Digital Transformation (DX) is a daunting reality that is about to sweep the entire eCommerce sector. Every industry stands to get affected by the looming Digital Disruptors. Believe it or not, digitization is the primary driver of increasing revenue and profits.
Digitization isn’t just about reforming the company. It’s about introducing a new mindset: teams instead of hierarchies, networks instead of silos, pace together with perfection, & learning from customers. The digital landscape demands a new way of thinking.
We are in the “Darwinism Phase” of Digital Transformation & the businesses that fully embrace the digital road will thrive. Digital remodeling requires buy-in from every single employee in the organization.
“Amazonization” & other disruptive competitors warrant the need to improve backend processes to survive the competition. Brands can no longer rely on outdated solutions to sustain their business.
The result of this Digital penetration means a business can either adjust & cope or collapse & fizzle-out.
Against this backdrop, any brand that doesn’t embrace these latest measures will stay stuck in the “Legacy Bubble.” As many companies still find themselves on the rigid end of the Digital maturity curve.
Now, either they move forward full throttle, or run the risk of being overtaken by the next hot startup.
Some businesses are yet to embrace this transformation fully – here’s where the problem lies, the way online sellers are selling doesn’t match the way buyers are buying. Not only that, but their internal processes are also facing severe bottlenecks & snags at an earlier stage.
Rolling-out digital technologies can become a huge challenge when leaders face offices with different corporate cultures. Most employees are opposed to any shift in their working ways.
In this scenario, all companies must look to:
Dispel the myth that “Digital transformation” is an IT problem
Get influential (C-level executives) support emerging technologies
A digital transformation will propel your business for an easy adaptation to future technological challenges. Knowing that, wouldn’t you incorporate these Digital Advancements as early as possible.
Emerging Technologies in Digital Transformation
These are some of the future-ready business solutions for your eCommerce venture. These applications are the aptest for your eCommerce website. Let’s get down to it:
Automation – eCommerce companies deal with a lot of processes. Be it, customer management (CRM), shipping, Sales, HR, Accounts, warehouse performance, and so much more. Relying on labor to do these tedious chores, is a step back in this age.
Start relying on Automation for these tasks. Gone are the days when your staff would be utilized for these roles. Leave the job to self-regulated systems. Even the taxes aren’t done on spreadsheets anymore. Automation works best for repetitive tasks that need to be completed in the same way.
Manual invoicing, data entry, and data management results in errors. Besides the fact that workers take longer to locate documents manually, thereby losing time and reducing efficiency. Automating these actions clears time for other tasks. (Lead collection, sales, business development, etc.)
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning – Artificial intelligence-based solutions are the next major game-changer for eCommerce businesses. This may come to include learning about the buying journey and then targeting buyers based on that.
Use End-to-end Analytics to see how your customers behave.
Ads, offers, suggested products, etc. are customized to their browsing pattern/purchase history. All made possible by AI. Instead of inferring manually, you rely on the AI algorithm to get a better sense of your buyer base.
ML can process several data points in real-time without the need for any human intervention.
Buyers drop hints & the best way to deduce this is via AI. AI being helpful in analytics is another reason why eCommerce companies lean on them. Analyze complex data & make accurate decisions based on that data.
Even use Adaptive search to enhance search functions of your eCommerce website.
Omnichannel - Omnichannel model is becoming the heart & soul of every eCommerce company out there. Every brand wants to operate on every touchpoint. An omnichannel strategy helps to get more visibility.
One-dimensional selling is not conducive to modern businesses. Customers like to browse on multiple devices. Your absence in such places will hurt the business. Either make your website responsive or create native mobile apps to sell across all devices. Diversify your selling!!!
Turn yourself into an omnichannel provider. Combine online, offline & physical worlds to enhance the buying experience. If you already have multiple channels, then interconnect them & solidify your business.
Cloud - Cloud can quickly scale both in size & offerings to meet a customer's demand. Use any of the known cloud providers & help yourself to their powerful servers & services. Share files on the cloud and create a central hub to allow anyone to access that data – reduces Silos.
Cloud solutions enable you to be agile & meet customer demands quickly. It keeps the data secure, backed-up, & effortlessly accessible. The cloud architecture enables eCommerce websites to handle high traffic & workloads during peak season.
With cloud computing, the costs of developing & maintaining IT infrastructure cuts down heavily. Cloud computing gives higher bandwidth, computational power, & storage. eCommerce websites need such superb page load speeds, to provide the best user experience.
Blockchain - Blockchain, which is being increasingly used as a secure method of transaction and data processing, is a natural component of Digital Transformation for eCommerce websites.
With the help of Blockchain, you get to simplify transactions. Blockchain being a universal tender, is not subject to exchange rates, embargoes, fees, & other hurdles that hinder international payments.Blockchain offers constant accessibility to accounts, more rigorous security measures, lower fees, & broad international access. Get greater efficiency & replace the outdated, easily exploited facets of eCommerce with blockchain-linked systems.
