The Shopify store / Ecommerce space and the ERP space that seemed to be poles apart earlier, are converging now as Online Retail-Ecommerce businesses needs high end business process capability in a highly connected & competitive digital world of today. The playing field has thrown an open challenge that seems to follow Darwin’s maxim-Survival of the Fittest! Shape Up or Ship Out!
The buzz around Ecommerce
Ecommerce interest in the retail domain has grown exponentially since the pandemic, as every brick and mortar retailer is now looking at a presence online. This is because of the limitations in conducting a brick and mortar store business with the current COVID restrictions, and the increase in online shopping behaviour of buyers. The only way forward to achieve retail business success now is possibly an omnichannel selling model.
The continued rise of Shopify
Shopify is considered the Amazon for small businesses globally enabling them to transact online business effectively and efficiently. It is increasingly being seen as an ecommerce platform of preference for Ecommerce store owners throughout the world. As ecommerce retail success stories have prevailed in spite of the current COVID crisis, the value proposition of Shopify and the slump in physical retail, Shopify is attracting even more interest as an online retail-ecommerce platform.
Some of Shopify’s limitations
It is a great starting point for a small business venturing out in the ecommerce domain. The front end of the Shopify platform works well but needs more capability to manage the business in the back end. The essential back end functional business capabilities are generally added as standalone apps or spreadsheet software. We all know that the spreadsheet model of business software works only for the smallest of businesses, and those who probably don’t have any growth plans. You can Google the fact that businesses have lost Billions due to issues related to the use of spreadsheets.
Problems are compounded with multiple standalone apps, as sales volumes grow for the Shopify store. It starts creating data portability and consolidation issues as you juggle between the various apps that were never designed to talk to each other in the first place. These issues are further compounded when financial reports need to be generated, critical business decisions or sales commitments need to be made accurately, quickly and with limited resources/time. In fact, the dollar value of lost revenue or wasted resources of a business using a multiple app model will be far more than the subscription cost of a comprehensive business software that could potentially solve this problem.
Moreover, advanced inventory management capability is critical for the success of an ecommerce business, and unfortunately the Shopify platform does not go beyond the absolute basics. It relies on other apps to provide this capability and other important functionalities like accounting, financial reports, advanced shipping etc. We have already talked about the issues of using multiple standalone apps for business functions.
Is there a solution to this?
The ideal solution could be one comprehensive business solution that syncs easily with Shopify and provides affordable, but capable business capability with no need of any addons. With this there is automatic compliance, less wasted effort, advanced inventory capability, accounting, real time data, reporting capability etc without the need of having deep pockets to leverage its use.
The business solution that does this best is an app version of a comprehensive ERP solution as it contains all the components to run a business seamlessly and effectively. With the arrival of the cloud, ERP solutions are increasingly being hosted on the cloud. A Cloud ERP is affordable even for small business while being as capable as an on-premise solution and easy to use.
Some Cloud ERP solution providers have developed ecommerce apps with ERP capability that syncs with leading ecommerce software like Shopify. In such a Shopify app, the front end of the online store is powered by Shopify and the back end is powered by the Cloud ERP-it couldn’t get any better than this. You get all in one back end ERP capability and everything covered at a cost affordable even for small business.
We could help!
We offer an all-in-one Shopify eCommerce solution based on our multi-award-winning ERP business capability-everything you need to run your Shopify store.
To read Part 2 of this series
Outgrown Shopify Store capabilities-we can help! -Shopify Series – Part 2