EDI In eCommerce: What You Need To Know

EDI in Ecommerce

When most people think about eCommerce, they think about buying and selling products and services online. But there’s more to it than that. eCommerce also includes the electronic exchange of business data between trading partners. This is where EDI comes in. In this post, we’ll discuss what EDI is and how it can benefit your eCommerce business. We’ll also provide some interesting facts about the pros and cons of EDI in eCommerce. So if you’re ready to learn more, keep reading!

What Is EDI?

EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is the direct computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard format. This technology allows businesses to communicate electronically with their trading partners, such as suppliers and customers. EDI eliminates the need for paper documents, which can be lost or delayed in the mail. EDI also reduces errors and processing costs.

Since this technology can be used in manifold sectors such as manufacturing, retailing, banking, insurance, and healthcare, it brings numerous benefits to a wide range of businesses and organizations.

Indeed, there are various types of information and documents that can be exchanged using EDI technology, including orders, invoices, bills, financial letters, notifications, feedback, and so on.

What Is The Role Of EDI In eCommerce? 


In the world of eCommerce, EDI plays an important role in integrating different systems and facilitating automated order processing. EDI is commonly used to connect eCommerce platforms with suppliers, warehouses, and logistics providers.

By using EDI, businesses can automate their order fulfillment process and improve efficiency. Furthermore, EDI can help to reduce errors and ensure that orders are processed accurately. In short, EDI is a key technology for businesses that want to streamline their operations and optimize their supply chain. Thanks to EDI, businesses can focus on their core competencies and leave the heavy lifting to automation.

EDI is not only used to connect eCommerce platforms with suppliers but it can also be used to connect eCommerce platforms with customers. By using EDI, businesses can automate their customer service process and improve efficiency.

How EDI Works?

To exchange EDI documents, companies need to use special software. This software converts the documents into a standard format that can be read by any other EDI system. Some of the most common EDI formats are ANSI X12, EDIFACT, and TRADACOMS.

To send and receive EDI documents, companies need to have an EDI gateway. This is a piece of software that sits between the company’s internal systems and the outside world. It allows the company to connect to its trading partners and exchange EDI documents with them.

This gateway converts the documents into the correct format and then sends them on to the trading partner. It also converts any documents that it receives from trading partners into the company’s internal format. This way, the company can work with the documents as if they had never been in an EDI format.

Once the document has been converted, it is sent electronically to the company’s trading partner. The trading partner then uses their own EDI software to convert the document back into their own format. 

EDI networks can be either private or public. Private networks are usually operated by a single company, while public networks are open to all businesses that subscribe to the service.

In order to use EDI, businesses need to have compatible software and hardware. Most EDI transactions are conducted using XML (Extensible Markup Language). This is a standard format that can be read by both human beings and computers.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of EDI?



Reduce Paper Usage

By using EDI, businesses can reduce the amount of paper they need to use overall, which would in turn save them money in the long run.

For example, suppose a company deals with customers overseas. Normally, they would have to send copies of all invoices and other related documents by mail to the customers. However, with EDI, they can instead send the documents directly to their customer’s email addresses. This way, the company doesn’t have to spend any extra time or money on sending paperwork around – it’s all handled automatically.

EDI also helps companies improve communication between different departments within a company. For example, it would be impossible for a salesperson to communicate with a customer service representative if they didn’t have access to relevant customer data. With EDI, both departments can easily share data via electronic means so that everyone involved understands what’s going on.

Minimize Data Entry Errors

Data entry errors are one of the most common types of mistakes that people make. They can lead to a loss of valuable data, and can also cause a lot of hassle for businesses.

One way that you can minimize data entry errors is by using electronic data interchange (EDI). EDI helps to automate the process of exchanging business information between different parties. This means that you can save time and effort by automatically transferring information between your various systems without any manual errors.

Additionally, EDI ensures the accuracy and completeness of the data, which minimizes the chances of making any errors. It also helps to speed up the process, as it reduces the amount of time that is needed to transfer information from one system to another.

