
  • In the case of wholesale, you won’t need to constantly issue your customers with updated price lists. They can simply log into their B2B portal to see their pricing and place orders.

What are the requirements to getting synced up?

Once you have recognised the signs that your business would benefit from integration, you may be wondering what the barriers are.

Stock2Shop’s pre-built service makes ERP integration much easier and less expensive than it used to be. No longer are you required to pay developers exorbitant amounts of money and go through months of testing and teething problems before you are up and running. Provided you are using compatible systems, Stock2Shop will have you synced up in no time for a comparatively small monthly fee.

Stock2Shop integrates seamlessly with many of the world’s most popular ERPs and accounting systems, including SAP Business One, SYSPRO Microsoft Dynamics and most of the Sage Pastel suites. In addition, if you are using a custom system that is accessible via OBDC, Stock2Shop will be able to sync updates from your database.

Fundamental to a successful ecommerce integration is that your ERP data is “clean”. If this is not the case, implementation may take a little longer, but Stock2Shop’s technicians will be on hand to steer you through the process.

What next?

If you are tired of having to process refunds as a result of overselling, or if you are losing money every month due to selling products at the wrong price, please get in touch with us. Our sales team is ready to discuss ways to make your online business more efficient, and ultimately, more profitable.

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