How ERP eCommerce Integration Can Help Scale Your Business to New Heights

Saurabh Singh October 13, 2023
ecommerce erp integration

Operating an eCommerce business is a complex process that requires effective management of multiple interconnected components. This includes various activities such as planning and allocation of resources, inventory management, internal communications, etc.

What makes eCommerce operations even more challenging is that each area often operates within separate systems, having its unique set of processes. Thus, as a business owner, it’s crucial to ensure that all the components work together smoothly to achieve overall efficiency and success.

This is where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools come into play. These sophisticated systems are designed to synthesize the management of critical resources, such as supplies, personnel data, financial data, etc., into a single and comprehensive platform. Seamless eCommerce ERP integrations allow you to take your business’ operational efficiency to a whole new level, simplifying your planning processes and alleviating the challenges of managing multiple systems.

The integration not only streamlines your business operations but also enhances your ability to make data-driven decisions, ultimately contributing to your eCommerce business’ success.

This blog will help you understand everything related to ERP eCommerce integration and the multiple benefits it can impart to your business. In addition to this, we will also help you look at the features of effective ERP software.

So let’s get started by delving into the details of ERP integration with eCommerce systems head first.

Flourish your eCommerce business with effective ERP integration

What is ERP eCommerce Integration?

eCommerce ERP integration is a systematic process that facilitates the seamless communication and data exchange between an organization’s eCommerce platform and its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This can help eliminate the need for manual data transfer and make way for the automatic synchronization of critical business information.

In addition to this, it enables businesses to access, manage, and analyze their data within a single interface without requiring constant switching between multiple software applications.

When it comes to the practical application, an eCommerce platform primarily handles customer-focused functions, including order processing, payment collection, and inventory management. On the other hand, an ERP system manages broader aspects of a business, such as financial operations, supply chain management, human resources, and other core functions. By integrating these two essential systems, an organization can achieve higher operational efficiency and productivity.

The integration allows the ERP system to serve as a centralized repository through data aggregation. This streamlined approach is not only capable of simplifying daily business operations but also has the potential to automate various processes, significantly enhancing overall productivity and data accuracy.

Simply put, eCommerce ERP integration offers a comprehensive view of all enterprise applications, giving instant information on the overall performance and data quality. It allows businesses to harmonize legacy systems into a single platform with a unified data source.

According to Grand View Research, the ERP software market size is expected to reach a valuation of $123.4 billion by 2030. This growth is fueled by the need for more efficient enterprise processes, improved operational efficiency to address rising costs, ongoing digital transformation efforts, increased mobile engagement in business, and the expanding use of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

US ERP software market

Thus, it is vital to understand that  ERP eCommerce integration is a growing and accessible solution for businesses that wish to enhance their operational efficiency, adapt to digital transformation, and optimize their data management processes.

How Does eCommerce ERP Integration Work?

eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce act as tools that allow selling products through web and mobile interfaces while providing basic backend functionalities. However, these platforms differ from full-fledged eCommerce ERP solutions that bridge the gap between front-end and back-end processes.

The integration of an ERP with your eCommerce platform plays a pivotal role in consolidating data and streamlining various processes efficiently.

It is vital to understand that ERP integration for eCommerce platforms is straightforward and swift. To connect your eCommerce platform with a retail ERP, consider the following key points:

ERP System Type

Determine if your ERP system should be cloud-based and offered through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). For such systems, you can consult your hired ERP software development firm for precise integration instructions.

Integration Methods

Using a point-to-point method, you can establish a direct connection between ERP modules and your eCommerce platform. However, this approach often leads to limited scalability and fewer customization options for existing ERP modules.

Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)

You can simplify integration with an ESB, which acts as a central hub linking various applications by serving as middleware.

Integration Platforms

Apart from an ESB, you can utilize an Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) or enlist the services of a third-party integrator to facilitate the connection between your ERP and eCommerce platforms.

Advantages of ERP and eCommerce Integration

Integrating your eCommerce platform with the right ERP setup offers comprehensive benefits to your business. Let us look at the advantages of ERP integration with eCommerce in detail below:

Benefits of ERP Integration with eCommerce Software

Heightened Productivity

One of the finest benefits of ERP in eCommerce is increased productivity. By consolidating data from all corners of your business, you eliminate the time wasted in searching for information. ERPs establish a unified, centralized data system that helps in harmonizing your departments and workflows. In addition, ERPs automate certain tasks, freeing the employees to focus on other vital responsibilities.

For instance, Amazon leverages ERP systems to optimize its logistics and inventory operations. With the help of data consolidation and task automation, the eCommerce giant boosts productivity and ensures efficient order processing and timely deliveries. This integration empowers Amazon’s employees to focus on the strategic initiatives instead of manual data management.

Enhanced Customer Onboarding and Experience

In addition to increasing the overall productivity, eCommerce website integration with ERP system makes way for a better customer experience. The ability to offer improved Customer Relationship Management (CRM) capabilities, combined with automated payment and tracking processes, helps in creating a smoother, faster, and higher-quality experience for your customers.

