An ERP software can help streamline operations and support the growth of your eCommerce company. However, the wrong ERP can quickly become more trouble than it’s worth and be detrimental to your operational performance.
In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the most popular ERP systems in the context of eCommerce.
SAP eCommerce ERP Software
SAP is one of the world’s largest providers of ERP solutions and has customization built in for just about every industry, including eCommerce.
SAP Commerce Cloud is an all-in-one solution that helps businesses manage their online storefront, inventory, orders, and customers. It’s a powerful platform that can Grow your business with AI-powered recommendations, personalization, and upsell/cross-sell capabilities.
It’s built on the foundations of the Hybris product management software, which was acquired by SAP. Companies that have used Hybris include major global brands, such as Levi’s, Proctor & Gamble, and 3M.
As a cloud-based solution, SAP Commerce is simple to integrate seamlessly into your operations. You won't have to worry about infrastructure or security updates. You’ll also hit the ground running with all the industry best practices already in place.
If you’re looking to launch an eCommerce platform for your business or streamline your current operations, it’s hard to beat SAP’s offering.
SAP Business One and ByDesign
SAP Commerce Cloud is a full e-commerce platform solution, but SAP also provides fully integrated solutions to streamline your core processes as you evolve and grow into the eCommerce space.
SAP Business One is an ERP solution designed for small and midsize businesses. Business One helps businesses automate and manage their core processes, including financials, sales, customer relationships, and inventory.
SAP ByDesign is a cloud-based ERP solution that’s built for fast-growing midsize businesses and subsidiaries of larger enterprises. ByDesign helps businesses centralize and standardize their operations across geographies.
With Navigator's out-of-the-box integrations, you can set the stage for fast eCommerce growth while supporting a high-performance experience for your online customers.
Our integrations support all the major eCommerce platforms, including Amazon, eBay, Magento, and Shopify. You can bring your business to where your customers want to buy, wherever they are without disrupting your back-office activities.
Brightpearl ERP for Ecommerce Businesses
Brightpearl is geared toward wholesale and retail eCommerce businesses. It has comprehensive offerings, including modules for inventory management, customer relationship management, financial tracking and management, and accounting.
In short, Brightpearl provides a straightforward way to automate your back-office tasks for retail operations.
An important benefit that Brightpearl offers is that it integrates with several major eCommerce platforms out of the box — most notably, BigCommerce.
Moreover, Brightpearl is preferred by cloud-based eCommerce businesses because it's highly scalable.
So, if you have an eCommerce business that is planning to grow quickly or already has a high volume of sales, Brightpearl can keep pace with your business needs.
That scalability, however, doesn’t extend too far in the other direction. Brightpearl is primarily designed to handle high order volumes and high numbers of individual purchases.
If you’re running a high-ticket eCommerce operation, it might be difficult to justify using Brightpearl.
Xentral Ecommerce ERP Systems
Xentral is a relative newcomer to the ERP field and was developed by a small team specifically for small-to-medium businesses.
It offers similar functionality to some of the other ERP systems on this list but at a fraction of the cost. Like most on this list, it’s a cloud-based system, which means there are no large upfront costs for hardware or software.
Another major advantage that Xentral has is its integration with popular eCommerce platforms. Currently, it offers OOTB integration with Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, eBay, and several other platforms.
It’s primary functionality for e-commerce users revolves around multichannel synchronization and order automation. Within that context, it’s easy to use and understand and implement.
The drawback that central has is that it is still in its infancy. As a newcomer in the ecommerce ERP space, it still doesn’t have the large-scale operational capacity to handle specialized requests and customizations.
Overall, Xentral is a solid choice for an up-and-coming eCommerce business but you may have to look into upgrading to a more robust system as you expend.
Sage ERP Software
Sage is a veteran in the ERP solutions space and has been in the business for over forty years. It provides (among many other solutions) eCommerce ERP solutions for businesses that are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.
Sage has a wide range of offerings with accounting, inventory, and payroll functionality, amongst others. There are different modules to suit different needs, all of which are customizable.
As far as running an eCommerce operation, there’s not much that Sage can’t do. The one problem that you might run into with Sage is that you end up paying for more features than you need.
The base package is suitable for small businesses but as you start to scale up, the cost of adding more features and modules can quickly become prohibitive.
So, if you’re looking for a comprehensive eCommerce ERP solution for your business, Sage is definitely worth considering. But be sure to keep an eye on the bottom line as you grow.
Oracle Netsuite SuiteCommerce Software
Oracle is one of the biggest software companies in the world. While the company specializes in database software, it also offers one of the most robust ERP solutions on the market — NetSuite.
SuiteCommerce is the epitome of an all-in-one solution. You can eliminate the need to integrate disparate systems with natively unified e-commerce, point-of-sale, inventory, and order management, marketing, customer service, and finance systems. And, you can do so all from a single repository.
In simple terms that means it includes features such as the ability to personalize the user experience, automatic order management and fulfillment, and automated marketing functions.
