If your Shopify store is humming along, and you are wondering if you could leverage it into various marketplaces and deliver a unified customer experience - this might be just for you.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a keystone to take your store to the next level. Before we get into the technology and features of what ERP enables, the marketing aspects are the advantages that you are going to be interested in. Marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon are key internet/app locations to have your products present. With a wider net, capturing consumers on various devices on various platforms does pose some challenges to which ERP’s handle with elegance and efficiency. Giving your business the adaptability to fit the various user habits of their shopping behaviors in trusted online commerce environments.
A business strategy that follows the current 2019 digital trends will pull ahead of the competition, yet it is challenging to be on top of every department
- Integrated planning
- Content Marketing
- Paid Media
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Multi-channel Analytics
Multichannel Marketing being your driver to attract various audiences to your products takes a different strategy than executing in a consistent way to all your clients. To deliver you have to manage and steer the business with the right tools – the Analytics gives you that closed-loop reporting to make those adjustments necessary to promote and manage the customer experience. For the right customer experience, consistencies in pricing, look/feel/brand is key. As for handling the client regardless of which marketplace/channel the product was transacted, establishes you are a premium business that cares for all clients no matter where they came from – delivering to the customer that Omnichannel Marketing experience. Given that these marketing tenets should be part of your core strategy, let’s dive into the nerve center of your online store.
From Online Store to ERP Enabled.
Currently, your online store is the one-stop-shop for the business owner to operate from. It allows businesses to operate from a central location where all your marketing to fulfillment happens – allowing employees, vendors and shipping apps to access it, and at the end of the monthly report on all of its activities. Ecommerce stores have limitations in reporting, accounting, CRM, and other features that an End-to-End Business Management like an ERP would offer; after all, the eCommerce store strength is the online store itself.
An ERP splits the back-end load away from the store, making the store the “marketing front”, feeding its data to the ERP system. Not just the only marketing front any longer when employing a Multichannel approach, connecting each marketplace to your product-set and consolidating all sales into one system. The ERP becomes the new backbone to your business, enabling you to communicate and dictate to your channels your product message and brand. Some ERP features include:
- Consistency in the Product description, imagery, and brand.
- Pricing and inventory being centralized
- Channel reports
- Accounting reports
- Ability in dropshipping products
- Manage fulfillment and shipping methods with various carriers
- Obtain an ROI of the business, product categories and products
- Customer tracking and profiling
- Loyalty program management
- CRM capabilities
ERP examples and integration
If you have not incorporated an ERP system with your online store, it might feel like a daunting task. Learning a new platform/interface, connecting your currently running store. Risking the introduction of problems in the currently smooth ordering system can also be unnerving. If you are up for the task, it is not as challenging as you might think.
Nowadays, eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento have apps/plug-ins that connect your store to an ERP account (ERP’s being cloud-based systems). It will take some time for them to synchronize and bring in the data from your store (Products, Invoices, Order-statuses, etc.) to the ERP system. Just like the connection to your store, you can connect your ERP system to additional channels like eBay and Amazon by a connector/app. That still leaves you to have to learn the ERP interface, where online classes are usually helpful to navigate and know the way the system works.
ERP platforms such as Veeqo, Brightpearl, Tradegecko all have similar feature-set and have slightly different capabilities. A list of the various ERP’s can be found here https://www.softwareadvice.com/uk/erp/
To strengthen your marketing presence, a Multi-channel and Omnichannel approach for your eCommerce strategy can only benefit you in both sales volume and revenue. This leverages your marketing spend to a wider audience and increases your brand awareness. This leads to better customer loyalty and improved profitability – it is worth the effort as testified by many store owners. Talking to your eCommerce store developers can assist in assessing the difficulties and risks associated with this expansion, giving you a sense of return on investment in this endeavor. We hope this inspires you to strive further in your business and the ability to execute a great customer experience.