A custom ERP software can also streamline and automate customer onboarding by centralizing data, simplifying the related documentation, and automating the workflows. This makes way for a faster and more efficient process. The ERP solutions can also provide real-time visibility into the onboarding status, improving the overall communication with customers and reducing errors.

custom ERP solution for IKEA

Improved Data Accessibility

ERP integration not only centralizes your organization’s data but also provides real-time access to customer data. This comprehensive data accessibility makes way for smarter, quicker decision-making. Integration eliminates data separation across multiple areas and ensures that all necessary information is readily available, making activities like tax management more straightforward.

For instance, Shopify, a leading eCommerce platform, offers ERP integration options to its users, allowing seamless integration of their eCommerce operations with robust Enterprise Resource Planning systems. This integration enables real-time access to crucial customer and sales data. It empowers businesses to make informed decisions, streamline tax management, and gain a comprehensive overview of their operations.

Enhanced Process Visibility and Streamlining

eCommerce ERP integration is a powerful tool that simplifies and automates various processes, making them easier to manage. ERPs play a key role in this automation by streamlining accounting and order tracking tasks. By automating repetitive tasks, ERPs reduce the likelihood of errors and increase overall business efficiency. This leads to shorter processing times, increased conversions, and higher customer satisfaction.

For instance, Alibaba, a global eCommerce giant, relies on ERP systems for managing its complex supply chain and digital commerce operations. Through ERP integration, the organization is able to optimize accounting and order tracking processes, resulting in reduced errors and enhanced efficiency.

Cost Reduction

A well-implemented ERP system can easily identify inefficiencies within your business and assist in fixing them altogether. In addition to this, ERP eCommerce integration enables real-time inventory management, facilitating timely inventory practices that prevent overstocking. This further helps in cost savings for your business.

[Also Read: ERP Software Development Cost: Estimating Budget in 2023]

For instance, Walmart employs custom ERP systems to optimize its inventory management and supply chain processes. By getting real-time insights into the inventory management, they are preventing overstocking, leading to minimize inventory-related costs.

Vital Features of ERP for eCommerce Businesses

Various key ERP features back efficient eCommerce operations, improved customer experiences, and sustained business growth. Let us look at them in detail below:

Features of ERP for eCommerce Businesses

Automated Finances

It allows you to efficiently manage accounts payable and receivable by automating financial processes, reducing manual tasks, and ensuring real-time updates.

Inventory Management

This feature allows businesses to gain comprehensive control over inventory while making way for tracking quantities, locations, and costs to prevent overstocking and streamline order fulfillment for diverse products and warehouses.

[Also Read: A Smart Decision Making with an Inventory Management App for Your Business]

Consolidated CRM

It makes way for enhanced customer relationship management by standardizing practices across your organization, simplifying omni channel reporting, and facilitating better outreach to improve services and retention rates.

[Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide to Custom CRM Software Development]

Shipping and Distribution

This allows businesses to simplify shipping and distribution tasks with automation, including label generation, order tracking, reducing manual errors, and enhancing efficiency. This is particularly beneficial for high-volume sellers and businesses that have multiple warehouses.

Multi-Channel Integration

This feature makes way for seamless integration of your eCommerce platform with various sales channels, such as online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores, and social media, to manage sales, inventory, and customer data across channels.

Real-Time Analytics

This allows businesses to access real-time analytics and reporting tools that provide insights into sales trends, customer behavior, and inventory performance, helping them make informed decisions and adapt strategies accordingly.

Returns and Refunds Processing

This makes way for streamlined returns and refunds with automated workflows, allowing for efficient handling of customer returns, exchanges, and refunds while maintaining transparency and compliance.

Security and Compliance

It is vital to prioritize data security and compliance with industry standards and regulations so as to safeguard sensitive customer information and ensure business continuity.

Most Common ERPs for eCommerce

eCommerce businesses usually rely on ERP solutions that allow them to seamlessly integrate various software applications. The most commonly used ERPs in the B2B sector include:

Multiple ERP in eCommerce Examples

Microsoft Dynamics

Combines CRM, ERP, productivity apps, and AI tools to enhance business processes and customer relations.

SAP

A modular cloud ERP with real-time capabilities which AI and analytics power. It offers process automation and personalized insights.

Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive suite of integrated applications for finance, supply chain, HR, and CRM automation.

E2 Shop System

Tailored for machine and job-based manufacturing shops, it offers estimating, accounting, resource planning, customer management, and analytics.

Workday

A cloud-based ERP system for global businesses that specializes in HR, finance, onboarding, and accounting.

Odoo

Odoo is ideal for large enterprises as it effectively manages customer databases, HR tasks, accounting, and communication.

ERPAG Software

It is suited for small and mid-sized businesses across industries. ERPAG aids in inventory management, analytics, accounting, shipping, and reporting.

How to Get Started with eCommerce ERP Integration?

