Want to let your clients make complex purchases online easily, without email, phone calls or fax? Here’s how a well-executed integration between your ERP system and your web store lets you do just that.
Your ERP: the Key to Successful Self-Service Sales
Some businesses might seem more suited to e-commerce than others. Take bookselling, for instance. When you order one online, you know exactly what you’re going to get: whether it’s going to be hardcopy or digital, who it’s by, what the topic is.
Yet it’s become the most normal thing in the world for us to buy something as potentially tricky as clothing online. The drive to avoid the hassle of having to go to (potentially crowded) stores has driven many people to opt for e-commerce. And it’s made even easier by continually improving fulfillment options from merchants: not sure which size will be the right one? Simply order all of them, try the items on at home, and easily return the ones you don’t like.
Of course, you can’t compare spare auto parts, to a pair of shoes. But this kind of online ordering is within reach for your industry, too — if you make smart use of your ERP.
1: Filling the Shopping Cart
When buying complex products, it’s essential that your clients get every detail right. The difference between the perfect product and a bad buy could come down to a few tenths of an inch. That means that in order to successfully place orders without the aid of your sales team, your client needs to have access to comprehensive and accurate product specifications.
An integrated web store retrieves product data directly from your ERP system, minimizing the risk of human error affecting the quality of the data. This means that your e-commerce portal grants your clients access to the same information that your sales team uses to advise them on their purchase.
In other words, your clients can research their purchase whenever they like, without depending on the availability of your staff — without having to make do with less reliable data.
2: Proceeding to Checkout
Finding a product that ticks all the boxes is useless if it is out of stock.
At Sana Commerce, we make sure that end users have
Once your client has established that their desired items are in stock, they can immediately see the price. For consumer purchases, we expect this to be the case, but pricing gets more complex with B2B sales. If your web store displays the prices as calculated by your ERP system based on the account, your clients will get the exact same price they would get from your sales representatives, including all custom pricing and additional fees,
This means your clients can order online, without having to sacrifice discounts for convenience.
3: Reconciling Invoices Online
Again, another feature that might seem obvious. However, the ERP integration element can add functionality that equips your web store with an extra level of convenience for your clients.
Our e-commerce solution, Sana Commerce, integrates seamlessly and communicates directly with the ERP. As a result, web store visitors can not only pay for orders placed via the web store, but they can reconcile invoices for orders placed through other channels too. This can also be achieved by importing bank statements into the ERP system and cross-checking them with open invoices.
4: Streamlining Returns
Even with access to detailed product specifications, FAQs, and account history, your clients will occasionally need to return a product. You don’t want to make the return process laborious or complicated — if items are being sent back as a result of mistakes on your side, you want to minimize further friction.
Letting your clients manage returns via your web store can help. Firstly, it ensures that your web store can act as your single point of contact for the entire fulfillment process. Secondly (and more importantly) it gives your clients control over when they put in their return request, eliminating any dependency on your sales department’s availability.
Sana Commerce also facilitates this, by letting clients submit return request documents. This means they can also include photos of the products to indicate why they’re returning them.
See What Seamless Integration Can Do
Comprehensive self-service is just one of the benefits you unlock with integrated e-commerce.