Accelerate Data Interchange


EDI helps speed up data exchange by automating the process of exchanging documents between companies. This means that companies can avoid spending time on tedious and time-consuming tasks, like manually entering data into various systems.

EDI plays a crucial role in reducing the time it takes to transfer large files, get updates on changes to files, and track changes throughout the entire process. It also allows companies to convert data between different formats more easily. Thus, it can be used in multiple applications. 

Ensure Security

EDI helps ensure security by allowing companies to send and receive secure messages over the internet.

When using EDI, companies can protect their data by encrypting it using digital signatures. This ensures that no one else other than the intended recipient can access the data. In addition, EDI also allows for real-time tracking of all messages so that you can ensure that they are being sent and received as planned.

EDI also makes it easier to track payments and manage orders, which is essential for ensuring smooth customer service and avoiding any delays or issues. Overall, using EDI helps keep your business running smoothly and securely, making it an essential part of your overall strategy.


Complicated Initial Setup 

set up

Setting up EDI requires a complicated initial setup, which can be time-consuming and difficult to do correctly.

This can be particularly challenging if you’re not familiar with the software or the networking requirements. You need to make sure that all the different communication channels are working properly and that all the data is being transferred in an accurate and efficient manner.

Otherwise, your business could suffer from serious consequences down the line, such as decreased productivity and increased costs. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to help make the process easier.

You can use EDI platforms and software to streamline the setup process and make it more efficient.

Alternatively, you could consult with an experienced provider who can help you establish a proper system from scratch.

Fast-changing Standard

There are now dozens of different EDI standards, each with its own unique features and benefits. This means that businesses need to keep up with the latest changes so that they can continue to send and receive business data in an efficient and effective manner.

One of the most recent changes to the EDI standards is the introduction of XML-EDI. XML-EDI is a new standard that uses XML as its communication format instead of traditional EDIFACT messages. XML-EDI is much more reliable and easier to use than other EDI formats, making it a better choice for businesses who want to adopt electronic trading platforms or manage large amounts of data.

So far, XML-EDI has been extremely successful in meeting these goals, and many businesses are already using it to improve their trading processes. In fact, it’s likely that XML-EDI will become the standard mode of communication for all types of business data in the future.

Systematic Backup

EDI (electronic data interchange) requires systematic backup to ensure that the data is always accessible in the event of a disaster. In order to ensure the safety and continuity of your EDI transactions, you should create a systematic backup plan.

Your backup plan should include all critical data files that are related to your EDI transactions. This includes all documents, emails, graphics, and other files that relate to your business. You should also make sure that these files are stored in a secure location and backed up on a regular basis.

It’s important to note that even if your business is not directly impacted by a disaster, it’s still important to have a backup plan in place for general security reasons. By taking these simple steps, you can protect your business from any unforeseen disruption or catastrophe.

Capital-Intensive Maintainance


The main reason why EDI requires such a high level of maintenance is that it involves a lot of data processing and communication.

The software that manages EDI needs to be robust enough to handle all the complex interactions between different systems. This means that it needs to be able to handle all kinds of changes and updates quickly and easily.

In addition, it should also be able to handle multiple languages and currencies, so that everything is translated correctly into every language.

EDI also requires a lot of system security in order to protect against attacks and data breaches. This is because EDI transactions involve a great deal of confidential information, such as financial data and customer details.

All of these factors make EDI a particularly demanding area of software development and require a high level of maintenance to keep everything running smoothly.

Wrap Up

By now, you know the value of EDIs. That’s why it is important to understand their impact on your business before making a decision to invest time and money in this channel.

In addition, there are many pros and cons associated with using EDI in eCommerce. So, keep track of all these aspects while evaluating whether or not this platform can be a good fit for your business.

Beside EDI, a responsive eCommerce website is also a contributing factor to the success of your online business. If you don’t get a grasp of how to build one, you should consider colaborating with a first-rate eCommerce development company like Tigren. With hands-on experience gained from delivering more than 700 online stores, we are eager to help you build, maintain, and enhance your sites using minimal resources.


Read more:

Top 20 Best E-commerce Podcasts You Should Listen

How To Start A Print On Demand Business: From Idea to Income