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At Columbus, we’re so happy to see customers recognised for their hard-earned success. That’s why we want to shout about the recent news of one of our eCommerce customers being honoured in the U.S. just as we were handing out our own customer awards at the ColumbusLive annual UK conference.

Sam Wolf, Founder and Chief Wellness Spreader of leading health and supplements retailer LuckyVitamin, won the Ernst & Young outstanding entrepreneur award in the Greater Philadelphia region for his achievements in the eCommerce sector.

Why the recognition? We just have to look at the company. LuckyVitamin has been operating online since 2005 and has been able to expand its web presence to offer over 35,000 products in dozens of countries worldwide. The company’s business is powered by a Microsoft Dynamics AX and ColumbusMCR end-to-end retail solution designed to bring together operations from administration and order processing to customer service in an eCommerce environment.

The LuckyVitamin approach – positioning for the consumers of the future

As we have seen in recent months with store closures, CVA proposals and major retailers going into administration, traditional ‘brick and mortar’ retailers are under rising pressure as customers increasingly turn to digital.

This has resulted in an increase in market share for eCommerce, creating opportunities and areas for new online retailers to emerge and grow. A recent PwC study estimates eCommerce currently represents just 15% of all global commerce, there are still plenty of opportunities for retailers to break into the sector.

Columbus recognises that retailers will need a web presence that helps differentiate them from competitors as the eCommerce space becomes progressively more crowded. Whether this is ensuring a consistent presence across all devices, improving order processing time or introducing more dynamic pricing, retailers should look to integrate business-critical ERP processes into their web store - harnessing data for personalised customer experiences. As a specialist in retail technology, we develop solutions tailored the unique needs of the sector, allowing businesses to connect every area of operation for improved visibility, service and agility to help them stand out from competitors.

eCommerce success – the rule of three

For retailers to ensure eCommerce success, they must be highly reactive to market pressures, seasonal demand and consumer expectations. To do so eCommerce solutions need the ability to update pricing and availability dynamically, via integration with an existing ERP solution.

In turn, there should be a focus on using this data as the foundation of building a perfect customer experience – generating actionable insights about customer habits and preferences to offer product recommendations, advanced account and order management, and promotional pricing. Mobile-ready web stores will provide an opportunity to tap into a growing ‘mobile by default’ customer base, as an increasing number of consumers turn to shopping via smartphones.

Then finally at the corporate level, businesses now look to a cloud-based deployment to avoid large upfront expenditure or disruption to ongoing operations and ensure scalability of the solution in line with broader business growth.

Future-proofing your eCommerce operations

Earlier this year we launched the new Columbus eCommerce solution in the UK, which has been developed from decades of in-house experience, analysis of the evolving UK retail sector to identify common pain points, and knowledge of the value in emerging technologies.

A fully servitised solution, Columbus eCommerce is delivered via the Microsoft Azure cloud, enabling retailers to deploy a personalised web presence within weeks. Complete integration with Dynamics 365 allows retailers to harness advanced business analytics and customer insights for dynamic pricing, targeted offerings and customised discounts to offer a consistent, high-quality experience for both B2B and B2C customers.

With a web presence so easy to deploy and a market filled with opportunity, it could be time for your business to go digital. Get in touch with the Columbus team today and ask us how we can help your eCommerce business thrive!

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