What are the Challenges of ERP Implementation for eCommerce Businesses?
Looking to learn more about one of the top eCommerce challenges? Read this guide to learn about the common pitfalls of ERP implementation.
When businesses are in a hurry to implement eCommerce, they often do so without realizing the true complexity or defining long-term goals. Too frequently, companies are quick to choose a solution that looks easy-to-use and fast-to-implement, only to have to "rip and replace" down the road. ERP integration challenges are at the top of the list of eCommerce challenges that businesses face. We are passionate about helping businesses deliver better digital customer experiences and scale eCommerce success, so we created this guide to help you understand the common issues and how to address them.
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eCommerce and ERP Integration
Whether you are planning your eCommerce implementation or looking to refine an eCommerce strategy that has yet to scale up or reach the level of functionality you need, it is worth considering ERP integration as the foundation to take your business to the next level.
eCommerce-ERP integration is important for the following reasons:
- Automating sales orders
- Automating inventory management
- Providing quick and accurate quotes
- Enabling customer self-service
- Offering customer-specific pricing
- Leveraging business logic
To learn more about the importance of ERP-eCommerce integration and how to do this successfully, watch this free webinar: eCommerce Integration 101.
Short-Term and Long-Term Planning
A business's short-term solutions and long-term goals should be aligned, but sometimes are not. When ERP implementation is rushed or not fully understood, the one step forward can actually take a company two giant steps back. Avoid the dangers of shortsightedness by considering the future needs of your business. Think deeply about how the ERP implementation will proceed as short-term goals are met, and growth objectives increase. Additional thoughtfulness and research on the front end can help you maximize the benefits your business can glean from a successful integration. Building a strong foundation for scalability and automation will pay dividends down the road. If this is your first forray into eCommerce, it helps to work with a partner who understands the long-term objectives that will likely come up as you scale so you can navigate those upfront.
ERP implementation impacts much more than just internal processes and operations. ERP implementation also affects the customer experience and employee. Getting existing customers shifted over to the new process can be challenging. With the right strategy in place, it is possible to break old habits. Here are some tips to get established customers on board with the new and improved solution:
- Reach out to customers personally to introduce improved processes and convenient features.
- Offer discounted pricing for online orders.
- Offer dynamic promotions, i.e., 10% off for the first 5 online orders
- Provide rich product information online to keep up with customer buying trends
- Offer flexible payment options
- Create a familiar B2C shopping experience for B2B buyers
- When all else fails, hyper-focus exclusive options to non-adopters
Internal Buy-in from all Stakeholders within the Company
Adapting to a new integration solution can take time and effort. Executives and employees have been used to old ways of working, and it takes work to adopt a new approach. While everyone on staff may experience some growing pains, the number one cited reason for failed eCommerce implementation is internal resistance from sales.
Here are five strategies to improve the internal buy-in from the sales representatives in your company:
- Make an intentional point to educate sales on the value of ERP implementation and alleviate their concerns about their roles.
- Incentivize sales to adapt to the solution by including online orders in their compensation plans. This is especially important as personalized communication is necessary to encourage customers to try new shopping experiences.
- Gamify the shift to eCommerce by creating incentivizing contests or games, i.e., organize a competition for which sales representative had the most existing account place an eCommerce order in a given month.
- Educate sales representatives on better ways to add value to sales and increase commissions. With ERP implementation, sales reps now have more time to do focused, targeted prospecting, collaborate with marketing, and stay in touch with their high-value deals.
- Empower sales representatives to focus more on providing white-glove service for large account sales and courting valuable leads instead of simply entering sales orders into the system.
Dynamicweb ERP Integration
Integration can be complex and requires knowledge and experience to build scalable solutions. A great solution creates a symbiosis between your ERP and eCommerce site. Integration is our area of expertise, and our open integration framework gives you an advanced starting point that includes standard templates for integrating eCommerce with ERP systems like Dynamics NAV, AX, D365, Business Central, and more. We can help businesses like yours enable better customer experiences, optimize business processes, and scale for maximum growth.
To learn more, watch this 2-minute video: Dynamicweb Integration Framework.
To see for yourself how Dynamicweb ERP Integration can transform your business, book a personalized demo today.