E-commerce refers to the business model which online companies adopt to sell brand products to customers on the Internet. Under this model, enterprises allow buyers to browse their merchandise on business websites. These purchasers use the sites to review product descriptions, prices, quantities and place purchase orders. They can then make electronic money transfers to pay for their purchases using the sites. This allows them to acquire the goods they need from the comforts of their homes.
E-commerce platform integration – How does it add value to companies?
E-commerce platform integration is the process of synchronizing the bi-directional data exchange between the companies’ e-commerce storefronts and back-end ERP systems. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the software solution that enables enterprises to automate their critical back-office operations. These include accounting, material procurement, inventory control, risk assessment, project management, supply chain operations, and financial compliance. This system merges multiple back-end business processes to streamline the workflow and data transmission between them.
Most online companies maintain a separate front-office e-commerce storefront and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform for cost considerations. However, corporations soon come across the following issues when conducting their business operations:
- The need to constantly re-enter identical business data into two separate systems,
- Difficulties in monitoring key performance indicators (KPI) of multiple sales channels,
- Inadequate inventory control resulting in overstocking or stock-outs,
- Inaccurate business performance reports make decision-making difficult,
- Inability to provide customers real-time information on the status of their purchase orders, and
- Delays in fulfilling customer orders due to errors in recording the shipping addresses.
These problems hamper the business relationship which online companies maintain with their customers and other stakeholders. It even limits the companies’ ability to fulfill tens of thousands of customer orders arriving from multiple sale channels. As a result, the enterprises a drop in sales and profits.
How does e-commerce integration help?
Fortunately, online companies can overcome the above drawbacks to their business operations by installing and operating a cloud-based e-commerce integration solution. The system enables them to:
- Directly enter customers order data from the e-commerce storefront to their ERP platform,
- Eliminate all forms of clerical mistakes during manual entry to ensure data integrity,
- Maintain real-time inventory control and visibility,
- Offer prospective online buyers real-time product information and availability, and
- Provide customers with real-time status updates on their purchase orders,
The key benefits of operating an e-commerce platform integration solution for online companies of all sizes are as follows:
- It gives corporations greater control and better insights into their business operations,
- Results in significant cost savings for the enterprises,
- Provide the enterprises with more options for shipping strategies with their logistic providers,
- Offer online buyers a better shopping experience to boost customer engagement.
Operating a suitable e-commerce platform integration solution enables online companies to dominate the market. However, the cloud-based platform they choose should be compatible enough to fit into their IT infrastructure. It should even incorporate the latest technology to operate on smartphones, laptops, and computers. Above all, the service provider offering them the system should be reliable and charge a reasonable fee structure so that they can enjoy their services for a very long time.