8 Reasons all B2C Ecommerce Companies Need an Integrated ERP
Global e-commerce revenues hit new highs in 2020, driven in part by a shift in consumer buying behaviors during the pandemic and also by the steady increase in business-to-consumer (B2C) sales that were already shifting online. According to eMarketer, worldwide retail ecommerce sales grew 27.6% to $4.280 trillion in 2020 (while worldwide retail sales declined by 3.0% to $23.839 trillion). For 2021, the research firm is forecasting global ecommerce growth of 14.3%.
Wanting to grab their share of the growing ecommerce pie, B2C companies are reaching into new markets, attracting new customer segments, and broadening out their product offerings. Many are also looking at their current business systems and realizing that their disparate applications, disconnected solutions, and spreadsheets simply don’t cut it anymore.
Like many organizations that are facing the forces of “digital transformation” change in 2021, B2C ecommerce organizations need integrated, cloud-based enterprise systems that can run their end-to-end operations. These disparate, inflexible systems were often cobbled together as the company’s needs grew—a new system for fulfillment added one day, and a completely different invoicing application tacked on the next.
While functional in their own right, these bolted-on and basic systems can literally throttle a business’ growth and potential. Team members manage in information silos; reports takes weeks to generate and share; and getting a 360-degree view of business performance is nearly impossible.
8 Reasons to Consider Cloud ERP
For help solving these problems, B2C ecommerce companies are turning to cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions like NetSuite, which bring all facets of their business onto a single, unified platform that can be accessed from anywhere. Here are eight more reasons why all B2C companies need an integrated ERP:
1) Save time. Running an ecommerce business involves a wide range of tasks—from entering data into forms to responding to customer requests to expediting orders, and everything in between. When some or all of these tasks are automated using an integrated ERP, it reduces the need for manual processes, minimizes errors, and allows team members to focus on more important, high-value tasks.
2) Get orders out the door quickly. Once an order is placed online, you have to be able to process, pick/pack, and ship that order as quickly as possible in order to meet your customers’ delivery time frame expectations. Getting these steps accomplished across hundreds or thousands of orders daily requires a well-orchestrated process that can’t be easily accomplished using multiple disparate solutions and manual systems.
3) Close the operational gaps. As products physically move from the distribution center to the transportation mode to the final destination, an ERP can manage any and all of these processes that may have previously been handled manually (or, using a patchwork of different applications). With an integrated ERP, order data is transferred in real-time to order management, warehousing systems, and transportation management systems (among others). This helps ecommerce companies close operational gaps and create a more streamlined, end-to-end supply chain.
4) Get happier customers. The correlation between customer service and customer is stronger than ever in today’s ecommerce selling environment, where the next competitor is always just one single mouse click or screen tap away. When CEBA’s B2C ecommerce clients integrate their ecommerce storefront with an ERP, customer service reps can respond to requests, fix problems, and address issues faster. They can also provide order status updates, handle refunds/returns, and do everything else that customers have come to expect in today’s fast-paced ecommerce environment.
5) Improve inventory management. The days when it was okay to have incorrect inventory numbers posted on an ecommerce storefront are long gone, and customers know it. They expect to be able to check stock, get accurate inventory location information, and get an accurate ship date without having to make a call or send an email. Using an integrated ERP, B2C ecommerce companies have a complete, updated view of their inventory, know when to replenish, and understand where everything is at any given time.
6) Give customers order updates. At CEBA Solutions, we know customers want their orders fulfilled in full and on time. And when that doesn’t go exactly as planned, they want accurate order updates. Using NetSuite ERP, we help ecommerce companies track information and share it with their own customers in real-time and around the clock. By automating customer updates, for example, companies can not only more efficiently address requests, but their customer service teams can be freed up to focus on more complex requests.
7) Improve the online experience. The better your customers’ online experience, the more they’ll return to your B2C store for products and services. By combining an integrated ERP solution like NetSuite with an experienced implementation partner like CEBA Solutions, you can vastly improve your customers’ online experience and keep them coming back for more. For example, your ERP will automatically receive orders, manage fulfillment, notify customers when their orders ship, and let you know when those shipments are received.
8) Increase productivity. If manual processes and a “hairball” of disparate technology systems are holding your company back, it’s time to get onboard with an integrated ERP that all team members can use as a single source of truth. Rather than asking each other for spreadsheets, searching the warehouse for stock, and/or transferring data back and forth between systems, team members can tap into the ERP’s automated capabilities and focus only on core tasks. This not only helps increase productivity, but it will also make people want to work for your tech-forward, modern company for years to come.
Combined, these benefits should make any B2C ecommerce company want to explore the possibilities that NetSuite Cloud ERP and CEBA Solutions have to offer. Contact us to today to get the conversation started: www.cebasolutions.com.