ERPs reduce a business’s risk in uncertain circumstances and are perceived to have a positive impact on organization performance, including the improvement of productivity and profitability.
Historically, however, in order to properly organize and orchestrate ERP data flow, customer-facing tool options have been limited.
This is because ERPs rely heavily on EDI and APIs to sync with outside systems.
- EDI is the more traditional approach and still often used in B2B and wholesale channels, and Walmart specifically.
- APIs are the more modern approach, and used by SaaS services and tools that enable marketing teams to move quickly, while ensuring proper data orchestration is not disrupted.
Steve Deckert, Co-Founder, Smile.io
ERPs are essential in allowing retailers to offer multichannel experiences to their customers.
They allow the retailer to have a single, comprehensive view of their customers, orders, inventory, etc. The alternative is to have a disjointed understanding of your channels which results in a disjointed customer experience – and lower revenue.
The API Economy & Innovation as the Crux for Future-Proofing
Cloud and thus SaaS platform APIs vary based on platform. Call limits are important considerations for brands looking to integrate with a SaaS solution.
Nonetheless, nearly all SaaS solutions have APIs, and with the rising tide shift from on-premise and custom built technology to cloud solutions (which decrease tech debt and speed up GTM), the API Economy has taken off.
The benefits of SaaS integration, specifically for the ecommerce channel, are huge.
As Amazon continues to own the commodity market and 55% of U.S. consumer product searches, and micro-brands begin to disrupt their legacy competitors, innovation and speed to market have become table stakes in the retail industry.
Innovation has historically been seen as the final step to realizing ERP benefits – but too few brands have gotten to that step, and fewer still have been able to innovate as effectively as Amazon or the litany of rising micro-brands.