eCommerce makes the world go round, so running an online store with the proper eCommerce accounting software or an even more powerful ERP system with built-in eCommerce functionality - like Blue Link - is essential. To prove that point, over this past week, one of our favorite Blue Linker’s shared a story of how his wife went online to one of the Big Box Stores (as this is the new norm) to order a new canopy for the deck in their backyard – a process that millions of people do daily. She found one she wanted and the quantity available for the item showed that there were 2 remaining in stock for pick up. His wife ordered the new canopy, received confirmation of her order and payment, and as a result of new COVID requirements was informed in the same confirmation email that she would receive a notification once again via email when the product would be ready for pick-up at the local store. I’m sure everyone reading is nodding in agreement that they have also gone through a very similar situation, a situation that isn’t always as simple as it seems.
Let’s jump ahead to five days later where she has still not received a second email. It is at this time that our Blue Linker’s wife has now begun to grow a little impatient as she really really wants the canopy. So, fed up with waiting, it is now officially time to make a phone call to the Big Box Store. After a half dozen or so rings, the customer service department answers her call and informs her that the order fulfillment pushed back 2-3 days due to COVID, and on top of that they no longer have the product in stock and therefore they will be canceling the order. “Oops, sorry.” Not quite what you want to hear when you’re wondering where your order is. I can hear the sighs of disappointed shoppers from here – we’ve all been through it.
Our Blue Linker’s first reaction to hearing what the Big Box Store had to say and the reaction of his dear wife was, “Never stand between a woman and her canopy.” After going through three different so-called “sales associates”, and then the store manager, his wife came out victorious. Not only did she secure a better canopy at the same price as the initially ordered canopy, but they also scored same day pick up of the item. Not only that, but the store manager was waiting for her at the front of the store with a smile on his face. With a strong core system in place, like Blue Link ERP with its long list of amazing features, like eCommerce accounting software and eCommerce integration, the tools are there to ensure the customer is always satisfied.
So, why is this story pertinent? In today’s world where online ordering is a way of life, it is really important to make sure that the inventory quantity that is present on your website is accurate and not 2-3 days behind. People, especially people ready to spend their hard-earned money, don’t want to wait and they don’t want their order delayed. If you want your customer to use your website or online order portal to purchase products from you, they want to know accurate availability, and they want their stuff now. Blue Link ERP - with its built-in eCommerce and eCommerce accounting software features - allocates available inventory as a sales order formulates, with the ability to integrate directly into your eCommerce website or by using our own B2B Online Order Portal – this provides accurate inventory availability to your customers, ensuring their immediate satisfaction. The more smooth the process for them, and the faster they receive the product, the more likely they are to return and shop again.
We are currently in a time where eCommerce is skyrocketing. It is already an insanely fast-growing space, but with the lockdown orders and most stores closed – only now being slowly reopened – your only option to shop for several weeks was online. During lockdown, according to information quoted from Forbes, “U.S. retailers’ online year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth is up 68% as of mid-April, surpassing an earlier peak of 49% in early January. There’s also been a 129% year-over-year growth in U.S. & Canadian e-commerce orders as of April 21 and an impressive 146% growth in all online retail orders.” Online shopping is just going up and up, with no end in sight, so having the software and the processes to ensure that online transactions arrive without issue is a must. Customers want ease of use, they want items in stock, and they want reliable service, with items shipped right to their door. If your business begins to fail in any of those areas, you will see a loss of sales and a loss of customers, something that you must avoid at all costs. There are plenty of places to shop, and they’re only a click away.
Percentage of eCommerce Consumer Sales Growth (Source)
If your eCommerce website or B2B online order portal does not communicate with your ERP software or eCommerce accounting software, there are a number of issues you should have concern about:
Accurate inventory – does your website reflect what is actually in your warehouse?
Accurate prices – do you have different pricing for different B2B customers? Our built-in eCommerce accounting software can help with that.
Time it takes to update website – having to update multiple systems and websites that are not integrated is a very time-consuming and error prone process
Customer satisfaction – with so many options, customers can easily find the product they need from another website
Lost revenue – especially if online is your only available sales channel
Ready to learn more about how Blue Link can help you and your business? Please let us know – we’re always happy to talk.