Online Accounting with Integrated Ecommerce
Tel: 0207 060 3579
Inrax

Bricks and clicks

Relatively few businesses which trade online have no offline sales. In fact the trend now is for ordinary retail businesses to add an ecommerce site as an additional sales channel. It is obvious, but worth saying, that in this situation sales occur in the shop and online simultaneously.

Where you sell from both bricks and clicks, you will want a single back office accounting system so that you have a single view and control of your business. However most ecommerce packages are standalone. So an SME trading online for the first time may face the need to interface the online shop software - say Actinic or Erol - to their offline accounts package - for instance Sage. In some cases these offer a batch update of shop orders into the accounting system.

A little further thought will show that this interface needs to occur in real time: you sell continously from the bricks and clicks simultaneously, and so stock is being depleted from both sources. What happens when you take an order online for which there is no stock? What happens when that is an order for multiple lines, one of which has gone out of stock because of a sale offline? How much effort will you have to put in to contact the customer to establish whether delivery of part of the order is acceptable? While your staff sort this out, how well are they attending to the offline sales for which they were originally hired?

In Inrax the ecommerce and back office accounting systems are one and the same. An order is an order whether placed online or offline. At the point it is placed the customer knows all that is needed about stock availability. There is no mismatch between orders held in the web shop and those recorded in the accounting system.