Are you looking forward to taking a big leap with your B2B implementation?
As your business grows with each step, you need to look into a more holistic approach that ensures better transparency and overview of your business operations, with real-time synchronization of data.
That’s primarily why you need to consider ERP eCommerce integration.
The ERP market is witnessing massive growth as its total market size is expected to hit $49.5 billion by 2024. By looking at the numbers, you can never undermine the significance it has on any eCommerce venture. So what you further need is a perfect integration of your ERP system and your eCommerce platform.
Read on to solidify the reasons to get hold of the ideal integration solution.
What is ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications have been around since the 1990s and they help you to automate all your back-office operations. You can evaluate ERP based on several factors like:
- Customer Experience
- Product Information
- Supply Chain Management
Back office operations can be any one or a combination of the following:
- Marketing & Sales
- Inventory Management
- Finance and Accounting
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Supply Chain Management (SCM)
- Human Resource Management
- Engineering/Production Management
- Warehouse Management (and many more)
What is ERP eCommerce integration?
ERP eCommerce integration is all about integrating your front-end online store with the ERP system at the back-end. Include a fully integrated ERP solution in your growth strategy to maximize revenue from your eCommerce venture.
ERP & eCommerce go hand in glove in the age of electronic business. Many major names in the eCommerce space include platforms like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, SAP Commerce Cloud (previously SAP Hybris), & Salesforce Commerce Cloud. On the ERP side, we cannot overlook the significance of Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle Netsuite, Epicor P21, Eclipse, Acumatica, Distribution One, SAP Business One, and others.
Integrating these two different business end-points opens new facets for your business by streamlining your overall workflow.
Why integrate ERP with your eCommerce store?
Whichever frontend it may be – Magento, Shopify, or BigCommerce – passing information from the frontend to the ERP at the backend and vice versa is an absolute necessity. To provide a seamless user experience, both 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. So, the fewer manual interventions, the better the outcome.
Integrating ERP and eCommerce sites introduces a whole lot of automated tasks and scheduled data sharing between them. Also, with increasing online sales and demand, the need to have a sophisticated and fully optimized store is more strongly felt than ever.
Integrating an ERP and an eCommerce store happens in two ways:
- Using Cron jobs – a time-based job scheduler
- Using a full-fledged third-party integration tool (also called iPaaS – Integration Platform as a Service)
As you read further, you will get to know why the latter is the appropriate solution for you, in case you’re looking for business application synergy.
Benefits of ERP eCommerce integration
Integrating your ERP with eCommerce comes with its own benefits that are mentioned below:
Integrating ERP software with eCommerce stores provides the dual benefit of having real-time storefront data in ERP and back-end data in eCommerce. This implies that customers can view and access the information about available inventory, the latest order status, and also track shipments using the lot/serial or other tracking numbers.
With respect to the back-end synchronization, your operations, sales, finance, HR, and other teams will have instant access to customer & order information that arises in eCommerce. This helps in reducing the cost of operations and improving your overall customer experience.
Inventory Cost Reduction
All information about sales in the eCommerce storefront appears in your ERP system. Based on these transactions, item inventory in ERP will also be updated. With up-to-date information about inventory and online sales, back-end teams can adequately fulfill orders, reducing inventory costs. Through integration, you can not only track inventory in real-time but also forecast how much inventory you need in the future.
Financial Report Generation
Financial reports on sales are generated by eCommerce applications. An ERP software provides a Balance Sheet, P/L Statement, Trial Balance, Cash Flow, and more. By integrating eCommerce & ERP, an end-user moves one step ahead, and the ERP system will ensure transparency of online payments and financial data across the company.
The integrated ERP software streamlines multiple business processes and lessens the burden on human resources in manually transferring data across applications. The employees are no longer required to manually input data from one platform to another (e.g. shipping info, inventory levels, product info). Instead, communication and data transfer take place automatically, saving your time and money. It also empowers employees to be productive, ultimately contributing to the growth of the company.
Additionally, all the online sales orders will be integrated into the ERP system without any hassles. Also, you can instantly track orders and start processing promptly, which will reduce the duration of the order fulfillment cycle.
