Most technology companies love to talk about being a leader in Digital Transformation. It’s a catchy phrase, but it has sound meaning to it. The official explanation of Digital Transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. As a business, this sounds easy; let’s get some new or upgraded technology that will make us more efficient. However, there is another side to Digital Transformation. It also includes a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure. Wait, failure - who’s signing up for that?
In reality, failure doesn't have to be part of the equation. Proper planning and potentially limiting your scope (at least initially) can put an organization in a much better position to succeed. From an eCommerce perspective, Digital Transformation is no different than the stated definition. Integrating the proper technology into your current business infrastructure and getting your internal personnel to think and act differently than before can optimize your processes and deliver benefits to customers.
These four elements can fundamentally change the way your online business is for your customers and your business.
Two essential parts of your eCommerce site are the products you sell and the price you sell them for. Customers come to your site to view products and place an order. An easy way to get all the information from your ERP is to sync it all to your website with the proper ERP integration. Your ERP is the technological foundation for everything that you do moving forward. Having a tight integration between your ERP and your eCommerce site gives you the ability to create and manage data in one place (your ERP) and have the flow of data going both ways.
No one wants to say that data entry is a core competency for their business. With the right eCommerce platform, your sales orders process automatically from your site to your ERP. Also, updates in your ERP are happening in near real-time to your website. Price changes, inventory levels, and shipping lead times are all examples of data calculated in the ERP that get synced to your website automatically. These updates provide customers with the latest information that they can act on.
Automation can also include things like invoices, payments, shipping, and tax rates. Get paid faster with an Accounts Receivable portal within your platform. Customize email notifications for customers on each step of the order process. Keeping your customers updated with as much information about their orders can limit the number of time employees spend on the phone answering basic questions. Customize warehouse locations and keep track of inventory levels, making everything visible to your customers and alerting them on product changes along the way.
What happens if all your data is not in your ERP. A content management system that will manage your site (B2B & B2C) is also a key component of online business success. Having one place to manage products, discounts, pricing, descriptions, and images is a huge time saver. If all your needed data is not in your ERP, a cloud workspace is a great way to optimize your online presence for your business.
Delivering personal experiences on your site by showing dynamic content, product recommendations, recently viewed products, and complex customer pricing can help win your customers over and help increase repeat sales. Giving customers access to purchase history (not just the eCommerce type) and payment options can be a big deal to the average customer. Transform the way customers think about your products and how they are doing business with you by offering them personalized control.
Digital Transformation isn’t just about you and your business; it’s also about helping your customers feel special and in control of their processes as well. When you’re able to offer a positive experience to someone visiting your site, the chance of them returning, again and again, is highly likely.