By David Rastatter, Sr. Director, Product Marketing
Even before COVID-19 disrupted the retail industry, there were already changes afoot. Digital commerce has become essential for retail businesses that want to exist in the future. One of the needed strategies is moving to connected commerce. Connected Commerce is a personalized method of integrating in-store and online experiences so customers can shop, purchase, and receive goods in the way that works for them–on their terms.
Electronic Data Interchange Is Part of the Solution
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) integration is one way to streamline workflows and processes. EDI integration enables the virtual data exchange between trading partners. EDI integration shares customer, order, inventory data etc efficiently and easily between trading partners and their systems (ERP, CRM, etc.). It is a mandatory capability required by retailers to exchange goods with sellers, suppliers, and manufacturers.
EDI integration leverages automation to eliminate the need for people to process and enter data manually to get orders out. Automating processes has several benefits including:
- Eliminating errors that are inherent to having employees process data
- Streamlining workflows to take some of the tasks out of employees’ hands so they can focus on more urgent matters
- Eliminating data silos so information is easily accessible across teams, departments, and the business
Unfortunately, relying on manual data entry to process orders, shipments, and inventory counts can cause many challenges including inaccurate inventory counts that leave teams scrambling to find products and adjust shipments. Packages could also go out with the wrong shipping address if the address on the order does not reflect the address in the trading partners ERP. All of these obstacles will increase turnaround time and leave unhappy retailers and customers.
Is Your E-Commerce Shop Ready for the Holiday Season?
For those who still use manual processes, consider whether your shop is ready for the holiday season. It might seem far away right now, but it will be upon us sooner than you might expect. If you aren’t prepared, you need to be. Not being prepared can leave you dealing with several issues, such as:
- Relying on manual data entry to process a large number of orders
- Running into situations where resources and staff are limited
- Keeping a frictionless e-commerce customer experience
- Handling a backlog of orders that need immediate processing
- Scaling through hiring more data-entry workers which increases overhead
- Keeping inventory records accurately updated
Many of these problems can be solved with EDI integration. You can leverage automation to and workflows to process orders, handle shipping, and update inventory counts, so your staff can help customers. Connecting different applications such as ERP or CRM with EDI ensures a seamless exchange of data throughout the entire retail chain, so managing holiday orders is a breeze compared to years past.
Remaining Successful in The Retail Space in the Face of Change
Are you ready to learn more about EDI integration and how to implement it? Achieving Connected Commerce in Retail is loaded with information and use cases so you can be successful as you scale, manage, and innovate your business.