In a retail environment there are potentially thousands of products, each generating multiple data points. Bottlenecks in planning your sales cycles and managing products and other inventory can slow things down, reduce already tight margins and affect customer satisfaction.
An effective ERP solution will give you an overview of your whole business, so that you can keep track of stock and sales on your own website as well as with partners, affiliates, and third parties.
Integration with an ecommerce platform like BigCommerce is a powerful way to gain a competitive advantage in this fast-moving environment. Add the flexibility of a software as a service (SaaS) solution in the Cloud and your retail business will have a flexible, scalable route map to the future.
Your business can have the functionality it needs to connect every step of each customer’s journey and to manage the operational challenges all retailers face. Tracking inventory and optimising supply chains, while integrating these with financial information and customer loyalty programs will deliver customer service that places you ahead of your competition.
A single, affordable solution can manage your entire retail enterprise, streamlining your operations from start to finish, accelerating growth and providing you with the right data to make the best decisions for your business.
Connecting BigCommerce and SAP
Integrating BigCommerce and SAP will allow you to automate business processes and share data. Your ecommerce site will become part of your whole business, delivering information almost instantaneously to back-office processes.
In a SaaS-based solution your ecommerce storefront is hosted on a
Cloud-based server with the connector or adapter communicating with your ERP system across a secure internet connection.
As an alternative, you might want to host your ERP or customer relationship management (CRM) system at your own premises, behind a firewall, for example.
Then all you need is a secure direct connection with your Cloud-based ecommerce platform or middleware hub.
SAP can cater for all sizes of business. If you’re a small to medium size business then SAP Business One is a good place to start, and for larger organisations SAP S/4HANA.
It’s designed to grow with your business, helping you to streamline key processes and learn more about how your business works, allowing you to make decisions based on real-time information.
Benefits of integrating BigCommerce and SAP
An integrated solution allows you to collect data on customers, partners and suppliers. You can also manage your finances, such as general ledger, account maintenance, budgets and foreign currencies. Product information, inventory levels and shipment data can all be organized seamlessly.
SAP Business One can also be integrated with Microsoft ® Outlook, so you can quickly exchange and share data and useful reports.
Your ecommerce sales will appear in your ERP system, alongside all your other sales channels, so you can effectively plan your supply chain and have a complete financial view of your business. Order-processing can take place automatically and efficiently in your back-office systems, allowing you to deliver fast and accurate order fulfilment. Your customers can be kept informed every step of the way with auto updates as their order is processed.
Importantly, your stock levels will be synchronized with your online inventory allowing you to avoid those problematic ‘out of stock’ situations. You can also accommodate guest buyers, keeping track of their orders and giving you opportunities to convert them into loyal long-term customers.
Product data – you can transfer product categories from SAP to BigCommerce so you can easily manage and control how your products are presented online from within SAP. This includes your product listings and prices, making your online catalog much easier to manage and ensuring that you can maintain accurate cross-channel strategies.
You can launch new products and de-list old products automatically, so you can save time and avoid manual errors.
Digital assets – your product images are a cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy and an important part of the online experience for your customers, helping them decide to buy. Depending on your products you might need to include technical specifications or multiple images from various angles. With an integrated solution you can maintain all your digital assets in one place, synchronize them and make sure they are suitable for search engine optimization (SEO).
Pricing – in SAP you can simulate pricing calculations and make sure that your business rules are reflected in your online store. You can plan your revenue and profit margins and set up pricing rules in SAP. You won’t need spreadsheets or manual calculations, virtually eliminating the risk of errors and inconsistencies.
Stock management – customer satisfaction is often damaged when the product they want is out of stock. If they go somewhere else to meet their needs, they might never return. Reliable stock availability information is important for your business credibility. BigCommerce gives visibility of goods which are in stock. Its requested delivery dates feature supports available to promise (ATP) responses and improves your overall efficiency.
You can map and synchronize stock levels from SAP to BigCommerce to make sure you always have a single version of truth. Your purchasing team can centrally manage procurement, fully aware of demand, to control your inventory management.
Order management – online orders will automatically appear in SAP and can trigger order fulfilment. Increased volume can be managed without overloading your operational team. Automating your complete order to cash cycle will improve your cashflow and overall efficiency.
Delivery information – customers expect accurate information about the status of their orders from confirmation to despatch and delivery. As soon as their order is on its way, SAP can automatically update BigCommerce and provide a tracking number, to keep your customers fully informed.
Williams Commerce is a BigCommerce Elite Partner, delivering enterprise ecommerce and integration projects around the world. Our BigCommerce clients include marine wear specialists, Gill Marine, sportswear brand, Shock Absorber, and children’s footwear company, Startrite. We have a key partnership with SAP to deliver system integration projects.
To find out more about how BigCommerce and SAP integration could benefit your retail business please get in touch.