There’s no denying that ecommerce continues to thrive. It’s already a $200 billion industry in the US, and it’s predicted to expand by approximately 15 percent each year. Some of this has to do with the fact that ecommerce has a lower startup cost and a broader reach than traditional brick-and-mortar retail locations. Some shoppers would also argue that the convenience—and the opportunity to shop in one’s pajamas with a cup of coffee on hand—further drives the popularity of online shopping and ecommerce.
If your business is not in ecommerce yet, it’s time to strongly reconsider that position.
Setting the Foundation for Sage 100 Ecommerce
Ecommerce may be faster to get up and running than a physical retail store. After all, there are no leases to sign or buildings to build. But, if you don’t take the time to set the right foundations for your ecommerce store, you could end up spending a lot more than necessary to open your virtual doors to shoppers.
One of your most critical decisions regarding ecommerce systems: how to coordinate customer data with Sage 100 order processing and fulfillment—aligning across multiple channels. It’s not just about getting the order into the warehouse and out the door to the customer. Many ecommerce retailers need to connect their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software with third-party logistics (3pl) providers and warehouses across the country to meet customer demands.
Know What You’re Looking For
Finding the right ecommerce system begins with knowing what you’re looking for. Start by outlining your business requirements so that you have clearly defined needs to keep both you and prospective vendors on track with getting the right solution in place. Each segment of this document should reflect not only what your company does now but also what you would like to do in the future. Get a well-rounded overview of your needs by answering questions about:
Will you keep inventory in-house or with an outside service? How do you create products and SKUs and import them into the system for tracking?
How will you document carriers, tracking, special rates, special packaging, returns, and bulk orders?
Do you need to pay state, county, and/or local tax? What about out-of-state taxes?
What payment types and methods will you accept? Will you need considerations for any special scenarios?
Will you fulfill in-house or via 3pl? What is the official workflow from order placement to customer doorstep?
While these might seem like basic questions to ask, documenting the answers for a clear view of your company’s process ensures that you only evaluate and purchase a solution that can meet these. Otherwise, you may run the risk of paying for a solution that is incapable of meeting all your needs … and then having to go through this process all over again in the all-too-near future.
Keep Systems Talking with Integration Solutions
Once you have the right ecommerce system in place, you’ll also need to ensure that all your systems talk to each other. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through an integration solution for Sage 100. With IN-SYNCH, the Sage integration solution by ROI Consulting, organizations have total confidence in real-time data synchronization between Sage and any other third-party system.
Whether you’re connecting your ERP to a 3pl provider for shipping or pulling in order data from third-party shopping carts such as Amazon, Shopify, or eBay, in its most basic form, IN-SYNCH automatically connects incoming orders to your Sage 100 system and updates order tracking information between your ERP, your website, and your customers. A standard integration adds real-time inventory updates to websites and other website shopping carts. If you still need more, ROI Consulting can provide custom integrations for almost any configuration you can imagine.
IN-SYNCH support also boasts entirely US-based, local support.
You’re Not Alone in the Process
If you’ve never had to look for ecommerce and integration solutions before, it can be a daunting task. Here at ROI Consulting, we are up to the challenge. Search our resources on Choosing the Right Integration Solution for Sage 100 or talk to any of our integration experts online or by calling 402-934-2223, ext. 1.