Back to Blog

Retail operations in the cloud: Bringing eCommerce and ERP under a new roof

3 April, 2018
columbus_ecommerce_retail
Bringing eCommerce and ERP under a new roof

B2B and B2C organizations are in a race – to digitally transform business operations in line with other industries. But it’s an obstacle course for those with a legacy retail presence to deal with, purchase patterns to monitor, and suppliers and distribution channels to manage – and no two contracts are ever the same.

As an IT services company with strong focus on helping UK businesses capitalise on digital disruption, we have been dealing with the challenges of bringing eCommerce and ERP capabilities together for B2B and B2C organisations. We think we’ve cracked it with our new eCommerce solution. Read on and see if you agree.

There’s a growing move towards 'as-a-Service' and 'on-demand' technology deployments - and for good reasons. These deployment models offer scalability and flexibility which means businesses only pay for the services they use, when they use them. It seems like a no brainer.

But in the B2B space, this model is still scarce. Organisations are still overhauling legacy commerce systems with B2B lagging slightly behind B2C in the digital transformation race. Static, non-mobile optimised marketplaces are common sights on B2B web presences.

The question is, how can businesses meet the needs of diverse, increasingly online customers with differing needs and expectations, with a single solution?

From PC to iPhone - Introducing Columbus eCommerce

This week we announced the launch of Columbus eCommerce, a new cloud-based solution that allows B2B and B2C organisations to quickly deploy a modern online marketplace available on devices as broad as PCs, tablets or iPhones. The solution is designed to deliver a full eCommerce service and enable enterprise digital transformation in a rapid, friction-free manner.

No two contracts are the same? No problem

We recognise that in B2B retailing, no two contracts are the same. This is why we developed the Columbus eCommerce solution to streamline the sales process, by dynamically displaying product and pricing data associated to each user’s contractual agreements.

Delivery in weeks, not months

Columbus eCommerce is delivered via the Azure cloud in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for swift deployment. It fully integrates – out of the box – with your existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 deployment, meaning no disruption to business operations. Full deployment is measured in weeks – not months.

Look to the cloud

A study in late 2016 found that 40 per cent of retailers that suffered an hour-long disruption to IT operations would lose over £10,000. That’s why at Columbus, we remain firmly convinced that the future for retailers – as in many other industries – lies in the cloud. Cloud-based solutions help retailers leverage digital disruption, rather than being adversely affected by it.

Ensuring a smooth transition to a cloud-based, future-proof platform is an absolutely essential part of this digital transformation process, and something we’ve addressed with our new eCommerce offering.

Plug in the technology, play and pay as you go

How did we develop Columbus eCommerce? We drew on over 100 years of experience from our in-house eCommerce team to address common pain points of both B2B and B2C retail organisations in a single, affordable solution.

With plug-in technology, we offer the ability for customers to quickly deploy and customise additional functionalities, based on their unique B2B or B2C business requirements. Above all, we offer this solution – including all necessary software, services and infrastructure – for a single, fixed monthly fee.

How can eCommerce from the cloud help your business embrace digital disruption? Learn more about our new eCommerce solution and what it can do for your business
here.

Cloud Transformation Series

Retail is better at the speed of the cloud

Learn about cloud transformation in our guide!

Download your copy
Guide to cloud transformation for Retail