We’re often asked about e-commerce platforms that play nicely with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud ERP. In 2019 Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 Commerce, however it’s geared towards large enterprise vs SMBs and doesn’t work with Business Central (read about Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform for SMBs in this article).
SMBs have different needs when it comes to e-commerce, and there are many compelling options available. In this article we’ll share some insights for B2B and B2C companies looking to transact digitally and modernize their customer engagement experiences with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform.
If you’ve already invested in Dynamics 365 Business Central and moved the core of your business to the cloud, then you’ll want to make sure you have an equally powerful, up to date, web store. Sana Commerce is one of our partners and a great example of an ISV that provides out-of- the-box integration to Business Central for organizations that require an e-commerce engine that can be quickly implemented without heavy customization.
"Catapult's technological proficiency in the Dynamics space together with Sana Commerce's unique integrated e-commerce platform forms a solid basis for helping more and more companies with their digital transformation and moving their business online."
Delivering Excellent Customer Experiences
If you’re an e-commerce business, then you know better than anyone just how critical it is to foster lasting relationships with your customers. In today’s world, customers want a frictionless user experience when they visit your website. In fact, they don’t want it – they expect nothing less.
The customer experience is central to any e-commerce strategy and in order to stand out and build long lasting relationships you must be hyper focused on the customer. When customers visit your website, you want them to be greeted by a user-friendly and visually appealing site that makes it easy for them to locate what they’re searching for, whether that’s a specific product or piece of information. The checkout process must be simple and quick and eliminate any pain points in their shopping experience. We’ve all been through that terrible online shopping experience where you get to the end of a shopping cart to discover that there are extortionate shipping fees that weren’t mentioned prior to checkout, or to find that your credit card has been declined for no rhyme or reason.
It’s not only the shopping experience on your website that matters but the ability to find information or submit a query. If it’s not easy for a customer to find the answer to their question online or submit a query via a method that ensures they’ll hear back in a timely manner, then they are going to get frustrated and leave. This might encourage them to go to a competitor, or worse – share the negative experience with their friends, family, or industry peers.
Providing a sub-optimal customer experience can be detrimental to the success of any e-commerce business looking to attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones. That’s why it’s critical to invest in a powerful e-commerce solution that works hand-in-hand with your existing ERP to give customers the superior buying experience that consumers have come to know and expect.
Top 5 Benefits: Ecommerce Solutions for Dynamics 365 Business Central
Integrating an e-commerce solution with Dynamics 365 will streamline your business processes by unifying and integrating orders, returns, inventory, fulfilment, customer support and accounting. With one single source of truth for your data you will see improvements to the overall efficiency of your business. Dynamics 365 Business Central empowers e-commerce companies by enabling e-commerce solutions like Sana Commerce Cloud to tightly integrate with financials.
Sana Commerce is a leading e-commerce solution that helps eliminate system silos and provides your customers with the convenience of a personalized self-service and complete transparency. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of integrating e-commerce solutions with Dynamics 365 Business Central, using Sana Commerce’s offering as a prime example.
1. Simplified Setup and Ongoing Maintenance
Reaping the benefits of a web store doesn’t necessarily mean a huge IT investment. There are many robust e-commerce solutions that are built for Dynamics 365 Business Central and can be designed to implement in weeks enabling you to leverage the investment you’ve already made in Business Central. If you take Sana Commerce as an example, their web store adapts each time you go through a software update for Business Central so there is no concerns about disruption in the way that the two solutions work together.
2. Out of the box integration
Out-of-the-box e-commerce solutions that integrate with Dynamics 365 Business Central provide your customers with a highly convenient way of purchasing through your website. Integration also means that data is not siloed and is always synchronizing from Business Central. If you look at Sana’s web store solution you’ll find that all product information, relationships, and categorization in Business Central is available online. Likewise, any changes that are made to the product catalog in the back end of Business Central is immediately available in the web store. Direct integration means that all inventory information such as product availability and location that’s stored in Business Central can be made available in real time directly into the Sana web store.
3. Payment Processing & Invoice Management
An e-commerce solution that automates order processing and provides visibility into the entire online buying cycle from purchase through to return will build trust with customers and empower them to gain access to information they want when they want it. Sana Commerce excel at this making returns hassle-free for customers. And for those businesses in the B2B world, Sana offer a simple invoice management that can be done directly from the web store, allowing B2B customers to pay multiple invoices at the same time. Quite neat, right?
We’ve all got big plans. Whatever your business is today isn’t going to be the same in a year, two years or even five years’ time. Flexibility and the ability to scale up or down according to your business needs is an essential requirement when investing in an e-commerce solution to integrate with Business Central. Sana offer a simplified web store management solution that has capabilities in place like multicurrency and multilanguage to support companies that plan to scale internationally. The Sana web store was built to scale and support high order volumes and can optimize web store performance for large product catalogs by simply making adjustments to a few configurations in Business Central and the web store.
There is often apprehension to adopt cloud-based solutions due to a fear of online security. Microsoft ISV partners gets the same powerful Microsoft Azure hosting that Dynamics 365 does – don’t forget this is one of the world’s most secure and reliable hosting systems! With dozens of data centers around the world, your data is protected in the center that’s closest to your ERP environment and stored safely. These data centers are provided with the latest hardware technology which means when hosting with an ISV such as Sana Commerce (or any Microsoft ISV for that matter), you don’t have to worry about setting up or maintaining any hardware.
Build Long Lasting Relationships with Customers
Businesses need to invest in a powerful e-commerce solution to ensure they deliver the best customer experience possible in order to build long lasting relationships. It’s also integral that companies choose an e-commerce platform that works hand in hand with their ERP system so they can optimize internal processes and ensure data is synchronized in the back and front end. If you’ve already gone through the process of selecting Dynamics 365 Business Central as your ERP solution then make sure you go the extra mile to find the right e-commerce platform to compliment it.
At Catapult, we specialize in offering all types of extended capabilities for Dynamics 365 Business Central. There are lots of great ISVs that provide powerful solutions to ad-on to Business Central, and Sana Commerce is a great example for those that need an e-commerce platform. If you have any questions about e-commerce solutions for Dynamics 365 don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team has extensive experience with Dynamics 365 and its extended solutions. We’re here to help, whether you’re simply doing research or if you’d like to talk in more detail with one of our ERP and CRM experts.