What Merchants Need to Know About eCommerce Integration to Support an Omnichannel Strategy
Friday, February 3, 2017Lindsay Hampson
Over the last few weeks, eBridge Connections has been highlighting key issues or milestones in eCommerce across several key states in the US.
In this blog we go to Minnesota.
One of our favourite things about Minnesota is that although it is vast, just about every city or town within it feels small and welcoming. Five Watt Coffee
is a big success with a small feel in the Twin Cities. Handsome Cycles
is another local, growing merchant proudly from Minneapolis that has a booming online presence.
After a bit of research, the main word in Minnesota is that omnichannel is no longer optional for retailers who want to grow their bottom line. Magically, many have kept the small town vibe, but have opened up their wings to support online shopping.
What is omnichannel?
Years ago, if you wanted to sell a vacuum, you’d strike a deal with Sears and beg to be on the shelves. Or you’d sell it door to door. Or you’d try your hand at getting your vacuum onto the Home Shopping Network. (I recently watched Joy
, so The Shopping Network is on my mind)
But, times they are a-changing.
Today, 75% of retailers prioritize e-commerce sales above in-store sales, according to a 2016 blog from Minnesota Business Magazine.
That is a big percentage of retailers moving to suit the new world of online shoppers. Omnichannel is selling in-store and online. It can be selling to 5 retailers, or selling on your own webstore, and on Amazon. The key concept is that you are working multiple channels of purchase at once. Some customers shop online. Some shop in-store. Some use Amazon. Some search and buy on your website.
Omnichannel offers exposure and increases the chance that your product is in view when your prospect is ready to buy.
We’ve gathered a list of the top 10 places to sell your goods. Add them. Delete them. Figure out which channels bring you sales.
How can eCommerce, EDI and ERP integration help merchants?
With discussion of selling over multiple channels naturally comes the discussion of system integration.
A customer order on Amazon creates data entry from Amazon into your accounting system. Data like SKU #, quantity, cost, colour, customer contact, invoice needs to get in quickly, and they need to be correct. Then, shipping numbers need to be sent, and inventory levels need to be adjusted across all of the many channels you are selling in. One less item in the warehouse impacts what you can sell in Home Depot, online on your Shopify store, and even on eBay, for example.
If you need help flowing order, customer or inventory data from the many channels you sell on to your accounting system, eBridge can help.