Maybe you’ve heard of the acronym ERP in business circles? ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, software that can change how your business works and make it more efficient, effective, and generally more advanced. Let’s see what ERP is and how it can improve your eCommerce business.
What is Enterprise Resource Planning?
Enterprise Resource Planning is a software solution created in the 90s, although we can find the beginnings of this project in the 70s. ERP is a business solution or system that allows a company to manage business processes and coordinate individual business units.
This software integrates and monitors all aspects of your business: from logistics and warehouse conditions to human resources and marketing. Its work is automated, and it saves your time and money by efficiently organizing your employees’ work.
In particular, in eCommerce, Enterprise Resource Planning can collect orders, organize their sending, and store information about users necessary for further marketing campaigns.
ERP is an integrated system that monitors the company’s business in real-time and has the same database for all information.
How does Enterprise Resource Planning work?
ERP solutions work by integrating all functions and processes in the company into one whole and performing the flow of information between all company parts. This way, the productivity of the process is increased, and the employees’ communication is facilitated. One database for all activities eliminates the need to double-enter information, so the time needed to perform specific tasks is shortened. ERP saves your time and your money.
How to integrate ERP into your eCommerce platform?
ERP is a powerful tool, and when you invest money in the automation of your work, you will want to experience its maximum benefits.
It is essential to integrate ERP with existing applications on your web platform. Without proper integration, ERP could make uncharacteristic mistakes, which could negatively affect the work of your eCommerce business. Improperly integrated ERP may be missing data, show you an incorrect warehouse balance, or interfere with customer orders. Poor ERP integration will decrease sales and leave unsatisfied customers, negatively affecting your business.
On the other hand, proper ERP integration will allow you to automate all business activities, and as a result, a business will run smoothly. In addition to reduced costs and time savings, you will provide your customers with a great user experience, which will result in higher conversion rates and better sales.
However, many ERP software is available on the market, and the integration process is different for each of them. If you are unsure how to integrate ERP into your business operations, contact the Salesforce Commerce Cloud Development team, which can help you develop high-performing and scalable eCommerce businesses.
What do ERP functions cover?
ERP monitors procurement, warehouse quantity, sales, finance, HR departments, CRM, etc. Without ERP software, you would need many programs to watch the entire business process, but this software solution keeps all under its control – it’s like “one software to rule them all”.
Here are specific tasks in which ERP software can help you run an eCommerce business:
- Finance and accounting: bookkeeping, monitoring of fixed assets, debts, and receivables, cash management, consolidation of affiliated companies, budgeting, reporting, and cost management;
- Procurement: supplier management, procurement planning, ordering and return process; receipts and deliveries of stocks; management of warehouse documentation, findings, and consumption; production and capacity planning; and various production models.
- Sales management: customer management, sales planning;
- Sales: customer management, sales planning, price list, and discount management, credit limit, wholesale and retail sales;
- Human resources (HR): employment process, personal data management, management and recording of absences, calculation of salaries, measure of taxes and employee contributions, calculation of other personal income;
- Customer relationship management (CRM): customer and other contact records, relationship management and recording, promotion, and campaign management.
How does ERP work in practice?
Here is one example of how ERP works:
Your eCommerce business uses ERP business optimization software that controls everything from marketing to product delivery. A customer saw your attractive ad on social media and came to your men’s clothing store. He chose a few pieces of clothing items, added them to the chart, and made the payment. ERP did the job automatically, without checking to see if the item was in stock – because it controls the situation in the warehouse.
After the customer made the purchase, ERP informed the warehouse of which products to pack. ERP also announced the courier service to pick up and ship the package. As soon as the box left the warehouse. ERP reported to the customer via email that the package had been sent and gave him the tracking number of the shipment, but that’s not all. ERP also recommended the email about similar products that the customer might like, thus incorporating marketing into the email with order information.
Doing business is more efficient, faster, and simpler because ERP pays close attention to details. ERP stores all customer data, from purchase history to contacts with customer support agents, to improve the user experience. The Human Resources Department can also monitor employees’ commitment and decide on possible improvements or warnings.
Who is ERP for?
ERP can enable the growth of your eCommerce business, and it is worth considering its integration into your business system. However, ERPs are more prevalent in large enterprises, which is pretty apparent – the.” reason is finance. ERP solutions require significant amounts of money, which small businesses cannot invest. The optimization of costs, working time, and user experience provided by ERP software are equally helpful for large and small companies, regardless of whether they practice the B2B or B2C model of work.
ERP benefits for eCommerce
ERP has numerous benefits for eCommerce stores. In addition to connecting and unifying all processes in the company, automated software saves you time and money. It allows you to redirect the workforce employed in administrative work where it is needed.
We all know that the user experience is crucial for eCommerce companies, where ERP is very effective. The voice of satisfied users goes far and wide, and it is one of the most effective forms of marketing.
Since properly integrated ERP allows the entire purchase process to run without complications and difficulties, users will be satisfied with the user experience, positively affecting your brand’s credibility and trust. ERP will remind them of your brand with sophisticated marketing campaigns, giving them advice and recommendations when choosing your products or services. You can expect an increase in site traffic, conversion rate, and sales, thanks to ERP.
Rick Seidl is a digital marketing specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and Communications, based in Portland, Oregon. With a burning passion for digital marketing, social media, small business development, and establishing its presence in a digital world, he is currently quenching his thirst through writing about digital marketing and business strategies for HouseAndCourtyard.