Future-Proof Your eCommerce Business
Why do you need to future-proof your eCommerce business?
The global pandemic catalyzed two things in the retail industry. Firstly, it sparked eCommerce growth. In 2020, Canada saw a decline in retail sales, yet an astonishing 75% growth in retail eCommerce sales. According to Statista, worldwide eCommerce sales is expected to climb to $6.5 trillion by 2023. In all major countries around the world, we have witnessed a clear rise in eCommerce sales and preference for online shopping over in-person retail.
Secondly, it caused a realization amongst many retail businesses that unforeseen challenges, whether stemming from global conditions, economic fluctuations, industry changes, or customer preferences, are bound to happen every few years. And if your business is unprepared for it, you can quickly lose loyal customers to better-prepared competitors.
Future-proofing your business means investing in a tech stack that allows you to be agile and make adjustments to your business in the matter of weeks, days, or even hours. People will always need to shop, and if you can overcome fluctuations and smoothly deliver your products to customers, your business will flourish.
One primary step to future-proofing your eCommerce business is implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that offers extensive flexibility and can be easily customized to business changes and scaling.
Five Ways an eCommerce ERP System Future-Proofs Your Business
1. Supports Complex Pricing
Pricing on your online store will have more and more complexities as you scale. Today, customers expect accurate product pricing, discounts, shipping costs, sales tax, bulk or tier pricing, and customer loyalty rewards. Most importantly, customers want to see a consistency in the offers between your online store and retail locations, unless particular offers are specified to be online-only.
While manually processing different pricings for each order may work in the beginning stages of your eCommerce journey, it is not sustainable as your business grows. A modern eCommerce ERP allows you to store all pricing information in the solution, which then integrates with your web platform and other systems. You can make pricing rules and price changes in one system, and it will automatically be updated across all the connected systems, including your eCommerce website.
2. Minimizes Order Processing Errors
Manually processing orders is doable, but it is not only time-consuming and inefficient, it also causes errors and order delays. An interconnected ERP allows you to involve the customer with the order processing. This means they receive real-time updates just as they are entered through your eCommerce ERP, such as when the order is processed, shipped, and delivered. This is especially useful when it comes to custom requests or change requests. For example, if a customer realized they had selected the wrong size but already placed the order, through their own portal, they can view their order, recognize that it hasn’t been processed yet, and make changes to the order.
Advanced ERP also brings the elimination of manual data entry for order processing and between systems, avoiding data entry errors.
3. Reacts Quickly to Changes
Despite efforts in making forecasts for how certain promotions, campaigns, and product launches will go, sometimes things inevitably don’t go according to plan. With an eCommerce ERP system, you can change pricing, stock data, product listings, and even policies for shipping and returns on the fly, rolling out information to all systems so customers see them almost immediately.
An ERP also gives you better visibility of your eCommerce store performance, so you can actually spot issues earlier than if you only did reporting at the end of a period or campaign. You can even set automated alerts for when certain KPIs or product stock fall below a certain threshold, notifying you to take action. No matter how fast the market is changing, you will be able to take action in just a few clicks.
4. Streamlines and Automates Your Operations
An eCommerce-enabled ERP connects your systems and tools, so there is always one single source of information. Automated data synchronization, alerts and notifications, and comprehensive reporting reduces the workload for all members of your organization. Instead of juggling multiple systems, all information is centralized in one solution. The ERP dashboards can have custom views and user access settings for different members of your organization. Unlike spreadsheets, the modern eCommerce ERP has useful widgets and data visualizations, and is very easy to navigate.
5. Keeps Your eCommerce Store Secure
The greater number of disconnected and disparate systems you juggle to manage your eCommerce business, the greater your chances of suffering a cybersecurity attack. By leaving more doors open, you are more prone to hackers that can cause your system to fall apart. With an ERP that operates on a highly-secured cloud, your data is a lot better protected for the sake of both your business and your customers.
Discover an eCommerce ERP that does it all
While your eCommerce business may be operating just fine as it is right now, it may be unprepared for the future. An interconnected ERP not only brings many immediate operational improvements, but it keeps you agile for the unknown future.