Commerce has been going on for millennia, but digital commerce is still relatively new (in comparison). And now more than ever your customers are more informed about their purchases. To keep up with these demands, it’s vital that your business adopts digital technologies to satisfy these demands, otherwise you will lose customers – and revenue.
But where do you even begin to make these digital transformations? This can be a daunting task, especially if your business is shifting from the traditional bricks and mortar commerce to online.
Here are our three steps to creating digitally transform your commerce business.
- Get to the heart of your problem
- Listen to your customer demands
- Use technology to help you with growth and change
1. Get to the heart of your problem
Before you set out on any new business venture, you need to identify where your commerce gaps are and how you’d like to change. Ask yourselves these questions:
- Is your commerce site getting traffic but not converting?
- Are your customers continuously abandoning products in their baskets?
- Do you have an online platform to sell and promote your products effectively?
- Is your offer different from your competitors?
- Do your customers only make one-off purchases?
By understanding the heart of your problem, you’ll be able to understand what area of commerce you want to change. This should give you a better idea of what measures you want to take to drive your change.
2. Listen to your customer demands
Secondly, you need to listen to what your customers want from you if you’re to meet their needs. If your commerce fails to give them what they want, then they'll likely choose to purchase elsewhere.
Blackberry is a good example of poor customer adaptation. Their top-performing handset took the mobile phone market by storm so they grew complacent. So, once touch-screen phones began to gain popularity, Blackberry lost more and more customers. This was because they failed to adapt to the market and the demands of their customers.
This isn’t a mistake you want to make. You need to be flexible when it comes to eCommerce. For success:
- Listen to your customers and evolve with their demands
- Offer them outstanding end-to-end customer service
- Monitor your conversion rates and analyse the results effectively
- Innovate and differentiate
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to deliver these elements, it’s time to think more about how technology can help you.
3. Use technology to help you with growth and change
By now, you might have worked out how to keep attracting your customers and have listened to their demands, but how do you implement change? This is where technology and digitalisation come in. Technology is a great investment for your business and can be an invaluable asset in your commerce strategy.
Below are five technology solutions essential for your eCommerce success.
An effective Commerce platform will enable your customers to easily locate the product they are looking for on any device they use. Accurate up-to-date delivery, pricing and availability promises can be made over a Commerce system too.
Commerce platforms are the backbone of any online transactional enterprise, as they store front and back-end to work together smoothly. Not only do they enable your business growth, they also provide a seamless customer experience.
However, Commerce systems don’t stand alone and should be able to integrate with all your core office systems.
Product information system (PIM)
As your business grows, managing all your products online can be a huge challenge. PIM systems take all aspects of your inventory management and house them under one roof.
A PIM system is a key tool in the digital marketplace portfolio because it supports buyer personalisation, promotional sales and more. It ensures that only your most accurate and high-quality data is displayed to your customers.
By implementing this system, you’ll also be able to reduce your returns rate as it gives your customers a clearer picture of what you’re selling. A PIM is particularly vital if you struggle with basket abandonment.
Content management system (CMS)
Content management systems are invaluable when it comes to supporting and enabling the upkeep of your digital storefront. They showcase all your products, helping ensure your brand is found amongst search engine results.
CMS can also help you to reduce business costs, manual workload and website optimisation. This means you can deliver the right message to the right people at the right time - something that's vital to stay ahead in this digital world.
Modern CMS platforms allow you to quickly and easily update your website content to boost your brand presence based on changing market trends and buying behaviours. Plus, there’s no need for IT or any external website management agencies.
Customer relationship management system (CRM)
A CRM system enables you to effectively engage with your customers throughout their entire lifecycle, from marketing campaigns to sales follow-ups. Having all this data on your customer’s behaviour in one place is invaluable if you're to meet demands and stay ahead of the competition.
You can see precisely where your leads come from and what industries they are from, for example. This, ultimately, helps you to market smarter.
Additionally, CRM systems can automate many tedious tasks, such as sending out follow-up emails and creating sales. This will reduce the number of manual tasks for your team and help increase productivity and efficiency.
Implementing a CRM system can also offer a better field service and help your customers feel more connected. By going beyond your clients’ expectations, you’re sure to surpass their expectations in an attractive, streamlined service.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Using AI is an innovative way to take your customer experience to the next level. AI can analyse customer behaviour on your Commerce or CMS. By gathering data on your customers and powerful algorithms, it can automatically personalise content (such as product recommendations and offers).
Business dashboards can also be deployed to monitor and guide these algorithms, making sure they remain effective, efficient and optimised. This will no doubt accelerate your business growth and support your customer experience goals.
It’s time to put the pieces in play for digital innovation
Are you prepared for innovative digital transformation?
We believe that you can only solve a problem when you identify the cause and the same goes for developing your commerce strategy. By identifying the gaps in your brand (such as where you fail to deliver to your customers), you can create an effective personalisation strategy to overcome these difficulties using technology.
Technology is only one step towards ensuring your business is customer-centric. In our guide below, we discuss the key to successful personalisation and tips on how to inject this into your eCommerce strategy.
Interested? Click the button below to download our free guide.