Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a business process management software that helps businesses of any scale to automatically manage a ton of data using a system of integrated applications.
There is a variety of ERPs that are designed to handle data across various verticals such as technology, accounting & finance, human resources, services, and manufacturing & distribution.
Notably, businesses selling online are using ERPs at the backend to handle Customer Information, Product Information, Product Price, Inventory Management, Order Management, Shipping, Tax, Payments Processing and so on.
Why integrate ERP with an eCommerce store?
Whichever frontend it may be – Magento, Shopify, or WooCommerce – there is a necessity to pass information from the frontend to the ERP at the backend and vice versa. To provide a seamless user experience, both the entities should work hand-in-hand in sharing information.
After receiving an online order, manually entering sales orders and customer information into ERP, is prone to errors. In such tasks, less the manual interventions, better the outcome.
Integrating ERP and eCommerce sites introduce a whole lot of automated tasks and scheduled data sharing between them. Also, with increasing online sales and demand, having a sophisticated store becomes a necessity.
Integrating an ERP and an eCommerce store happens in two ways:
(1) Using a third-party integration tool.
(2) Using Cron jobs – a time-based job scheduler.
Benefits of the Integration
- Reduces human efforts thus saves time.
- Is effective and efficient in managing Inventory synchronization, Customer Information, and Order Management.
- Automatically notifies the customer when the orders are out for delivery, in real time
- Automatically updates the Product information, Product price, and Quantity in E-Commerce sites.
- Acts as a centralized repository for maintaining the data in both online and offline sales.
- Prevents duplication of data.
Now that you’ve understood the benefits and necessity of integrating ERP and eCommerce sites, next thing to consider is testing the correctness of the Integration Procedure. No customer would like to have his product delivered to a wrong address because of a software error. That said, comprehensive testing is required after deploying the integration services.
Testing ERP – eCommerce Integration
What follows are significant data entities that every tester should check before the release of integration services. For better understanding, each vertical is explained with a scenario. The ultimate aim of a tester should be to make sure that every piece of information from the eCommerce site is correctly updated in the ERP.
When the customer places an order from the E-Commerce site, the order syncs up automatically with the ERP periodically. The order information then gets displayed in the ERP integrated tool.
Testers should verify the :
- Order Number
- Customer Information
- Product Information
- Shipping method
- Tax Calculation
- Coupon code (if applicable)
- Invoice information
- Payment method
- Decrease/increase in the inventory with respect to the quantity that the customer purchased/cancelled.
Defects are sometimes tricky and invisible, don't let the customers catch them. A dedicated testing team can handle the post-integration defects better.
When a new customer registers in the E-Commerce site, the customer information is captured by the ERP tool and maintained as customer records. Also, when the customer updates his/her personal information, the data need to be captured in the ERP as well.
Testers should verify the following:
- Customer Name
- Customer Email
- Billing and Shipping Address
- Verify the other custom information like (if applicable)
- Apply for credit
- Apply for Tax Exemption
- PO# required
This information should be synchronized with the customer information.
When the Product quantity is updated, the information needs to be captured in the Inventory Management.
Testers need to verify the following:
- Product quantity and the product information should be updated after every inventory sync up on the website from ERP.
- Out of stock products status should be changed to In Stock when the product quantity gets updated in ERP with respect to the availability of the product in the warehouse.
- When the customer cancels/return the purchased products, then the product quantity should be updated.
- When the product status is updated to In Stock then the customers should get a notification email, should they be subscribed for notifications.
When the product information is updated, the information needs to be captured in the Product Management.
Testers need to verify the following:
- The basic information, pricing and category should be updated in real time.
- When a new category is created/deleted, it should be updated/deleted on the website as well.
These are some simple ways that could help any eCommerce store owners to deliver a flawless user experience to customers. This blog is just the tip of the iceberg, and you can expect a lot more content regarding ECommerce ERP integration in coming weeks.