Webshop Integration in SAP: Efficient Use of Digital Sales Channels
Not only in direct sales, but especially in B2B sales, the number and variety of relevant sales channels is increasing. Driven by digitalization, new possibilities of interaction arise. In the private sector, shopping and advertising are shifting to mobile devices. Webshop integration also leads to fundamental changes for Sales & Marketing, which promise added value for customers at lower costs.
Many business customers are already researching, buying and paying online. This requires the digital design of promotional offers and contact points - including online product presentation, configuration and various purchase options via webshops and marketplaces, via PC or mobile (Omnichannel). Not only is fully electronic invoicing required, but personalized customer contact is also indispensable. The customer expects communication without media discontinuity. This requires the webshop connection to SAP in real time as well as EAI integration of various other applications.
The aim is to digitize the entire value chain. In practice, companies start their first digitalization projects either internally or with selected partners. If these are successful, further projects and adaptations soon follow.
In order to accelerate innovations and prevent system proliferation, it is advisable to rely on a central integration platform from the outset. Isolated integration approaches of webshop providers are usually not suitable for subsequent scenarios and thus lead to myriad of point-to-point links which doesn’t scale.
Webshop Integration in SAP: Building Block of an Omnichannel Strategy
What has long since established itself in the retail sector is also becoming increasingly popular with manufacturing companies amongst many B2B customers: the establishment of a webshop as an additional sales channel. However, many companies now associate this with a comprehensive ‘Omnichannel’ sales strategy based on holistic real-time webshop integration in SAP. This is illustrated in the following figure.
Figure 1: Webshop Integration in SAP
Many companies combine the integration of a web shop into SAP with the introduction of a central system for master data management (PIM - Product Information Management System), their own CRM system (e.g. from Salesforce) or the sale of their own products via portals and marketplaces of third party providers.
With the increasing digitalization of sales processes, expectations of logistics are also rising. Next-day delivery, ad-hoc delivery of products with low shelf life or location-based services are increasingly becoming the norm.
Manufacturing companies meet this challenge with comprehensive SAP integration: order and production data flows automatically into scheduling agreement processing. As soon as it is clear what is to be delivered and where, all arrangements for delivery and transport can be made. The necessary data is simultaneously distributed to internal order picking, delivery and planning systems. This makes it possible to assemble the goods at an early stage, prepare them for dispatch and hand them over to the logistics company without any loss of time.
Both customers and manufacturers benefit from the networking. The customer can call up exact data on the delivery of their order at any time and the manufacturing company can continuously monitor the processes.
Practical Example: Webshop (Omnichannel) Integration in SAP
In the course of digitalization, a leading trading company from Germany has created various online order channels. The company lists its products on various B2B industry portals and operates its own web shop. An online configurator was specifically developed for this purpose, which offers more than 4 million combinations and is also used by over 320 branch offices. Direct orders via EDI are also possible.
The product data from the SAP system is specifically prepared via the integration platform (SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite) and transferred to the respective channel. Orders placed are accepted and forwarded to the merchandise management system. Returns are also processed electronically.
Advantages for the company:
- All channels access the same stock in the SAP system
- The additional online sales channels open up flexible ordering options and effortlessly manage seasonal peaks
- New products are automatically imported and the complete order processing is carried out electronically.
With today’s rapidly changing requirements flexibility is a key business requirement. Thus the Integration platform is use needs to be able to work with all APIs, EDI Standards, Webshops and output formats seamlessly.
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