The major drawback of SuiteCommerce is that it is prohibitively expensive.
A standard package implementation can easily run you tens of thousands of dollars. And, as you add more features and modules, the cost can quickly balloon.
So, while SuiteCommerce is an excellent eCommerce ERP solution with just about every feature you can imagine, it’s more suited to large enterprises with deep pockets and high customization requirements.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 System
Next, we have Microsoft’s entry into the ERP for e-commerce space — Dynamics 365 Commerce. It doesn't stray too far from other eCommerce ERP systems in terms of features, but it does offer a few benefits that you won't find elsewhere.
Dynamics 365 has all the hallmarks you probably already know from other Microsoft products. The interfaces are clean and intuitive, and it’s a complete omnichannel solution that can handle everything from eCommerce site setup to back-office operations.
However, the system can be challenging to implement because it’s a full-fledged ERP solution. That means you’ll need to work with a team that has significant experience implementing Dynamics 365 to get it up and running.
Once you do, you’ll have a system that can handle more than most other eCommerce operations. Moreover, you can rely on a support system backed by the world’s largest software company.
There are, however, a few caveats. Chief among those is that Dynamics 365 Commerce is still under development in some areas. While Microsoft Dynamics has been around for a long time, D365 Commerce was only publicly released in 2019.
That means there are still some kinks that need to be worked out here and there.
It’s also far from an inexpensive solution. You should expect to pay several thousand dollars a month for the full-featured Dynamics 365 experience.
Moreover, the high implementation costs need to be factored in. So, you’ll need to consider the total cost of ownership before you decide to go with Dynamics 365 as your company's integrated ERP solution.
Acumatica Retail-Commerce Business ERP
Last but not least on our list, is a cloud-based eCommerce ERP system from Acumatica.
The best feature of Acumatica Commerce is its operational flexibility. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can access and modify the data within the system and do it all within a friendly, easy-to-use interface.
Plus, like all of the other options on this list, Acumatica Retail-Commerce is not tied to any equipment or hardware. You just need a connection to the Internet to access your data from any device.
Acumatica is a very simple ERP. That simplicity is great if you just want to hit the ground running but sometimes it means missing out on features you might otherwise want.
It has great inventory management capabilities, an embedded CRM platform, and decent financial tracking. It also provides great value for money with consumption-based pricing.
As far as drawbacks go, Acumatica’s biggest problem is performance. Acumatica users frequently complain of errors that slow down their workflows. That isn’t to say that the company isn’t quick to fix errors, but it’s worth noting that you may not have a super-seamless experience with Acumatica.
How to Choose The Right ERP For Your Business
The ERP solution you choose for your eCommerce business depends on a number of factors matching the company’s needs.
It helps to think about what your business requires in specific terms. Do you need complete inventory management capabilities and multi-platform support? Do you have to support a multi-lingual eCommerce operation?
Some important factors to consider include:
Which Inventory Management Features Will You Need?
This includes the ability to track inventory, keep track of product location, stock levels, replenishment, and expiration dates.
You’ll also need to track sales, returns, and transfers between warehouses and Returns warehouses.
Do You Need Multi-Platform Capabilities?
The ability to support multiple eCommerce platforms is crucial if you have a complex eCommerce operation or want to extend your business’s global reach.
On the flip side, you may be completely committed to a single eCommerce platform. If that’s the case, try to pick the most robust platform you can find and pick the ERP solution that integrates most cleanly with that platform.
But, bear in mind that you’re putting all your proverbial eggs in the same basket.
How Quickly Do You Need To Implement an ERP?
If you want to hit the ground running quickly, then you’ll likely want an ERP solution with preconfigured settings and features that match your business's needs.
You’ll also need to consider how much customization you’ll need to implement the solution for your business.
That could mean the difference between a package you can quickly get up and running in your business and one that requires weeks or months of planning, development, and testing—with the added implementation cost of those operations.
How Scalable Does Your ERP Need to Be?
You’ll need an ERP that can handle future expansion and the ability to manage multiple locations (e.g., stores or warehouse). But, it’s also worth considering when that expansion will take place and how long you’ll be stuck with an ERP that you aren’t using to its full potential.
If you expect to stay roughly within the same position in the market for many years, you can probably afford to spend less on an ERP with fewer features. By the time you’re ready to expand, you’ll probably be ready to move on to a new ERP solution anyway.
Alternatively, pick a cloud ERP software solution that scales down as well as it does up. That way, you can adjust your tech budget to your needs in response to marketplace vicissitudes.
Choosing the right ERP solution can mean the difference between the success or failure of your business—especially if you're in a highly competitive industry. The ERP solutions covered here have some similarities, but each has its own strength, too. Some are best suited for specific industries or businesses in different stages of growth, so it is always advisable to consult an ERP specialist before making an investment for your company–especially when considering the best cloud ERP for medium-sized businesses or if you’re wondering how ERP helps retail businesses.