Build a future for your business by digitalisation

Digitalisation seems to be a mantra for politicians, a far-sighted vision for a future society – and the hot spot on the agenda for many at C-level and those responsible for marketing and sales.

This futuristic view might be relevant, but in reality it has been around for a while. It already delivers tangible results for many businesses, although slightly smaller in concept and by a different name of e-commerce.

In many cases, digital commerce evolved into being the centrepiece of digitalisation strategies, turning its promises into reality – higher efficiency, improved customer services, lower costs and more sales.

Digitalisation puts your customers’ needs into focus. It will make you learn quickly about the customers buying from you, enabling you to digitally inspire them and provide a more targeted offering in both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) environments. Your customers can easily interact with you, while self-servicing is convenient and saves them time. Purchase cost is reduced and customer loyalty is improved, as is profitability for both sides. And that makes life easier.

Where more traditional organisations benefit from efficient processes leveraging their enterprise resource planning systems, digital business appears to be more demanding. Due to new digital sales channels, use of multiple devices, changing customer expectations, multiple stock-keeping locations, order speed and logistics, order processes are becoming much more complex. A single view of the customer is harder to achieve. This often results in inefficiencies and, even more importantly, in poor customer experience. It also creates the feeling that current IT-landscapes are difficult to adapt to modern e-commerce needs.

One pragmatic, yet highly effective, way to orchestrate these complex order processes more efficiently is by using an order management system (OMS), which facilitates a single view on the customer for all stakeholders. With a consistent company-wide view on product availabilities, order status, returns and payment status, it efficiently handles an order regardless of which sales channel it was received. While this helps to reduce costs for the organisation, the buyer experience improves significantly.

According to the Intershop E-Commerce Report 2016, 94 per cent of the organisations that integrated an OMS in their IT landscape report a positive impact on their e-commerce operations.

Digitalisation can revolutionise your organisation as well. Disruptive business models or technologies and new stealth competitors may demand a fresh market approach. The Dutch ERIKS Group reacted to the changing B2B buyer behaviour by founding Zamro, a dedicated online startup. Within five months, this one-stop marketplace went live with an assortment of more than 500,000 industrial components, primarily directed at smaller and medium-sized business clients. Key focus is ease of order with a perfect understanding of the customer and an excellent customer experience.

Constructing a smart digitalisation strategy starts with an end-to-end screening of the processes within your organisation. Take an holistic view of your requirements in a cross- technology context, based on your strategic goals, and align them with a typical customer journey and persona-specific requirements. In this way you can identify your individual commerce landscape and determine the required integrations with relevant related systems, such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, business intelligence, logistics and fulfilment. Building a digital commerce solution in combination with an order management system as an integral part of your whole business will simplify your sales and customer services delivery.

Digital transformation is about understanding and responding to changing expectations better and faster than your competitors. To achieve this with a powerful return on investment, an experienced partner will save you time, effort and resources. Intershop has been the e-commerce pioneer for more than 25 years. We advise and support hundreds of ambitious B2B and B2C companies, from global enterprises to fast-growing startups, in the digital transformation of their sales and customer services processes. Based on our commerce platform, we construct tailor-made digital commerce engines that integrate flexible and perfectly into any IT-landscape, exceed customer expectations, improve efficiencies and increase revenues.