Businesses are fueling growth through digital transformation ‒ now more than ever. One reason for this is the constant change in the marketing arena leading businesses to look for ways to adapt and compete in the digital landscape.
Digital transformation enables enterprises to take advantage of modern technologies that allow them to improve customer experiences, automate processes, and help employees become more productive. This strategy is necessary for companies that do not wish to fall behind their competition.
Read further to learn tips for combining digital transformation and ecommerce. This post will discuss how to develop a winning strategy to grow your brand.
Understanding the Scope of Digital Transformation
Simply put, the scope of digital transformation involves the management and harnessing of the ‘5Ds of Digital,’ according to Dave Chaffey’s book Digital Marketing: Strategy, Planning, and Implementation.
The 5Ds are the opportunities for brands to interact with their customers and learn more about them. They include:
- Digital Devices – Businesses must consider all the devices that their audience uses to reach out to them, including a combination of connected devices such as smartphones, computers, gaming consoles, etc.
- Digital Platforms – Businesses must understand the platform they’ll use to find their target audience – is it social media platforms such as Facebook or search engines such as Google?
- Digital Media – What type of media does each platform support? Will they be paid, earned, or owned communication channels? How will you craft your message?
- Digital Data – Every marketing strategy needs to be guided by data. This could be in the form of market research, campaign analytics, and any data gathered through IoT devices.
- Digital Technology – There must be some form of marketing automation software that businesses use to create interactive experiences.
5 Forces Driving the Increased Focus on Digital Transformation and Ecommerce
By now, you know that digital transformation is an essential part of staying in business. But why is it a necessity? Why should businesses invest in developing a digital transformation strategy? Here’s why:
1. Shoppers are looking for products online.
Whenever you want to purchase a product, what do you do first? Most of the time, you’ll look it up online, searching for reviews, pricing alternatives, and more.
That said, it is crucial to make your company’s products or services readily available to potential customers who are browsing online.
With the stiff competition in the online world, brands are implementing all the techniques they can to remain ahead of their competitors. Especially with the rising popularity of online purchases, it is even more important for businesses to provide a compelling purchase experience for their customers.
Do you have an online, user-friendly way for customers to browse your products? Do you have a well optimized website to ensure that the customers can find you to begin with.?
2. Brands need a solid online presence to show value.
A good online presence provides the avenue for consumers to communicate directly with brands, while cutting out intermediaries. Consumers feel valued if they can have direct interaction with brands, so ecommerce is a good way to improve your public perception.
3. Products are being digitized.
In line with the previous point, consumers now demand a particular type of experience. With so many options available, they will shop around until they find what they’re looking for.
Using digital transformation to move into the ecommerce realm is one way that businesses are making products easily available to their consumers. When a company digitizes its products, it opens up new opportunities and markets that it couldn’t access before.
Selling products becomes easy when listed directly on your own digital marketplace or through third-party sites, like Amazon.
4. Customer expectations continue to rise.
Modern consumers are discerning, and they appreciate personalized experiences across all channels. (Ever heard of omnichannel marketing?)
People now use multiple devices a day to access the internet, so they appreciate when the process is seamless for them.
5. Products are being optimized.
Digital transformation is enabling companies to use technology to unlock the value within their enterprise by collecting, analysing, and sharing real-time data.
With this data, businesses are adjusting their operations accordingly (e.g., reworking fulfilment processes and logistics and adjusting their pricing structures).
5 Tips for Designing an Effective Digital Transformation Strategy
To put your business ahead of the competition through digital transformation, you need to have a solid plan. Here are some steps to follow when designing a digital transformation framework:
1. Identify your digital transformation goals.
Some of the goals to consider when designing your digital transformation strategy are:
- To improve user experience and increase productivity
- To increase customer retention
- To reduce operational costs
- To reduce complexity in business operations
- To gain insight and control over digital assets to boost efficiency
2. Conduct a situation analysis and performance review.
Different industries have different requirements, but as a rule of thumb, some ways to assess your situation include:
- SWOT Analysis: What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
- Customer Analysis: What type of audience interacts with you online? What are their demographics? How will they respond to the various media you use?
- Competitor Analysis: Before actualizing any business strategies, it would be prudent to look at what your competition is doing. How do they compete across the 5Ds of Digital?
- Channel Performance Analysis: How well is each marketing channel performing, and what impact will each have on your business?
3. Gain a clear understanding of technology requirements.
It is crucial for you to know how your business ranks in terms of IT skills and technological capabilities. Do you have the necessary structure to implement the customer experience you’re yearning for?
You also need to analyze your current platforms. You may need to scrap certain systems or re-platform them to avoid technology that limits you.
4. Consider augmented reality.
The main problem associated with online shopping is distrust and active cases of fraud. A customer may have seen an item online they wish to purchase, but they have no idea if it is an accurate representation of what they seek.
It’s common for online stores to be accused of having delivered products different from what they displayed online. This is where augmented reality (AR) can be helpful. With AR software apps, you can help shoppers visualize the products before purchase. AR integrations revolutionize ecommerce by removing some of the major psychological barriers to purchase.
5. Consider alternative payment methods.
It’s important to provide alternative payment methods so you can accommodate all customers. This includes but is not limited to credit card payments, bank transfers, virtual mobile wallets, such as PayPal, and cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
What About ERP?
When you integrate your ecommerce system with a modern ERP solution, you can align all your processes for a future-proof operation. Some of the benefits of integrating ecommerce with ERP software include:
- Optimal Inventory Management: Say goodbye to Excel and multiple disparate systems. Integration allows you to keep all your products up to date, including their status and pricing.
- Effective Customer Relations Management (CRM): You don’t have to go looking for a different CRM as you can usually get it all in an ERP. This ensures all your customer data is in one place, enabling you to create closer relationships.
- Integrated Accounting and Invoicing: Another reason you should integrate ERP with your ecommerce system is to efficiently coordinate the two most important financial operations for any business: accounting and invoicing. This makes things convenient for your customers, and, at the same time, leaves no room for errors.
It’s Time to Embrace Ecommerce
Digital transformation is a revolution in the digital age and not just a buzzword. Focusing on digital transformation and ecommerce is a tangible strategy you can start developing today.
The tips in this article will help you enter the ecommerce realm and boost your business in terms of efficiency, productivity, and customer experience. But remember: The tips in this post aren’t static, as we live in an ever-changing world. It would be prudent for you and your team to continually keep up with trends and best practices.
Author Bio: Lidia S. Hovhan is a part of Content and Marketing team at Omnicore Agency. She contributes articles about how to integrate digital marketing strategy with traditional marketing to help business owners meet their online goals.
Note: The inclusion of guest posts on the Panorama website does not imply endorsement of any specific product or service. Panorama is, and always will remain, completely independent and vendor-neutral. If you are interested in guest blogging opportunities, click to read more about our submission guidelines.