For crafting seamless B2B eCommerce ERP integration solutions, it is vital to follow some key steps that can help you develop your integration strategy. In addition to this, partnering with a dedicated enterprise software development company for expert guidance can help you pave the way for a seamless and efficient ERP eCommerce integration that optimizes your operations and maximizes your business’s potential.

eCommerce ERP Cloud Integration Process

Identify Your eCommerce Apps and Platforms

During this phase, determine the eCommerce platforms you wish to integrate with your ERP. Whether it’s a single-core platform or multiple apps, it is essential to have some clarity.

Identify Critical Data

Pinpoint the most crucial data for integration, such as orders, customer information, or financial data, that can help you ensure accuracy and prioritization. Streamlining this process can offer you much-needed efficiency and precision when it comes to ERP integration for eCommerce.

Identify Manual Processes

During this phase of eCommerce ERP cloud integration, repetitive tasks like handling invoices or manual inventory checks are executed. Identifying these manual workflows is crucial for streamlining and automating your business processes effectively.

Choose the Right ERP

Now is the time to choose the right ERP system that aligns with your needs. It is vital to decide if it should be on-site or in the cloud, considering the data volume and security requirements at your end.

Businesses can further choose to build a custom ERP solution from scratch as per their business requirements. This gives them the ability to tailor every aspect of the ERP system while ensuring seamless alignment with their unique workflows.

Determine Integration Method

Finalize how to integrate your eCommerce platform with the ERP. There are multiple options available for organizations, such as using your platform’s API, leveraging native ERP integration features, or employing third-party solutions with pre-built integration processes. Partnering with a dedicated enterprise software development company can help you navigate these options effectively.

eCommerce ERP Integration Best Practices

To ensure a smooth integration process and avoid the common challenges associated with the process, it is vital to follow these best practices:

ERP eCommerce Integration Best Practices

Choose the Right Integration Solution

It is recommended to avoid manual data transfers or use any complex coding. You must select an integration tool that aligns with your specific eCommerce and ERP needs.

Communicate with All Stakeholders

Keep everyone in your organization informed about the impact of the integration. Make sure to explain to the team how the ERP integration will affect sales channels, department productivity, and overall business operations. You must ensure to get a nod from the stakeholders before proceeding.

Ensure Optimal Data Security

Select an integration solution that matches your data security requirements. It is recommended to make an informed decision for your eCommerce ERP integration process. One must never assume that on-premise solutions would offer better security. Cloud-based iPaaS applications have more robust security protocols and compliance measures.

Partner with a Suitable ERP Development Firm

While integrations typically run smoothly, even minor issues can disrupt your business processes. Choose to partner with a dedicated ERP development firm that can offer access to a 24/7 support team to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Get cutting-edge custom ERP services

How Can Appinventiv Help You Get Started with Robust eCommerce ERP Integration?

ERP and eCommerce integration is essential for both complex and simple IT systems because of their capability to enhance current services and ensure readiness for future platform advancements. For eCommerce businesses, ERP implementation significantly benefits employees, customers, and overall profitability.

Appinventiv is a dedicated ERP software development service company that specializes in seamless eCommerce ERP integration for businesses of all sizes. We deeply understand the complexities of ERP integration and offer tailored solutions that align with your specific needs and IT ecosystem.

We recently developed a custom ERP solution for IKEA, the world’s finest furniture retailer,  revolutionizing their customer onboarding and marketing process. The solution is now deployed on location-wise kiosks across 7+ IKEA stores in the UAE. The retail furniture outlet considers the solution as the biggest source of their ROI measurement.

IKEA

Our expert team ensures you choose the right integration solution that communicates effectively with all stakeholders and prioritizes data security at the appropriate level.

Get in touch with our ERP and eCommerce software development service experts to future-proof your IT ecosystem one step at a time.

FAQs

Q. What is ERP in eCommerce?

A. eCommerce ERP integration is a systematic process that streamlines communication and data exchange between an organization’s ecommerce platform and ERP system. The role of ERP in eCommerce is to eliminate manual data transfer and enable automatic synchronization of critical business information.

Q. How to integrate ERP and eCommerce?

A. Here are the multiple steps to take when integrating ERP with your eCommerce platform:

  • Identify your eCommerce platforms and the critical data to be integrated.
  • Evaluate your ERP requirements and choose the right solution as per them. One can simply choose between cloud-based or on-premise integration, depending on their custom needs.
  • It is now time to finalize the integration method. Businesses can choose between APIs, native integration, or third-party solutions.
  • Ensure data cleanliness and structure before integration.
  • Communicate the integration plan with stakeholders and ensure their decisions align accordingly with the process.
  • Partner with an experienced enterprise software development company like Appinventiv for expert guidance and support throughout the eCommerce integration with ERP process.

Q. What are the benefits of ERP eCommerce integration?

A. The ERP and eCommerce integration brings numerous advantages for businesses, such as heightened productivity, enhanced customer experiences, improved data accessibility, streamlined processes, cost savings, and better decision-making capabilities. This eCommerce integration with ERP optimizes business operations, benefiting employees and customers while providing valuable insights for growth and efficiency.

THE AUTHOR
Saurabh Singh
CEO & Director
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