When most of us think of ecommerce, we probably think of B2C businesses like Amazon.com, but Forrester Research projects that B2B ecommerce will be twice the size of B2C by the year 2020, accounting for 13% of all B2B sales. If you haven’t already deployed an ecommerce storefront for your manufacturing or distribution business, chances are that you soon will, and many B2B companies select Magento for ecommerce because of its flexibility to meet their unique needs. Magento’s Enterprise Edition allows businesses to create powerful ecommerce experiences for their customers, making it easier for potential customers to find products through a Google search or online social promotion.
To unlock the full value of ecommerce in a B2B environment, you will need to integrate your storefront with your back-office systems. Otherwise your customer experience will not be much different from the catalogs and phone ordering of the past. Customers will be unable to tell whether products are in stock when they view them in the store. They will have to call your customer service team to get updates on shipping and delivery dates. And manual data entry will inevitably lead to errors.
Here are four of the biggest reasons Magento integration is a crucial action for your manufacturing company:
1. Sales Transparency
By integrating Magento with your back-office ERP system, your Customer Service Reps can access an updated stock and customer database at any time, from any device. Whether orders have come online, in person or over the phone, all that data will be available.
2. Customer Visibility
A Magento ecommerce site integrated with your ERP can allow your customers to see stock levels, production times and more. They’ll get the most accurate information instantly, without the hassle of having to call and check that the items that they want are in stock. The ease of use and transparency will keep your customers coming back.
3. Easy Ordering
Without a connection between ERP and Magento, online ordering involves extra work and data re-entry for your business. Once an order comes through your store, someone must transfer that information into your back-office system manually. Aside from the extra time that data exchange takes, it also increases the likelihood of human error. If the team member makes a mistake entering product quantities, shipping times or some other crucial detail, you will end up with an unhappy customer. Integrating Magento and ERP removes the risk of costly miscalculations.
4. Promote Company Flexibility
Anyone using the Magento integration will be able to see all the data they need—customer, system admin, your service reps and sales teams. As long as they have a device that can access your enterprise system, they’ll be able to see orders, inventory levels and customer details. When you put that kind of information at your employees’ fingertips, you instantly promote flexibility. Sales people don’t need to wait for someone to respond to email, and your manufacturing managers know exactly what they need to make and can plan production accordingly.
One Example – Versa-Tags
An integrated online store will allow your business to promote transparency throughout your entire organization — right from your shop floor to your customer.
Versa-Tags is a B2B company that decided on a Magento and Epicor ERP integration for scalability. They chose the integration specialists at Datix to integrate Magento and Epicor using Scribe Online, Scribe’s versatile integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). With Magento, a business like Versa-Tags can deliver an integrated and customized shopping platform across any device with built-in themes, or use the platform’s unique open source code to customize its own.
To learn more about integrating Magento with your back office systems, watch the on-demand webinar “Integrated Commerce with the Scribe Magento Connector.”