With ERP eCommerce integration, all data such as customer details, orders, payments & shipping information will be transferred and synchronized with ERP software. In addition, product inventory details can be uploaded from the ERP to the eCommerce platform, eliminating the need to re-enter the data. Thus, the integration reduces human involvement, data redundancy, and errors that can occur as a result of manual data transfer.
Read more of its benefits here.
Critical Use Cases of 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 updated correctly in the ERP.
When the customer places an order from the eCommerce site, the order syncs automatically with the ERP system. The order information then gets displayed in the ERP integrated tool.
Testers should verify:
- 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/canceled.
When a new customer registers in the eCommerce 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 needs 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 should look into these factors:
- Product quantity and product information should be updated after the synchronization of every inventory data on the website from ERP.
- Out-of-stock products status should be changed to In Stock when the product quantity gets updated in ERP depending on the availability of the product in the warehouse.
- When the customer cancels/returns 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.
Look Into These Aspects While Integrating ERP With eCommerce
Most companies go for a cloud iPaaS solution for integrating multiple applications since it is all-encompassing in terms of integrating all of them. The applications transfer data and keep in synchronization through the iPaaS middleware that resides in the cloud. This questions decision-makers to go for the solution, as most of them feel data security is at stake. This is not actually true, given that most iPaaS applications today encompass major compliances that insist on the secure transfer of data.
Not everything in this world is perfect, and that holds true for integration platforms as well. Failed transactions are also a possibility, though the probability of their occurrence determines the accuracy of the integration platform.
In a scenario where an order that came in eCommerce failed to synchronize with ERP, the backend teams won’t know that the order has to be fulfilled. So, the middleware should be able to auto troubleshoot the failed synchronization or there must a 24*7 support team that can ensure proper functioning.
Using cron jobs, writing code, or the worst, manually transferring data across applications directly/indirectly impacts how fast and how well a company interacts with its customers. Business applications like ERP, eCommerce, CRM, etc. can be complex in nature and hence a hybrid integration solution is necessary to cater to the same.
Improper time & investment in implementing your integration results in the enterprise falling behind in response time, risk service level violations, and customer service scores.
As you are now aware of the intricate facets that go into the ERP eCommerce integration and also got hold of the possible challenges that you need to tackle, you are in to ponder upon the two most vital questions –
- How to get started with your integration process?
- How to find the perfect bridge between your eCommerce platform and your ERP system?
CLORAS – Your iPaaS for ERP eCommerce Integration
An iPaaS solution, Cloras can integrate any number of business applications like ERP & eCommerce with one another and automate data transfer between them. Having all features that an enterprise integration platform must provide, Cloras stands out by helping businesses across the globe scale up their revenues and streamline processes through ERP eCommerce integration. Moreover, Cloras encompasses all considerations like security, support, and much more, that you have just read.
A Simple 3-Step Integration Process Using CLORAS
It’s just a simple 3-step process to integrate applications with Cloras. Just set the integration in no time and leave the rest to Cloras.
- Provide required credentials for accessing APIs and set up integration pipes.
- Define the integration flow through flow builder, mapping, and modifiers. You can customize your integration to any extent using Cloras.
- Set up the data synchronization schedule or set it to sync real-time as you wish
Cloras has pre-built integration solutions for several ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle Netsuite, Epicor (Eclipse & P21), SAP Business One, DDI Inform, Infor, Sage, Distribution One, Acumatica, to name a few. Cloras, a platform-agnostic solution, can easily integrate top eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc. Being a seamless integration platform, it eliminates any scope for manual error, taking your eCommerce venture to whole new heights with complete data automation.
As the eCommerce landscape is constantly changing, your online storefront should be optimized to keep up with the ever-growing customer expectations. The right ERP eCommerce integration is all that you need to improve your efficiency in elevating your business operations.
We, at DCKAP, offer seamless integration between the ERP system and your eCommerce platform. With 15+ years of experience in the digital commerce arena, our team of experts can aid you in aligning your eCommerce website with cutting-edge integration solutions. Get in touch with us to know more about our eCommerce development and integration services.