How to manage Magento order cycle through ERP?
When your customers place the order on the ecommerce site, they are anxious to see the product in their hands as soon as possible. You can increase their confidence in your store by updating them at various stages of the order fulfillment cycle like when the order is confirmed, when it is shipped, when the shipment has left the main warehouse and when it is expected in the local warehouse, etc. This is easily achieved by connecting the ERP system to the eCommerce platform.
Here’s how the Magento order cycle is managed through the back-office ERP system:
1. Saving customer record:
Consumer registration information needs to be kept within the ERP system to schedule or perform further marketing activity on them. If the consumer is a ‘guest’, then this record might or might not need to be saved to ERP B.P. master data. But now a days, the more information you can gather, the more you will be benefited from the marketing activities, which can be planned in future.
2. Browsing product catalog:
This is the next step a consumer would do after registration. Though this is an eCommerce activity, but it still needs involvement of the ERP. Product listing, product updates and inventory updates typically come from the ERP system. Since ERP is more accessible to back office employees, quick updates in the ERP item master data can be easily transferred to Magento, with the help of a connector software.
3. Add to Cart, checkout, order:
After browsing the product catalog, a consumer will add products to the shopping cart, perform checkout and place the order. Here also, the order can be placed with pre-authorization or post-authorization of the payment. For example, payment gateways follow pre-authorization of credit card payments, while storing the credit card information in Magento (if it is PCI compliant) and charge it later during post-authorization. Pre-authorized orders need to be entered in ERP system as a full-fledged sales order so that it can be forwarded to the delivery department. Since post-authorized orders need to be validated first and then need to be approved, these orders are entered as sales order drafts.
Processing the confirmed orders quickly and sending updates to the consumers in real time is a big challenge. Confirmed sales orders need to be processed as a ‘delivery’ document as soon as possible, however this can’t be done blindly. Back office employees need to check the warehouse from which it can be fulfilled, the shipping courier which can send the items to consumers in low cost and then, add the sales order as a delivery document in the ERP with shipment tracking number. This tracking number needs to be urgently added within the Magento eCommerce system as a ‘shipment’ document which sends the shipment details and tracking number as an email to the consumer. So at this point, an efficient connecting platform is needed which can automatically add ERP delivery updates to eCommerce shipment.
Even though the consumers are very less concerned about the invoice, it is still a legal document, which businesses need to send to consumers after each transaction. The A/R invoice is created in the ERP system from the delivery document. This needs to be added in the eCommerce as an invoice. It sends an automatic email from Magento to consumers with their invoice details.
6. Sales return:
Each organization has different return policies. But usually, a consumer requests the return by clicking on a button in the Magento storefront within his/her order history. Magento admin creates a sales return credit memo from the admin panel, initiates the return process and usually returns the payment to the consumer. But it is really important to record this factor in the ERP system to balance the accounts and inventory. So, corresponding A/R credit memo needs to be created within the ERP system to cater this sales return.
So, as you can see, connecting your eCommerce application with the back office ERP system can reduce a lot of confusion, error and data redundancy while allowing you to achieve higher sales with real-time data synchronization. APPSeCONNECT has been chosen by a large number of ecommerce merchants for increasing their consumer satisfaction levels with a smooth order processing experience.