Distribution companies increasingly adopt a new way of selling: e-commerce. By using an e-commerce order management system, a distribution company reaps the benefits of a burgeoning online marketplace while allowing customers more access and control.
Customers in the B2B and B2C realms are more tech-savvy than ever. Purchasing agents from the individual to the multi-national corporate level are logging into e-commerce stores and customer portals to purchase their goods and services because it's easier and faster.
Once customers register with your website and get used to the navigation, their likelihood of finding and purchasing from another supplier decreases drastically. They now have a familiar and trusted place to buy, just like a local store. Allowing your customers to login and place their orders and track transaction activity inspires confidence and loyalty and may help keep their business in the long term.
A good e-commerce order management system can also improve visibility for sales reps. Real-time inventory and sales reporting benefits sales staff since they can intelligently communicate with and sell to new and existing customers. Additionally, visibility is improved on the customer’s side, providing a reliable overview of the lifecycle of the order.
To take advantage of a good e-commerce order management system, it’s important to integrate it with your back-office applications. Web orders should be automatically imported to your ERP system for processing, fulfillment, and billing. Reports and other tasks can then be driven from the data imported. Customer relationship information can be tracked effectively to both improve customer relationships and maintain an accurate database for customer communication and marketing activities.
Integrating your e-commerce order management system with your ERP, CRM, and inventory systems is the best way to maintain accurate data and reports. This provides your management team with the visibility they need to run a profitable business while allowing your business to expand globally. Cloud systems, like NetSuite, support this and are also scalable to grow with your company. Additionally, when your systems are managed in the cloud, you no longer have the high IT costs and overhead. Your system is upgraded automatically whenever there is a new release. and it’s during off-hours so your business is not interrupted.
Customers who log in to your web store will benefit from this security and continuity. Their orders will be fulfilled quickly, and your sales and support teams can manage support easily from the same window. You can also notify your customers at each stage of the order process; for example, when the order is received by your system, when it’s fulfilled and shipped, and even when it’s billed. Increased visibility for you and the customer can translate to growing customer loyalty and return business.
If your business has not yet entered the realm of e-commerce order management, start investigating it. A web store buying option is no longer optional for many businesses. Customers who use services like Amazon in their daily lives are growing to expect the same when purchasing for the office.
The expert team at Business Solution Partners will help you integrate your e-commerce order management system with your ERP, CRM, and inventory systems. Contact us to learn more!