If you get a headache trying to keep up with all of the options for connecting omni-channel commerce to your existing ERP system, you are not alone, pardner.
Native ERP connectors, iPaaS, eCommerce platforms, traditional EDI platforms – you name it, everyone wants a piece of the action. Can we get some sort of standardization across platforms? Apparently not.
So how do you decide the best path forward for your retail commerce focused food company?
Here are some guidelines:
Use native ERP integration connectors when they are available – This keeps you out of the surly world of cost per each transaction. If you have a large number of transactions through a more obscure marketplace, then it may be wise to at least investigate the cost to have a native ERP connector created for that marketplace. This will have a higher up-front cost for the connector, but that sometimes can equal less cost over the long haul.
Use ecommerce platforms or traditional EDI providers for connections to your low transaction volume marketplaces – The per transaction costs are more palatable at lower volumes, and if that volume grows significantly, then you can investigate the native connector creation option.
If you are connected to many different marketplaces / eCommerce sites, investigate the use of a Product Information Management (PIM) system (see chart below)–A PIM does a great job of managing the various pieces of content collateral that get sent to different marketplaces. Not all marketplaces require the same information, and a PIM system is great at handling these different requirements.
Make sure you ask the hard questions – Software and eCommerce companies are good at showing you what they do well, but don’t leave any stone unturned in your questioning of the solution. We have found that there are often large holes in some of the existing solutions.
Automation across multiple eCommerce sites and marketplaces is an absolute must in today’s business environment. It has become almost impossible to manage manually. The people here at SimplyFood have a good grasp on how this all works and can help you sort it out. The landscape in the omni-channel retail commerce sector seems to change daily, so find a partner you can trust to help you navigate the obstacles along the way.