When it comes to leveraging eCommerce alongside your JD Edwards environment, there are generally two options: utilize an ERP extension or integrate with a full-fledged eCommerce platform.
We’ve worked with a number of clients who were running a bolt-on extension, but more often than not that solution didn’t meet their organization’s needs. In fact, one of our clients described their bolt-on extension as having a “clunky user experience” that required too many clicks to get the job done. It was not intuitive and gave no consideration for user experience.
If your company is looking to implement an order panel, then perhaps an ERP extension is the tool for you. But we recommend that any organization that is serious about launching or improving their eCommerce experience use Magento integrated with their JD Edwards system.
When it comes to marketing and selling online, Magento is our recommended platform. Magento is a standalone eCommerce marketing platform and a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. While it’s a powerful tool on its own, it’s made even more powerful when leveraging the order processing of JD Edwards.
Using Magento offers business users a host of benefits right out of the box, including:
- Full control over product images, descriptions, and attributes
- Robust SEO capabilities
- Marketing opportunities, including rule-based cross-sell and up-sell items and customer segmentation
- A personalized shopping experience based on customer segments and shopping history
- A fully mobile-optimized site
- Site optimization for sales and presentation for the customer
- Line of business tooling intended for business users, not IT
Pairing these capabilities with the power of JD Edwards leads to a solid, dependable, and competitive eCommerce environment.
Benefits of Integrating Magento with Your JD Edwards Environment
Perhaps the biggest differentiator between Magento and a bolt-on commerce system is the available marketing tools in Magento. Here is a look at just a few of Magento’s marketing tools:
Rule-Based Product Relations
Magento excels at rule-based product relations; tools that enable cross-sell, upsell, and related product capabilities. Rules are established for a product so that if it meets certain requirements, a specific corresponding product is displayed. These rules can be based on anything from price to manufacturer to customer segment as well as custom product attributes.
Once a rule is created, Magento displays the list of the corresponding products and you have the ability to edit the list from there. For example, you could establish a rule which relates tennis shoes and socks as a suggested cross-sell. Leveraging rule-based product relations, Magento will display the list of socks and allow you to remove or add to the list of suggested cross-sell products. Using this capability, you could theoretically establish a handful of rules and allow Magento to just run those related products for the entire site.
This capability is significantly easier to set up using Magento’s provided functionality than if this were to be set up manually for each individual product. For a product catalog of any substantial size, it would be nearly impossible to establish product relations without rule-based product relations.
Automated Email Reminders
Automated email reminders are particularly useful for sending messages concerning a customer’s shopping cart or wish list. This functionality allows you to contact customers with abandoned carts or wish list items and entice them to make a purchase. During the automated email reminder creation process, one option is to include a promotional code in the email. A promo code is a great way to bring customers back, and in Magento, there is not extra work to include the promo in the email template. Additionally, rules can be established to automatically send emails after a determined amount of time, such as a week after your customer has abandoned their cart.
This sort of marketing targets sales that are just a few clicks away. The customer has already taken the time to browse your site and make a selection and is now so close to a sale that it makes sense to reach out and entice them to purchase. Without the automated aspect that Magento provides, this task would fall to an individual or an abandoned cart report followed by manual email reminders. Both of these options are time consuming and inefficient. Magento makes enabling automated email reminders easy and allows you to take full advantage of those sales that are just waiting to happen.
Magento has two types of promotions: shopping cart price rules and catalog price rules.
With shopping cart price rules, discounts are applied once the cart hits a certain value or when specific items are added to the cart. Many companies provide free shipping after a certain cart value, i.e. free shipping on purchases of $99 or more. That kind of promotion is achieved through shopping cart price rules. These promotions can be automatic or achieved through a coupon code. Coupon codes can be applied either by providing them to Magento, who will use them in the right situation, or the coupon code can be sent out to customers in an automated email.
Catalog price rules set the price of an item based on who is viewing it. For example, registered users or wholesalers see a different price than a normal customer. While this is different from the other marketing capabilities in that it does not necessarily encourage your customer to buy more, it serves as another way to enhance your catalog.
Banners are an area of a page that contains a static block of content, such as images, text, or HTML. Banners utilize conditions and customer segments to determine what will be displayed. With Magento, the business user has control over what is displayed, as well as the size of the banner and where to place it on the site based on your site’s theme and template
It would be a significant customization to add this sort of capability to a site that does not have access to it out of the box. An eCommerce site without this functionality is operating on the assumption that all site users are the same and should see the same suggested products, which is never the case.
All of these tools are available right out of the box with Magento. They are an easy way to drive up the average order value on your site and personalize the user experience.
User Experience and Additional Features
Marketing activities are a huge way to personalize your shopper’s experience, but Magento offers other tools as well, including merchandising and B2B capabilities.
How you present your products plays a big part in your customers’ user experience. Magento features a visual merchandising tool that makes sorting products on the fly a simple task. This tool provides drag-and-drop functionality to determine the order of a category’s products. This means that the marketing team can make these adjustments without waiting on support from the development team.
Another way to optimally present your products is through search merchandising aka searchendising. Did you know that searchers are often your most valuable site visitors? Compared to non-searchers, searchers tend to have a higher average order value and conversion rate. That means that a relatively small number of site searches can potentially contribute a significant amount of your site’s revenue.
While Magento offers search out of the box, to get the most out of people searching on your site, you will want to leverage a tool like SLI Systems, a platform focused on search, navigation, recommendations, merchandising, mobile, and SEO applications. They are pros at making sure your search function is working for you by doing things like presenting high-converting items prominently and ranking more profitable products higher in search results.
Magento makes it easy to create a personalized shopping experience for your B2B customers. In fact, Magento was even named a B2B Leader by Forrester, and B2B-specific updates were released at last year’s Imagine conference, including:
- The ability to allow for a flexible catalogue: different price points per negotiation. This gives the merchants flexibility in pricing.
- Request quotes functionality: simplifies the order process.
- Ability to quickly re-order for repeat customers. Easily able to change the quantity and negotiate the price on each order.
- Increased support for large cart sizes: carts are generally larger in B2B than B2C eCommerce. This function limits difficulties associated with cart size.
- Ability to order from a CSV or a spreadsheet.
- Investigated omnichannel and multi-warehouse problems.
All of these features allow you to share more information with your B2B customers and allow them to have more control over their buying journey. The more information about their order they can find online, the less they have to call your customer service representatives. Making this information easier to find than picking up the phone is a win for both you and your customers.
Community and Support
Magento’s open source technology and the community surrounding it give users more options than those using a closed platform. Magento has a ton of partners that have experience with the platform, and those partners know how to make the technology work best for each client. That means that you have options based on who you want to work with and what goals you need your Magento site to accomplish.
Additionally, the open source community allows companies to build extensions for the Magento software. The Magento Marketplace boasts thousands of compatible extensions, so if your eCommerce solution requires something different than the out-of-the-box option, there are a number of extensions that can solve that issue for you.
Even without those additions, Magento is a great solution for expanding your JD Edwards environment to include eCommerce. And, because it’s a standalone solution, it isn’t dependent on JD Edwards to function. So, if JDE is down for maintenance, your eCommerce site can keep operating.
So, have we convinced you yet? It’s time to implement Magento eCommerce and integrate it with your existing JD Edwards system. Contact our team to get started.