Last updated: Benefits of ERP integration: Connecting powerhouse frontend to core processes

Benefits of ERP integration: Connecting powerhouse frontend to core processes


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In my 20s, I longed for a local haunt where “everybody knew my name.” While I never quite found my version of Cheers, I discovered a sense of belonging at Bob’s Donuts, an iconic San Francisco establishment. Whether I popped in weekly or monthly, the incredibly gracious owner, Aya, greeted me by name and remembered my favorite order. Aya extended the same care to each of her customers, fostering a sense of community that undoubtedly contributed to Bob’s legendary status.

Every business—from the neighborhood donut shop to a regional utility provider or global retailer—must cultivate a strong connection with their customers in order to succeed. But delivering exceptional experiences isn’t easy.

Despite vast pools of data and advanced technology, many large companies struggle with disconnected systems and fragmented software solutions, which can damage CX. These brands may provide a polished frontend experience with sleek e-commerce sites, attention-grabbing emails, and efficient chatbots. But the lack of a connection to backend ERP systems ultimately undermines CX.

What good is a visually appealing commerce site if it frustrates customers with “out-of-stock” alerts or sends irrelevant emails?

In today’s fiercely competitive market, success hinges on more than appearance; it requires seamless integration of operational backend data with frontend customer experiences.

Here are five top benefits of ERP integration for CX:

  1. Companies can respond more quickly and intelligently to customer needs
  2. Inventory, logistics, and customer data work together seamlessly to optimize processes
  3. Customer data is used to create more meaningful, personalized experiences that build trust and loyalty while staying secure
  4. Unified view of the customer across all channels, allowing for real-time insights
  5. Analytics and insights glean information to balance customer satisfaction with profitability

Let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits of ERP integration, along with some favorite tunes from my days as a regular at Bob’s.

1. What have you done for me lately: Benefits of ERP integration

Every customer touchpoint reflects on your brand.

A terrific in-store experience can be tarnished by a lackluster support phone call. Now, more than ever, customers have options, and a bad experience can cause a customer to flee.

In fact, 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience, PWC research found.

More importantly, we’re in a social media driven world where one disgruntled customer can immediately amplify your service faux pas to millions with devastating consequences.

By using the data and insights from their ERP systems to personalize each customer’s experience, businesses can respond more swiftly and contextually to customer inquiries, complaints, or praises, making every interaction count.

For example, connected systems provide customer service agents with a complete view of a customer’s interactions along with inventory and shipping details. That way, they can provide personalized service and accurate information to meet customer needs and boost satisfaction.

Text stating SAP is named a leader in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. You can click the image to access the report.

2. Any way you want it: Integrated ERP and CX to seamlessly connect supply + demand

Fulfillment trends help illustrate the benefits of ERP integration:

The top 3 shipping and delivery factors customers consider when selecting a retailer are free (82%), fast (68%), and in-stock (59%), according to a Digital Commerce 360 survey.

These days, customers expect the convenience and immediacy epitomized by Amazon. One-click buying is now the norm. In terms of fulfillment, expectations are advancing from two-day delivery to next day, and in some cases a couple of hours.

Customers have options. If their search for a product on your site shows “out of stock,” it will screech to a halt, and they’ll immediately jump to one of your competitors.

A benefit of ERP integration with CX ensures inventory, logistics, and customer data work together seamlessly, enabling businesses to meet these high expectations consistently across all channels.

It also can help you execute fulfillment strategies that balance shipping costs, shipping speed, and distribution center or store capacity so you can meet customer expectations without diminishing the profitability of each order:

3. Like to get to know you well: ERP benefits personalization

Customers are more willing to share personal information if they believe it will enhance their overall engagement with a brand. They expect to get some value in exchange for their data and that the brand will protect their data and use it responsibly.

McKinsey & Company research found that 78% percent of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases from companies that personalize and 78% are more likely to refer friends and family to companies that personalize.

By integrating CX with ERP, companies can ensure that customer data is used to create more meaningful, personalized experiences that build trust and loyalty while also staying secure. To achieve this, the data cannot live in silos.

Front-end data such as a customer’s preferences and context needs to be automatically be orchestrated with backend data containing past purchases, availability inventory, and more for effective customer experience.

4. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades: Real-time insights across channels

Okay, we don’t yet see many people cruising around in public wearing Apple’s Vision Pro, or Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses. But, even without the latest and greatest in spatial computing attached to their heads, customers are connected 24/7 through their computers, tablets, phones, cars, watches, and smart home appliances.

They seamlessly shift between these devices throughout the day, and regardless of the channel, they expect a consistent experience when they interact with brands.

Integrating CX with ERP allows for a unified view of the customer across all these channels, enabling businesses to provide a cohesive and satisfying customer journey whether someone is shopping from their couch, riding a train, or standing right in your store.

It’s not just about who the customer is; it’s about the context of their situation in the moment, and what your brand can do to best address their needs at that point in time.

Sixty-two percent of customer-obsessed businesses said their omnichannel customer engagement strategy has driven higher margins compared to firms that aren’t customer obsessed, according to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Emarsys.

5. Nothing’s gonna stop us now: Better profitability with ERP + CX integration 

… or, will it?

From 2015 to 2020, retailers with the most growth in online sales saw the biggest decline in margin, McKinsey & Company research found.

How long can your business survive on diminishing profits?

Even if you deliver the best customer experience – meeting or exceeding all your customers’ expectations – you risk growing topline results at the sacrifice of bottom-line profitability.

For example, does it make sense to continue offering free delivery and returns to the segment of customers that regularly buys 10 pairs of shoes only to return nine?

A connected CX and ERP system provides the analytics and insights needed to balance customer satisfaction with profitability.

By understanding customer behavior, purchase patterns, and service costs, businesses can make informed decisions that boost the customer experience while also driving revenue and reducing expenses.

Benefits of connected ERP and CX: True value, real loyalty

Integrating your front and back ends isn’t just a technical exercise; it’s a strategic necessity for businesses that want to thrive in the digital age.

Just as Aya from Bob’s Donuts knows her customers and their favorite orders, companies can use technology to understand and anticipate their customers’ needs, delivering personalized experiences that drive loyalty and growth.

ERP integration benefits help brands move beyond the façade of a “sexy frontend” to deliver genuine value, ensuring that they’re not just capturing customers’ attention, but also their hearts.

Modern business, meet revenue:
– End-to-end connected data
– Engage quickly with a great CX
– Sell anytime, anywhere

Get going TODAY.

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