Adding an ERP to your online store can be a significant consideration - as it impacts your business processes and might reduce data entry areas to streamline your operation as you scale your sales channels. An ERP allows you to track with greater precision your sales channel demand, and costs associated with that sales channel and manage your inventory levels in real-time to ensure a high customer service experience. Here we will break down how an ERP system can help your BigCommerce store's performance.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) background
While we have covered the subject before with a competing platform (Shopify) with the combination of an ERP's power and benefits, much of that background still applies (https://www.thegenielab.com/post/incorporating-erp-to-your-shopify-store). However, there are a couple of angles that an ERP combined with BigCommerce isn't covered in that article - B2B, restricted markets, and custom customer experiences.
BigCommerce B2B Edition and an ERP
BigCommerce B2B Edition is an Enterprise level offering for businesses that look to have a B2B business model with the online sales tools to manage both the sale and the business client's processes in creating orders, approving them, and having various payment methods outside of the consumer options of credit cards/wallet-type payment methods. An ERP combined with B2B extends the reach of your product portfolio into various marketplaces, and it is especially advantageous when you have a hybrid B2B/D2C business model. In Back-end accounting, being able to see your profits by sales channel helps you to optimize your operations from where to focus your sales to where to focus your negotiating/cost-reducing to ensure competitiveness.
Restricted items and sales channel management
Recently we wrote an article where legal items being sold are at times restricted by the platforms' ethos - such as Shopify restricting the sale of legal guns on its platform, whereas BigCommerce takes the approach of being focused on the eCommerce platform, and letting vendors sell what they would like to sell as long as it is legal. With this in mind, firearm-based businesses can now have eCommerce platforms with an ERP integration so that they can leverage an omnichannel strategy. These merchants can start an online store, begin selling products, and with the ERP software start adding a good amount of inventory onto eBay, Amazon, and Etsy all the while being careful about what their restrictions may be. Some may be restricted to "accessories" while some may not be so restrictive.
Processing background checks and following the legal tender of a customer acquiring what they are looking for by filling out a firearm form to apply and get an approval of their purchase can save time, and deliver good customer service.
ERP is a Business Process Automation tool
When dealing with multiple sales channels there are key areas of concern when it comes to data entry (Moving orders from one system to your BigCommerce store), lead times as it takes human interaction to do the data entry job, and inventory reconciliation (will your sales channel keep a real-time inventory of your products and sync with your BigCommerce store). From the end client - they found your product and expect it to arrive in short order at their door - either B2B or D2C. Great customer service is only consistent if you have the right inventory, you can process an order efficiently and have it shipped with the right carrier within a short period of time. Operational issues such as running out of inventory, taking longer to ship the product out, or using the wrong shipping method can impact customer satisfaction as well as hit your bottom line.
Getting your products and accessories in the various marketplaces all the while managing your customer service, inventory levels, and sales channels and the ERP system has the real-time solution for you. Having more marketplaces does boost your brand in search engines and will inevitably help you reach your business goals. Streamlining your business processes, as well as your messaging from email marketing to promotions, aggregating your customers from either B2B or D2C will give you higher traffic, higher conversions, and more revenue all the while you can monitor and control channel costs/volume and ensuring a good customer experience - if you have any questions on an ERP integration, and would like to discuss its advantages, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more BigCommerce and ERP Integrations: https://www.bigcommerce.co.uk/blog/erp-integrations/#executive-summary