The post-COVID landscape is already putting a lot of pressure on sellers. Those that are working remotely are expected to maintain efficiency, pinpoint risks, and react to opportunities quickly.
We also saw unprecedented growth in the digital commerce industry. During this time, many businesses have used this opportunity to move to digital channels or prepare for the move in the short term.
As competition increases, brands must increase focus on maintaining their market share, fend off new entrants, and expand to new areas to stay resilient, mitigate risk, and grow their business.
Those who haven’t embraced digital tools to help them sell must move quickly if they want to stay competitive.
Looking at 2021 and Beyond
We live in a world of constant change, and keeping up with continuous changes in technology is challenging for many sellers.
If you want to survive in today’s digital landscape, your technology needs to focus on operational efficiency, improve staff productivity and appeal to buyers where they are.
Yet, technology is unpredictable and doesn’t always change the market, industry, or businesses as intended. Being open to these technologies gets you to market first and build a name for yourself in new selling mediums.
Don’t think of your digital transformation eCommerce strategy as a simple re-platforming to a new system. Selecting the wrong eCommerce platform can have disastrous consequences for businesses. It can lead to costly workarounds, patches, extensions, and customizations just to maintain existing customer relationships – leaving little time for growth.
When starting your digital transformation, get everyone on the same page. This will help you develop a stronger strategy that addresses industry- or business-specific issues and maximize your chances of success.
The Benefits of eCommerce Digital Transformation
When we talk about digital transformation, we refer to adopting new technologies that help accommodate new customer expectations, prepare for market disruptions and other unforeseen events.
According to Dell, 80% of organizations fast-tracked their digital transformation in 2020. Many were successful and saw the immense benefit as a result of their endeavors.
However, digital transformation is not without its challenges.
Many companies don’t approach digital transformation as an organizational change. They mistakenly believe digital transformation is a new feature, process, or upgrade in technology. Other roadblocks businesses face include industry or organizational resistance, lack of talent or expertise, legacy systems, siloed processes, or poor leadership.
Addressing these challenges starts with understanding the clear benefits of eCommerce digital transformation and getting the whole company involved in the project early on. Businesses must be more customer-focused, agile, and efficient – and more importantly, prepared.
Let’s explore ways how digital transformation can help businesses survive and thrive in quickly changing environments.
Post-COVID, 59% of customers will care more about the customer experience when deciding what company to do business with. As such, forward-thinking brands already make eCommerce a central part of their business. Today’s customers are as attuned as ever to personalized site experiences. From personalized emails, product recommendations to tailored self-service portals, customers expect it all. New trends such as buying online and picking up in-store are also growing in popularity.
The right digital commerce tools will have reporting capabilities to help you analyze shopping behavior and segment customers. Look for workflow automation and customization options that allow you to personalize experiences for every user.
Boost Internal Productivity
As company budgets remain squeezed, sellers will continue to do more with the resources they have. When you automate time-consuming and unproductive tasks, employees can spend more time building customer relationships and less time searching or entering information.
Furthermore, an eCommerce automation system can reduce costs associated with supply chains and increase efficiency when dealing with partners. Such internal productivity improvements translate to shortened fulfillment and delivery times.
Use Data to Make Smarter Decisions
Data can be the answer to many questions brands have about their customers, what they look for, what they buy, and why they do it.
Look for reporting ability with visibility into customer activity and eCommerce performance to help you make better product decisions. Once you know what products sell well you can better position profitable products and craft a pricing and promotion strategy accordingly. You can also personalize the customer experience according to how they interact with your site.
Omnichannel and Multichannel Selling
Businesses are aware that customers interact with them in different ways and realize they must accommodate them wherever they are. Whether customers express interest in person, over email, through the website, or via your Amazon store, their experience must be consistent.
Brands operating multiple business models such as B2B, B2C, B2B2C, or D2C need to manage numerous storefronts from one back-end. Software is at the heart of this – your eCommerce system must integrate with the ERP and CRM so you can manage omnichannel or multi-channel experience delivery from one place.
Leverage Rapidly Developing Technology
Digital technology is evolving, and developments in artificial intelligence, IoT, VR, and AR have the potential of building long-term customer experiences and increasing conversions.
For example, a digital commerce presence will allow you to evaluate AI tools to streamline marketing, personalization and boost internal productivity. By seeking out a robust API system, you can go past regular storefronts and create mobile progressive web apps or implement a headless setup for immersive IoT experiences.
Be Ready for Whatever Comes Next
Digital commerce continuing its upward trend in popularity is only a side effect of a much bigger picture.
As we move into the future, we’re also moving into a new era of sales and interacting with customers. These changes will only accelerate.
At the same time, it’s getting challenging to keep customer attention. Developments in technology also push brands to implement creative ways to stand apart in the competitive environment.
Fortunately, with the right eCommerce tools and processes in place, you can prepare yourself for the rapidly changing future. Start by examining your market and investing in the right eCommerce technology – it will help you succeed in whatever environment you’re in.