If you transact with your customers via the Internet, should you be looking at an e-commerce platform? Whether you have an e-commerce website, or will implement one soon, how do you integrate it with your back-office accounting or ERP system so that customer orders get processed quickly and thoroughly? Choosing an e-commerce solution is one part of the business challenge, getting it to work with existing systems is the other. So what do you do to ensure transactions and data are synchronized?
These questions are being raised because the omni-channel business model is driving companies to set up websites so that they can offer their products and services over the Internet, as well as via mobile phones. There are some companies that have the capital and resources to implement a new system that combines an e-commerce front-end with back office functionality. Most organizations though opt to keep their existing systems and integrate the e-commerce engine into the rest of the business. One of the most popular e-commerce solutions is WooCommerce, a free open source plugin for WordPress that is designed for small to large-sized online merchants.
Implementing an e-commerce is a major project, and when it comes to getting WooCommerce to work with your back office systems, you need to address these key issues.
- Don’t expect to update products and capture orders manually. While it may seem cost effective, it actually costs more in terms of staff time and errors that occur.
- What data do you need to synchronize? The main master data items will be customers, inventory, and pricing.
- What transaction fields need to be integrated? This will vary depending on the type of industry.
- How are you going to automate the data integration? For large volumes of data this is important as updating it all can take time, so you need to have the capability to just make changes to items that have changed.