How Online Retailers Can Gain From Open Source ERP?

by Sohini Bagchi    Apr 24, 2014

ecommerce

E-commerce is becoming a thriving market in India. To meet the increased customer demand and remain profitable, online retailers are seeking a strong IT backend so as to keep their business running, round the clock. It is here that open source ERP provider, Openbravo, sees a huge opportunity. In an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday, Sunando Banerjee, Channel Business Manager, APAC & middle East, Openbravo discusses how the company’s open source ERP platform can give an edge to online retailers and why India remains one of the key markets for Openbravo.

Open source ERP advantage

On how e-commerce players can benefit from the open ERP, Banerjee says retailers face unprecedented challenges in meeting consumer expectations, along with competitive pressures. While consumers want to be shop through multiple channels, online, mobile devices, through catalogs and in-stores and expect a smooth experience as they switch between channels, this often adds new layers of operational challenges for brands, such as management of customer data, inventory levels, product information and so on.

[Read: Top Trends That Will Drive E-Commerce in 2014]

Ensuring secure transactions is one of the main concerns for online shoppers is another challenge for e-commerce players. However with a strong ERP backbone, retailers have a plethora of opportunities in the e-commerce space, he states. “They can integrate the online channel to increase market reach, use physical stores as local warehouses, facilitate convenient paying process such as buy online and pay at the store or buy online and pay on delivery will help generate sales and increase customer satisfaction.

The open source factor plays a decisive key here. “We felt that smaller retailers don’t have the IT budget to either hire a person to work on the ERP and making the required modifications. So we had to offer a platform that was flexible enough which is possible only by making it web based and open source. “Ours is therefore a community based offering that is free, and those needing more services can opt for our professional product,” he says.

India, an important market

Banerjee states India is an important market for the company, particularly keeping in mind the huge SMBs in retail. Many of them sell online and require a cost-effective, agile and flexible ERP platform.

The basic idea behind starting Openbravo was to make ERP simple for retailers, says Banerjee. Our solution is designed such that it allows e-commerce players to have an integrated system that can be easily customized to manage all their operations including procurement, inventory, production, sales, accounting and finances, etc.

Apart from the cost advantage, mid-sized e-commerce companies can escape from vendor lock in. We also offer localization of software to various Indian languages while supporting internationalization with the multi-currency and multi-language features.

 Web and mobile POS

The company has also come up with web and mobile POS. Banerjee states today, the customer experience extends beyond the virtual store. With the advent of social media and Mobile technologies, retailers can get connected to their customers anytime, and from anywhere.

“Adopting a flexible and mobile web POS platform offers interactive customer assistance, faster search for products based on customer preferences, thereby, optimizing store operations and providing an enjoyable customer service,” he notes.

Road ahead

Currently we have witnessed over 3 million downloads and 1,000s of organizations use our solutions every day, informs Banerjee, adding that all its solutions are available in the cloud or on premise and are distributed through global partners.

The company has offices in India, Mexico and Spain and is now planning to tap the Asia Pacific and Middle East markets more aggressively. With a strong YoY growth in India, Openbravo is aiming at the next level of growth - working on new technologies and markets, sums up Banerjee.