Integrating your webshop with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can lead to faster and more effective business processes. As the COVID-19 crisis has shown, this is ever more desirable seeing increased demand for e-commerce. Ever since this crisis started, countless online retailers have seen their online sales go up like never before. It should come as no surprise that because of this the amount of online stores has gone up as well. Online sales channels are now increasingly important to both modern wholesale and retail shops. These new demands come with new expectations. Customers are ever pickier and on the lookout for an excellent online shopping experience. Anything less, and business is quickly lost. This can create a challenge for retailers who have trouble meeting this requirement, especially if their web store has not yet been integrated with their ERP system.
Central to a cost-efficient e-commerce setup is the accurate provision of information. To increase the likelihood of customers buying something from you, you need to provide them with all the information they need to come to a decision. At the same time, you want to ensure your organization receives all the information needed of a customer to ensure proper order processing. To find out how to go about this, read on.
Efficient vs inefficient e-commerce
Common mistakes in the absence of an e-commerce connector
As an online retailer, you are faced with several challenges. Now that more and more people use online sales channels, the importance of well-organized business processes is growing similarly. You want to welcome customers to your webshop in a way that is like the offline world, with a personal touch. At the same time, you want to provide them with the information relevant to them as quickly as possible, just like how you would in the online world. So, how do you combine the best of these two worlds? Can this also be done cost-effectively?
The short answer, is yes, by way of automation. Should you renege on automating services, sooner or later, there’s a good chance you will stand in the way of your own company’s future (online) growth.
Why? Well, consider the following examples that come up without automation:
- Delivery addresses are incorrect or differ per system.
- The stock of an item differs per system, even though it shouldn’t.
- Your product information does not show all the details it should.
These are just a few (common) examples. These examples, however, can lead to negative consequences, particularly in this era of increased importance on distinguishing oneself from other providers.
This is why it is crucial to remove oneself from manual order processing, traditional Excel sheets, and other decentralized (emergency) solutions. Solutions that don’t just take up a lot of your time, but are prone to error. So, time for a change.
‘The number of online purchases increased by 32% in early 2020 (Afterpay).
Integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 with a webshop
The many benefits of an ERP e-commerce connector
Integrating your Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform with your e-commerce platform doesn’t just give your own company several advantages, it gives your customers some as well. This fits within the increasingly demanding business market, as B2B decision-makers increasingly value a customer experience similar to their B2B purchases as they do as consumers themselves.
Advantages of an ERP e-commerce connector:
- Improved overview & insight. Allows your customers to track and update their orders in real-time. Thanks to real-time exchange of data, manual entry of orders is a thing of the past, preventing errors, saving time, and reducing operational costs.
- No more data duplication. Enables you to maintain all product data in one central hub. Information from your webshop is fed into the ERP system ensuring a “single source of truth”, minimizing inconsistencies in product data.
- Increased productivity. Reduces the amount of time your organization needs to process customers and orders. Since orders are processed automatically, an increase in customers and/or turnover does not necessarily mean more work.
- Optimal inventory and lower costs. Since online sales information is virtually instantly shown in your ERP system, this ensures that stock information is regularly updated as well. This, in turn, allows you to purchase your stock much more efficiently, further reducing costs.
- Higher customer satisfaction. You can offer customers the online shopping experience they expect of modern businesses. Customers can find what they are looking for faster and receive better service tailored to their personal preferences. Thanks to up-to-date product information, stock data, and delivery times, that now all flow from your ERP system, you enable the best of both worlds mentioned above.
The best of both worlds
A customer-focused shopping experience seems indispensable in the current era. True, combining your personal touch with the benefits of a digital shopping experience already was a challenge. But now, due to the pandemic, the impact on (online) businesses is ever more apparent.
Incorrect stock numbers, erroneous delivery addresses, manual corrections, complaints, etc. These all cost unnecessary time, money, and energy. An e-commerce connector offers the best of both worlds. Connecting your e-commerce platform directly to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP fits into a value strategy, particularly for companies with large amounts of products, varying stock, and/or customer-specific prices. Gains in efficiency by this integration allows you to spend more time and effort on what matters most: providing added value for your customers.
Want to learn more about selecting an ERP e-commerce connector?
Head over to our e-commerce connectors for more information about our solutions. You can also follow this series, in which we help you go through the selection process efficiently and effectively, allowing you to make the best choice for your organization.