The advantages of e-commerce and ERP integration for businesses

Having an online store today requires an awareness of the processes of this type of business. Integrating your eCommerce with an ERP is an essential step to ensure data synchronization, otherwise you could have different information regarding products, prices, stock and invoicing in the eCommerce platform and in the management software.

The problem is that integrating the ERP with your eCommerce platform is not usually a simple process, if you do not work with an eCommerce ERP solution that is adapted to the different platforms most used by users, such as Prestashop, Magento, WordPress with WooCommerce or Shopify, something that, as you will see in this post, can be done with Solmicro ERP from Zucchetti Spain.

Why integrate your online store with an ERP?

Because if you didn't have your store integrated, there would be duplicity of data in your business. Suppose a person makes a purchase in your online store, but there is no more stock of that product. Although the stock data had been updated in your ERP, there was no time to update it in the online store. We are talking about changes that occur in a matter of minutes. Because you have your online store open 24 hours a day, and it is practically impossible to keep everything updated if there is no automatic synchronization.

This type of problems derived from the lack of synchronization can be of different nature. For example, products that have one price in your eCommerce and a different one in your physical stores. Or products that are out of stock and that you have no chance of getting, but that have not yet been removed from your online store. This can be a serious problem, because it could lead to sales of products that you can not serve, which would force you to return the money to the customer, with the efforts and expenses that this entails, in addition to the bad image you would be giving with your brand.

There are also other reasons to have your online store integrated with your online store. Usually, when you make a purchase of products from suppliers, you automatically add the new products to your inventory through an EDI system connected to your ERP. In this way, you can have all the documentary information associated with the purchase from suppliers and have your inventory updated. All this process is carried out with the ERP, but if your online store is not connected to the software, it will not be updated automatically, but you will have to do it manually.

Updating your store manually is a practically impossible job nowadays, as we have explained. It can be done without very few products, but of course, a store with only a few hundred products would already be generating a lot of important administrative work, which leads to a lot of human errors and lack of control.

Advantages of eCommerce and ERP Integration

Let's see what are the advantages of integrating an ERP and eCommerce.

Cost reduction

One of the advantages of ERP and eCommerce integration is cost efficiency. You will have less work, there will be no duplication and there will be no typical errors that can occur due to lack of synchronization. If for example you are going to integrate your ERP with WordPress (with WooCommerce), then you will no longer have to manually enter all the metadata of the products in the online store, as they will be added in the ERP and the software takes them from there.

Stock and inventory management

As we pointed out, stock management is one of the main advantages of ERP and e-commerce integration. Suppose you want to integrate Magento with ERP, instead of having to send the database daily to those responsible for warehouse management, reporting the sales that have occurred, the data will automatically appear in the ERP and the inventory will be updated.

Shorter shipping time

The previous point leads to an added benefit. Having a 100% up-to-date inventory benefits both parties, the warehouse management and the commercial area, as well as the end customer, because you will be able to process his order in less time and without errors. What the customer has ordered in the online store is the same as what appears in the eCommerce back-end, the same as what is in the ERP billing area and the same as what reaches those responsible for preparing and shipping orders.

Digital finance and invoicing

By integrating WooCommerce with your ERP, you don't need to keep an eye on the invoices generated in your online store to pass them to accounting. You will also have no problem regarding invoice series and numbering. The invoices are automatically added to your ERP, in the sequence that corresponds to it, which will allow you to invoice digitally without difficulties and have control of the finances from a single tool.

Improve customer experience

Your customers will appreciate that your store data is up to date. You will be able to offer real information about delivery times. By integrating ERP with Prestashop, in case you use this platform, you will be able to show your customers what the shipping time is, calculate shipping costs automatically according to the weight of the product and destination address, etc.

Ways to integrate an ERP with your eCommerce

There are several ways to integrate an ERP with your online store. One of them is to develop a custom module, specific to the e-commerce platform you are using. This is not always possible, because the ERP provider does not always make it easy to do so. But it can also be very time-consuming and costly, plus it would force you to keep the module updated to avoid security problems in your eCommerce.

Ideally, you should be able to work with an ERP that already has an eCommerce module for your online store. In addition, it has to be a tool that allows the maximum possible integration between all the applications that are necessary for the management of an eCommerce. For example, you need to be able to integrate CRM and ERP, since you need to manage the contacts of potential customers who have entered your sales funnel in order to build their loyalty.

On the other hand, if you have a physical store (or several stores), the ERP is usually connected to the POS software. And if it is not, it should be in order to save administrative work and keep your data updated. It makes no sense to talk about ERP and eCommerce integration if your POS is not connected to the ERP to keep your inventory updated in real time.

This is the #1 problem of many businesses that have a physical store and an online store, but use an obsolete and outdated ERP, which does not allow them to integrate properly. Solmicro ERP is a flexible, customizable and easy to use solution that integrates ERP, CRM, POS and eCommerce platform so that all data is synchronized and you can save time and work efficiently.