An Omnichannel Approach to Manufacturing
The buzz surrounding omnichannel marketing and sales strategies tends to originate from retail businesses. But the omnichannel approach has infiltrated the manufacturing industry in a big way. Most B2B buyers crave a B2C experience. They want cohesive shopping experiences across different channels, but they find that their B2B customer journeys fall short.
One of the best ways to differentiate your manufacturing business through omnichannel strategies is to integrate your ERP and eCommerce systems. Though many manufacturers recognize the importance of implementing an ERP system to streamline their supply chain, several are slow to realize that eCommerce is just as important. An eCommerce platform makes it easier for clients to discover you, complete a sale and return for more products. The combined power of eCommerce and ERP creates a consistent, omnichannel shopping experience to give your manufacturing firm a competitive edge.
Omnichannel vs. Multichannel
Before we explain how to take advantage of an ERP and eCommerce integration for omnichannel success, we’re backing up to explain the differences between omnichannel and multichannel strategies. Both terms are often used in the same conversation and sometimes interchangeably, but the subtle differences between the two approaches amount to considerable differences in your sales and marketing strategies.
A multichannel approach is heavily siloed, with each channel managed separately. That means email campaigns involve different personnel, goals and processes than social media marketing. This approach derives from an assumption that customers prefer to engage solely through one channel. However, businesses have increasingly found this assumption to be false. Though some customers stick to a single channel, plenty migrate through different channels and desire a consistent experience whether they’re online or in a store.
That’s why omnichannel strategies have taken precedence over multichannel strategies. Omnichannel focuses on each customer, providing a cohesive experience throughout the channels they utilize. By sharing information across departments, omnichannel methods eradicate siloes to ensure customers are served efficiently throughout their journey.
Integrated Software for Integrated Channels
Implementing an omnichannel approach to sales and marketing requires data accessibility, collaboration and transparency throughout an organization. This proves tricky for manufacturers who must balance high consumer expectations with profitability. An ERP and eCommerce integration creates a central hub of data to drive omnichannel experiences without sacrificing a manufacturer’s bottom line.
Keeping your online customer information siloed in your eCommerce platform doesn’t help manufacturers deliver consistent service outside of the website. An integration ensures that order information from the eCommerce system syncs into the ERP platform to provide a complete view of customers. This insight enables users to deliver personalized experiences throughout the customer journey, no matter which channels are utilized. Plus, the immediate transfer of order information into your ERP facilitates fast, accurate deliveries.
An ERP and eCommerce integration can also help your enterprise meet the specific challenges of omnichannel sales and marketing. For example, customers can easily purchase products online and pick up their purchases in the store. The online order is immediately available in the ERP system, giving the service desk the information they need to provide the right product to the right customer in the store. Additionally, whenever a stockout occurs, the eCommerce platform can immediately update the site to ensure customers stay informed.
Omnichannel isn’t just for retail. Delivering robust, cohesive customer experiences is a must for manufacturing success, and this success is within reach when you integrate eCommerce and ERP. With Datix, manufacturers can gain a single solution for ERP and eCommerce. Epicor Commerce Connect (ECC) is a sophisticated eCommerce system tightly integrated with Epicor ERP or Prophet 21. Built from Magento's leading eCommerce platform, ECC offers user-friendly functionality to make it easy to launch a successful online store.
As an Epicor Gold Partner and eCommerce expert, Datix has the skill to transform your business through software. Let our certified consultants help you enhance customer experiences and modernize your strategies. Reach out to Datix today to learn more!