Connect Your eCommerce With ERP! Here Are Its Tangible Benefits

No doubt, eCommerce is a booming phenomenon in the trade and business world. Slowly and eventually, we all got habituated with the convenient online shops that are selling everything we need to buy from physical storefronts.But, things aren’t that easy as it seems for the online retailers! While offering goods on an online portal, there are various shortcomings too that they need to be aware of. Some of them are operational inefficiency, slow accounting, lack of departmental coordination and inventory management problems. The main reason behind all these? One eCommerce platform, but too many tasks to handle! Front-desk selling to stock keeping and other admin functions. So, it is natural that eCommerce stores are plagued with problems, mainly inefficiency and poor coordination. Integrating an ERP solution with the backend functions of the eCommerce platform solves all the problem so that you can have control over everything from one point. Here’s how.

#1 Synchronisation of sales ordersInstead of manually transferring every order from the eCommerce system to your separate ERP, you can now save all your sales order data automatically. Yes. Integration makes that seamlessly and as quickly as possible. So, you have now less turnaround time as every order accepted online starts with fulfilment process over the ERP.#2 Inventory management gets easierWhile doing trade online, retailers mostly face the issues like double data entry, demand variations, stock-outs, bullwhip effect, SKUs mismanagement, and so forth. These are obvious because inventories are huge for online businesses and are essentially stored in warehouses in different locations. After integration with ERP, all warehouses information are synced up together at one centre and are fed into the eCommerce system, so sellers can take and dispatch orders wisely.#3 Accounting supportNumbers of sales/purchase are at the heart of every business. Exact accounting figures are essential as that help business to flourish in the sales front and manual data entry/interpretation result in flawed figures. ERP integrated with eCommerce platform help retailers or their accountants to better flow of information of data like shipping costs, dispatch expenses, sales revenue, etc. and subsequently in accounting.

#4 Enhanced Customer satisfactionSyncing all information related to customers can better help businesses in offering personalised services to them and provide maximum satisfaction. Integrating ERP results in an automatic update of every customer details on the eCommerce panel so that retailers can change offers for them accordingly.The hassles of managing an eCommerce store alongside a separate ERP system are many. But, you need an ERP system deliberately to have control over all your process and safe-keep all customer credentials. So, it is worth integrating the two to have streamlined control and coordination between the frontend and backend operations.

7 Secrets of Successful Selling to Retailers

So you’ve invented the next great gadget, and you’re sure it’ll be a hit. In fact, you’ve got cartons of inventory stored in every room of your house that you’re itching to sell. Your friends and family said they “love it”, but how can you get retailers to “love it” enough to place an order with you?

Below are 7 secrets of successfully selling to retailers. While most of the secrets are common sense, it amazes me how many entrepreneurs, inventors, and small manufacturers trying everything except these 7 secrets.

1. Know the retailer you want your products in

Not every retailer will buy your product. Most retailers have a niche that they fill. Find out which type of customer will buy your product. Is a bargain shopper or an upscale trendsetter? If you sell low-end kitchen gadgets, perhaps a mass merchant like Walmart or K-Mart would be a better fit for your products versus Bed Bath and Beyond or Macys.

2. Know your product and why retail buyers should purchase it

Why should a retail buyer buy your product? Is it price, features, or something else? Be prepared to thoroughly discuss the features & benefits of your product, how it is better or different than similar products on the market and why a retailer would want to carry it. Without knowing what single thing differentiates your product from the thousands of similar products out there, you are just wasting your time in getting a retail buyer’s attention.

3. Know your program before calling a retail buyer

I’m talking about things like order minimums, “floor and ceiling costs”, suggested retail price, pre-paid freight versus collect, packaging specs, payment terms, returns to vendor, etc. Retail buyers will ask you some very tough questions and you need to know the details of your program, forwards and backwards.

4. Know what marketing or sales promotions you will provide to drive sales

If you think your job is done once the retailer gives you the first purchase order, you are unfortunately mistaken. Don’t worry… a lot of small vendors forget this as well. Your post-sales job is to help retailers sell through the inventory that they just bought from you. As the retailer sells through your inventory, what do they do next? They buy MORE from you. Whether it is funding in-store promotions or simply listing the retailer’s URL on your website, driving more customers to your retailers is a MUST-DO action step.

5. Know what type of retail packaging will fit on the retailer’s shelf

Retailers will want to know what type of packaging your product comes in because they almost always have very limited space to work with – is it a bag with hanging hook or is it something they will have to put on a shelf?

Big-box retailers (like Target, Walmart, Sears, etc) will definitely want to see the product AND the packaging. They are VERY specific about their store image, their customer and their available “real estate”. They want your product in their hands for review before proceeding any further

You don’t necessarily HAVE to provide samples-but be ready to if they request them. Some retailers need to see, feel and smell a product before carrying it. It is acceptable to charge for samples, especially if they are big ticket items or difficult to ship.

6. Know what press clips, awards or accolades your product has received

You will want to show retail buyers these things because oftentimes, these things will SELL your product for you. Favorable press shows a retailer that your product is “worthy” of being on their shelves, that it has real salability. Retail buyers hate to buy a product that has been untested in the “real world” or has not received any press, awards or accolades.

7. Know if you want to handle the sales function yourself or outsource it to someone else

While most owners of small companies think they are capable of selling to retailers, in actuality, they cannot. Taking care of a retail account once the sale has been completed is just as hard as the sell itself to the retailer. If you are not comfortable with sales, consider outsourcing this function to an independent sales rep. Usually, independent sales reps work on commission-typically 10-15% of any sales they land for you. You can usually find sales reps on industry trade websites, trade publication ads or through word of mouth.