Setting up an EDI integration with your trading partners can seem like a daunting task. EDI integration involves several steps. Here’s a quick look at the main ones and how choosing the right solution can help you tick them off your to-do list with ease.
The pandemic has pushed the shift to digital into high gear: Consumers are embracing online shopping on a giant scale and e-commerce is growing by leaps and bounds. That’s great news for those in the online retail business. But as the market grows, so do the competition and customer expectations. Here are five signs that your current e-commerce strategy needs some help to stay in the game.
Sign No. 1: Poor customer retention
Building a loyal customer base takes more than just a flashy website or slick branding. Today’s savvy shoppers want a convenient, seamless customer experience, speedy delivery, quality products, and good customer service—all at a competitive price. To deliver, a company’s internal systems must be up to speed or their customers may not visit a second time.
Sign No. 2: Rising costs, decreasing revenue
As business expands, so do costs. Companies that fail to keep their bottom line down will struggle to meet their financial targets. Streamlining operations and optimizing the supply chain through EDI (electronic data interchange), for example, can significantly reduce the costs associated with staffing and paper communications, not to mention the cost of human-related errors leading to incorrect product information and customer returns.
Sign No. 3: Lack of inventory visibility
Inventory visibility is key, especially when it comes to e-commerce and omnichannel selling. In a nutshell, inventory visibility means knowing what stock you have at any given time and where it’s located. Today’s shoppers often begin their search online but may want to pick up at their local brick-and-mortar store. Perhaps they want a specific item in a different colour or size. The retailer needs to know if the desired product is in a warehouse, at another branch, or on a truck in transit so that they can get it to the customer right away, without any hiccups.
Sign No. 4: Outdated systems
Companies that still rely on outdated systems and manual processes will have a hard time responding to new market demands—from increased delivery speeds to processing customer and financial data. Those that try to solve the problem by adopting multiple solutions here and there may find themselves with a more chaotic situation than when they began. A single, centralized, and automated system such as EDI will ensure that all trading partners are on the same page, communicating in the same standardized language.
Sign No. 5: Staying local
While local markets and partners can be a great starting point, companies that stay within their region will eventually hit a growth wall. Branching out to international markets and working with foreign business partners can lead to exponential growth opportunities—but with new opportunities comes a whole new level of organization. Companies need to grapple with foreign regulations, currencies, duties, tariffs, and trade agreements. They need to know how foreign markets work and understand international customer preferences, purchasing habits, and cultural differences. And they need a central system that can manage it all.
Update your e-commerce strategy for today’s e-commerce economy
Due to the pandemic, e-commerce now represents a massive market for retailers, so long as they can keep up. Companies that harness the power of EDI and other digital solutions to ensure that their e-commerce strategy is up to the challenge of today’s fast-paced, changing economy will reap the benefits, while those that don’t may see their customers go elsewhere.
Contact InterTrade today to learn more about how EDI and product catalogue solutions can help your business hone its e-commerce strategy and take full advantage of this fast-growing market opportunity.