Chances are you’ve
looked into taking your business online at sometime over the past three
years. But the chances are just about the same you decided against it
because you just weren’t convinced it made sense for your business.
Issues of security, complexity and cost likely ‘backburnered’ your
decision to go online.
On top of that we’re continually pummeled by media stories whose sole
focus seems to be the sell side of doing business on line. There is
little of relevance on how a properly executed e-commerce strategy can
thread all your business systems together.
Shopping Cart System
Turning the sell side into a unifying and automating force requires the
right tools in the right place. Too many companies make the mistake of
simply putting their catalog into a shopping cart system. They’ve been
so enchanted with the idea of selling online that they’ve looked at
these shopping cart systems as stand alone applications. Too late they
realize that it should have integrated with their other business
Implementing any e-commerce solution that does not directly pull orders
into your inventory application is a mistake.
Solutions that pull data from the sell side into inventory AND push from
inventory to the sell side are ideal.
To know what we mean by these statements you need to understand what is
meant by ‘pull’ and by ‘push’. Simply put pull refers to the flow of
data from your web sales front to your inventory back end application.
Push is the inverse of this flow and in both cases the data connection
Many shopping cart applications will export their data to a file which
in turn must be either manually or electronically loaded into an
inventory and/or accounting system. This is not considered direct nor an
example of pulling in the data.
Solutions like AdvancePro (forgive us for naming our software but it is
what we know best) both push and pull and are considered to have
bi-directional synchronization. This means that orders placed on line
are pulled directly in. Orders are then processed according to business
logic created within AdvancePro.
On the ‘push’ side, all changes made in AdvancePro affecting items,
pricing and customers are reflected immediately in the web storefront.
In this way AdvancePro takes on the role of content manager. This
ensures customers are always presented with accurate pricing, product
and stock information.
Customer Specific Experience
Beyond bi-directional synchronization your e-commerce solution should be
able to present a customer specific experience. What they see as far as
pricing, specials and stock should be no different than if they were to
phone their order in.
AdvancePro lets you set customer specific pricing based on variables
like order volume, current promotions, particular products and variants.
When a customer logs into your web store he is presented with his
current pricing schedule. What she sees on the web would be no different
from what she hears when placing an order personally.
Time to Think Again
Adding an e-commerce solution that it is tightly integrated with your
inventory and accounting won’t transform your business overnight. But if
your opinions of the value of e-commerce have been based on a stand
alone application we think it’s time to think again.