eCommerce, ERP & EDI Integration Benefits for D2C Businesses
Thursday, June 18, 2020Eric Zegarski
Benefits of eCommerce, ERP, & EDI Integration for D2C Brands
Integrating your commerce network has long term positive effects on your D2C business. It’s an investment that streamlines your organization, allowing for agile business decisions. Direct to consumer businesses are no longer relying on just one sales channel. Instead of brick and mortar retail, D2C brands are now shifting their focus and going all-in on eCommerce. Successful brands have a multi-channel approach, selling through their own eCommerce store, on online marketplaces and retail outlets.
A direct to consumer multi-channel strategy creates a lot of data that businesses must deal with. This data needs to be organized and processed FAST! Entry of this data has an impact on how fast a business can operate. Orders need to be packaged, labels need to be printed, and retail orders need to be sent in a timely manner. Done the traditional way, ample amounts of hours must be dedicated to manual data entry. With the rise of eCommerce over the last couple of years, commerce has become a 24/7 operation. As a result, orders pile up during non-business hours and can cause a bottleneck the next business day. Direct to consumer brands need their vital business systems to be communicating vital information bi-directionally non-stop.
Overall eCommerce, ERP, and EDI Benefits for D2C Businesses
- Eliminate manual and duplicate entry: Integration of eCommerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Amazon with ERP systems.
- Improve speed of data exchange: By eliminating the time-consuming manual data entry process, the eBridge Connections integration platform greatly increases the speed of information exchange, resulting in improved customer service efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- Improve data accuracy: Each time data is manually entered into a system, there is the chance of errors being introduced. Data passes through a validation layer, resulting in a decrease in costly errors and chargebacks.
- Streamline business processes: eCommerce integration will help to create an efficient workflow between departments and functionalities in your organization. An integrated flow of data will provide you with the insight you need to make strong decisions that align with your business strategy and objectives.
- Liberate valuable resources: Focus your resources on other high priority work, instead of tedious manual data entry to and from your ERP system. An eCommerce integration solution will automatically schedule and process data without human intervention.
Department Based D2C eCommerce, ERP, and EDI Integration Benefits
Data from your commerce network is required by multiple departments for your D2C business to function properly. Transparency is key to building an agile operation that can adapt to changing market trends. Different teams need data so they can work together. Here’s how integrating your commerce network benefits different departments:
Impact on Marketing and Sales
Modern direct to consumer marketing departments are driven by data. With integration, marketing can have almost real-time statistics. Marketing can effectively identify which products are selling well and if their campaigns are having a positive impact on the bottom line. They can quickly adapt and create new campaigns to promote well performing products.
If you’re distributing through big box or independent retailers, account managers have real time updates on orders through automatic EDI document flow. Therefore, they can effectively manage retailer relations instead of digging through multiple purchase orders to get a snapshot of a vendor’s performance. This allows for sales to effectively communicate with the operations department to ensure orders are shipped on time.
Impact on Operations
The operations team is responsible for all the behind the scenes “magic” that ensures orders are shipped and there are no stock outs. An integrated commerce network allows them to manage inbound and outbound orders effectively. Whether you have an in-house or outsourced manufacturing team, inventory needs to be ordered in a timely manner to account for lead times. Having your commerce channels connected to your ERP, allows your ops team to have almost real-time numbers. Furthermore, if you’re selling on marketplaces like Amazon, you could face hefty penalty fees if your orders are not shipped according to their standards. Each channel has different fulfillment requirements; therefore, integration allows operations to effectively manage inventory and fulfill all orders accurately
Impact on Finance and Accounting
Integration allows finance to have accurate and almost real-time numbers at their disposal. As a result, finance can pre-plan for future promotions by working with marketing to identify well performing products and establishing profit margins. In addition, if inventory of slow-moving products is piling up, they can work with marketing to come up with a bottom-line friendly solution to clear out stock. If you’re running a multi-channel strategy, integration allows finance and accounting to see all incoming orders and payments. Therefore, managing accounts payable and receivable is easier. Some sales channels do not provide payment right away. A retailer might provide payment with 60 days, but a marketplace like Amazon will send you payment, less commission every two weeks. Integration enables accounting to simplify their bookkeeping process.
eBridge Makes Integration Easy for D2C Businesses
Our integration solution is universal! You can add or remove systems with ease as your business grows and your needs change. Our integration platform has pre-built connectors for leading eCommerce platforms, ERP solutions, and 100s of EDI trading partners. As a result, we can implement an integration solution in a timely manner.
In addition, eBridge is hosted on Microsoft Azure, therefore ensuring an almost 99.9% uptime and industry leading security. With an integration solution from eBridge, you can ensure that your commerce network is connected and communicating data bi-directionally.