When it comes to e-commerce fulfillment, it can be hard to keep up with ever-changing buyer expectations. One way to ensure you can continue to meet demand is by laying a strong foundation: clear, reliable communication. ERP-integrated e-commerce can help you make this happen.
Fulfillment Disruption: the Usual Suspect
If you want to build a future-proof fulfillment strategy for your web store, you have to understand what’s driving rapid change in buyer expectations. Who could it be, disrupting the e-commerce market so thoroughly?
The answer, unsurprisingly, is Amazon.
Amazon Prime was launched in 2005. For a flat annual fee, members could enjoy two-day shipping on approximately a million items at no extra cost. That doesn’t sound exciting today, until you consider that at the time consumers were used to waiting 4–6 business days for their order to arrive.
Today Prime members enjoy next-day or even same-day delivery on select items —
This isn’t to say that you should emulate with Amazon. Not every company can
Don’t worry: you don’t have to purchase your own drone delivery fleet. All you need to do is give your clients something much more valuable: choice.
And omnichannel is how you can do it.
Omnichannel: the Future of Fulfillment
Omnichannel is about giving your clients the same experience on all channels. This means the same information, the same tone, the same branding — it should be as natural as switching from text to phone to email with a friend or colleague.
By giving your clients more communication options, you’re giving them more control. If they want to ask specific, detailed questions, they can call your sales rep like they always have. However, if all they want is to double-check the size of a product, or the latest price, then it’s much more convenient to just visit your web store. If they just have a quick question, maybe a social media message would be easier for them.
Omnichannel doesn’t just work for order placement, though: it also lets you give your clients more options when it comes to order delivery.
How? Again, it comes down to giving your clients a choice. Imagine: you have both a brick-and-mortar and a web store — also known as click and mortar. If you have your omnichannel strategy down pat, you can not only offer delivery to clients who purchase in store, but in-store pickup for your web store clients.
All you need is a single source of truth and smart integration. With your ERP system you already have the former, and an integrated e-commerce solution gives you the latter.
Here’s how ERP e-commerce helps you offer future-proof fulfillment.
Mastering Omnichannel Fulfillment With ERP-Integrated E-Commerce
Your ERP is your business’s one-stop shop for all the logic and data needed to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. This makes it the perfect foundation for your omnichannel strategy, both for order management and fulfillment.
Here’s how our clients are knocking their fulfillment out of the park with integrated e-commerce.
Example 1: Immediate Insight Into Different Inventory
Your client needs a specific item and they need it as soon as possible. These situations are never pleasant, but they can be a lot less stressful if you, as their trusted supplier, could grant immediate insight into your inventory levels, especially per warehouse.
Sana Commerce can make this a reality. Web store visitors can see and select items from specific, nearby warehouse locations — no need to worry about having to wait for a cross-country shipment.
Example 2: Order and Pay Online, Pick up in Store
Another way to help clients get their order as soon as possible is in-store pickup. This might sound a little obvious. After all, isn’t instant gratification one of the benefits of visiting a physical store?
However, by combining online orders and in-store pickup, you can offer the best of both worlds. Clients can place orders outside opening hours and easily pay online. Thanks to Sana’s seamless integration, the order is immediately available in the ERP. So when your clients visit your store, they don’t have to waste precious time browsing: they can just head to the service desk and be on their way.
Example 3: Streamlined Returns Management
Fulfillment isn’t just getting orders from you to your client. Unfortunately, sometimes packages have to make the journey back.
Sana Commerce can’t make returns easier to stomach, but we can certainly make them easier to process. Clients can register reverse logistics via the web store, where they are validated in real time, and then created directly in the ERP. No synchronization (or unpleasant phone calls) required.
Get Your Guide to Omnichannel for B2B
Want to learn more about the nitty gritty of B2B omnichannel? Our ebook covers everything from the challenges B2B companies face to tips for creating your own omnichannel strategy: