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Overcoming the challenges of eCommerce website integration
We live in a digital age in which online retail has provided the retail industry with the opportunity to accelerate sales opportunities. This is achieved by providing existing and new customers with access to their favourite brands 24/7, 365 days a year, from the comfort of their own home.
Providing customers with a state-of-the-art eCommerce website and mobile commerce application, which has the ability to reach an increased audience, can bring added pain to an organisation. It brings new challenges and new business processes, which ultimately comes at a price.
According to law firm TLT’s Retail Growth Strategies Report, which is based on the views of 100 senior managers from 100 top UK retailers, investing in IT systems, websites and mobile applications is top of the list. In fact, 44% stated having the ability to synchronise information between systems and applications to enable them to talk to each other as a key area of investment.
67% of UK Retailers see System integration as the biggest challenge they face.
However, the biggest challenge faced by UK retailers is having the ability to seamlessly achieve eCommerce website integration. This was highlighted in TLT’s report, with 67% declaring eCommerce integration as the key barrier they faced.
Improving performance through eCommerce integration
Enabling business systems and applications to talk to each other not only reduces administration costs and associated human error, it can also provide the advantage of having the most relevant information to hand when it is needed most – a key ingredient to staying ahead of the competition.
Fashions, trends and buying cycles change, but having the right information at the right time and having complete transparency throughout an organisation can assist retailers to make informed decisions, ranging from inventory levels in the warehouse and a bricks-and-mortar store through to the costs of promotion and distribution.
Improving the way that information is processed and documented by deploying business process automation (BPA) functionality and application integration can play a significant role in improving company and employee performance. But how can it assist the retail industry?
eCommerce website integration scenarios
Here is a selection of business processes that can be automated and set to specific business rules on a scheduled or event-driven basis to provide a positive influence on the performance of the retail industry and its online retail environments:
- Reports and document automation
- Store sales reports
- Stock level reports
- Productivity reports
- Inventory losses/shrinkage reports
- Stock adjustment reports
- Inventory Alerts
- Stock level notifications – too high or too low
- Slow moving stock alerts
- Products with no web category
- Automatic synchronisation of sales orders and customer details into an accounting/ERP system
- Automated data distribution
- Price changes
- Remove from sale notices
- End of line information
- Delivery schedules
- Seasonal stock notifications
- Synchronisation between systems of orders taken by telephone and other offline methods with an eCommerce platform
- Automated updating of product details in stock and pricing to an online web store
- Automatic placement of orders with courier services
- Proof of delivery and tracking number synchronisation between a courier service and an accounting/ERP system
- Bank reconciliation process automation
- Sage Pay integration
- Worldpay integration
- Stripe integration
- Automated order, delivery and returns confirmation via email/SMS alerts
- Automatic update of stock levels to warehouse(s), eCommerce and retail stores including returned stock
- Dynamic identification of customer buying patterns
- Automated email marketing campaigns for slow moving stock
Streamlining the manual administration that surrounds back office activities through business process automation not only improves speed and efficiency, it also improves ROI and assists in moving the business forward. Why have an employee wasting valuable time by manually processing orders from an online retail store into an ERP system and manually selecting the most economical delivery service when the whole process can be automated?
“We have a complete data view of a customer’s purchase history, interests and preferences. By bringing this information together we are able to automatically serve specific website content and email communications that are tailored to the individual’s profile.” Group IT Director, Stanley Gibbons. Stanley Gibbons automates costly data entry and employee administration by integrating its ERP, CRM and eCommerce systems.
The benefits of eCommerce integration
Companies that have automated their business processes and synchronised data between systems can achieve:
- Eradication of repetitive data entry and associated human errors
- Significant decrease in dispatch times
- Reduced operational costs such as:
- Processing costs
- The need to recruit seasonal or temporary employees
- Reduced stock waste
- Stock level optimisation
- Improved cross departmental visibility of critical information
- Enforced best practices
Removing the challenges surrounding eCommerce website integration
Removing the hidden costs of repetitive eCommerce tasks can be achieved by implementing code free, drag and drop software. Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform delivers and manages eCommerce integration services, ensuring that systems ‘play nicely’, no matter how complex the requirements.
Ultimately, Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform brings people, systems and information together helping retailers stay one step ahead of the competition.
What are you waiting for? eCommerce integration doesn’t have to be painful.
For more information on how you can stay ahead of the competition by integrating your eCommerce website with other business systems downloaded the eBook below or call us on +44 (0)330 998 8700.