It’s almost impossible for a traditional wholesale or retail business to make the move into ecommerce without some degree of integration between its ecommerce platform and other business management software. Whether the website needs to pull data from CRM, accounting, inventory management or somewhere else, this integration is critical to an outstanding customer experience.
Most major ecommerce platforms on the market provide a high level of extensibility to account for this. However, according to Econsultancy, almost half (43%) of ecommerce companies describe integration with legacy systems as one of their three biggest barriers to success.
Could this apply to you? Here are some of the signs your legacy systems are holding your B2B ecommerce business back:
Your data is all over the place, and some of it may be inaccurate
Unless you have accurate stock levels that are updated in real time, as well as a single version of the truth for product and customer information, there’s a good chance you’ll end up delivering a weak and disjointed customer experience. For B2B customers in particular, this may be more than just a minor inconvenience – a missed delivery could impact their very ability to do business, getting you kicked off their preferred supplier list pretty promptly.
You rely on a lot of custom development work for integration
Relying on a lot of custom development work to integrate your ecommerce platform with legacy systems can be costly, both in terms of time and money. Any changes or updates are likely to be difficult, slow to implement, and require a lot of workarounds - especially if you’re attempting to implement a feature that the system wasn’t originally meant to support.
You don’t have easy access to support when problems arise
If your legacy systems date back a decade or longer (and many do), there’s a high chance your software is either poorly supported or not supported at all – meaning you’re basically on your own if problems arise. It can also be difficult to get support if your ecommerce integration relies on a lot of custom development work, as above, because you’re dependent on the company that originally wrote the code to help.
You can’t easily adapt and change with the market
The world of B2B ecommerce is constantly changing, so it’s important that your business can adapt and change to keep up. This can be difficult if you rely on legacy systems that will only run on particular, and potentially outdated, hardware and software. It may hold you back if you intend to move to cloud or hosted infrastructure at some point in the future, for example.
Thinking of ditching your legacy systems and implementing a modern, all-encompassing ERP solution that’ll help your business succeed in the age of ecommerce? We’ve written a free, five-minute guide to help you get acquainted with the implementation and integration process for SAP Business One – one of the top ERP solutions for small and medium-sized companies that have outgrown basic accounting tools.