Voice Commerce – Voice search is increasingly becoming a new way to look for products, which is why eCommerce stores need to be optimized for the same. A large part of the audience (Old & Millennials) are relying on Voice Search for purchases.
Voice Search helps your customers express intent more rapidly, making it possible to kill the fatigue of typing for the desired product. Brands need to realize this & bring an interface/system that captures user intent, sets the variables of intent, and the next action to follow.The UI in place should be able to remove friction; by defining a framework of the designed flow of conversation. Beyond this, you could even SEO the textual content on the site for all the trending Voice related questions.
Build a “Voice Search Ready” eCommerce website to engage better with your target audience.
Data Analytics – Analyze your business metrics & your target audience better. Equipped with the info you collect from the analysis, you craft a personalized marketing strategy. The data-driven approach lets you dish out campaigns that are more accurate and impactful.
Conduct a proper in-depth survey to gain a better insight into your audience. The review comes via analytics that uses tools like Google Analytics, Tableau, Adobe Analytics, etc. to measure how your customers are interacting with your business.
Top Challenges Associated with Digital Transformation
Internal Culture – Companies face stiff resistance on the inside to implement new workflows. Despite all the promises that Digital Transformation shows. There are some “primitive mindsets” in every company that is not aligned with this thought process.
New “Digital Drivers” redefine organizational structures & shifts power bases. As such, people in critical positions resist change. The right governance model needs to be developed & put into place.
The internal adoption rates will rise once the staff starts to see the benefits of Digitization. Workshops followed by training will bring a core change in mindsets. Shift mindsets, & take advantage of new research, frameworks, and guidance that is now widely available.
It is far more important to change people’s conceptions of these Digital drivers to see actual Digitization of your company.
Lack of funding – Companies are unwilling to invest. Officials don’t understand the 'big picture' & how the digital add-ons can improve back-end processes. Due to this perception, the C-level executives don’t ever approve funds for a Digital makeover.
Often these Digital implementations can rack up bills to the tune of millions of $’s since to realize the correct Digital model; the changes need to be made from bottom up. A lot of the SMB’s don’t have this kind of money.
Even the ones who do not feel the need to go down this road are investing in new technologies to enable digitization. Companies need to find a way to devote a portion of their operating expenditure to Digital Transformation..
Skillset - Many job functions are outdated, and the right skill set is not present in organizations to handle these new additions. Employees lack the skills/know-how about the Digital disruptors, affecting their organization.
Companies even lack suitably skilled personnel to regulate/manage this. In the absence of requisite talent or training, the familiarity with such new concepts will be comparatively low. Either coach your native employees or hire new workers who are more in-tune with such DX methods.
Talent & capabilities are indispensable to successful digital growth in any hierarchy. Retrain your workforce to realize new skills & ensure they are properly equipped. Business leaders must maintain a culture of consistent modernization of skills, processes, and technologies.
Legacy Systems – Most employees in leadership roles, are content with the technology in place. They are unwilling to adopt new solutions to streamline workflow and processes in place. The technology that falls in the worker's comfort zone causes many to not drift too far from it.
Too relaxed with the ongoing tools, means workers are hell-bent on sticking to the same. These outdated practices result in a lower output. The failure to merge newer technologies creates gaps in the company’s potential.
From where you are now & where you aspire to be can only be accomplished via DX. Legacy systems only create more cracks. Plus, the inability to compete with newer challenges on the horizon makes outdated solutions a burden
Benefits of Digital Transformation
In the short term, digital transformation may seem hard to cope with, for some brands, but the business benefits are significant in the long-term:
Empower Employees – Foster a Digital Culture & equip employees with modern tools (Automation) that make them more competent. The goal is to “Glue” Humans with Digital systems to improve productivity.
Millennials desire a workplace that has all the tools to assist their tasks - integrate gears that make their chores more seamless. The penetration of Automation is not a sign of distrust in your workforce. It’s brought in to make the back-end process more efficient.
Operational Efficiency is a crucial concern for many manufacturers, who often turn to such modern mechanisms to improve the yield & elevate worker productivity. It’s the blend of humans & droids that will result in the best performance.
Improve Insights – Metrics rule the game nowadays; the ability to delve deeper & gather numbers helps to get a better understanding of your business. This data reveals the internal inefficiency in place & gives more info about your target audience.
Data exploration has come to the forefront & become more vital to the core functions of any business (B2B/B2C). Use tools like Tableau, Google Data Studio, Usability, Power BI, etc. to derive more data about yourself and your buyers. Here’s everything you can do:
Improve Time to Market – Faster to market, means you cut-short the time it takes to launch a product. Administrative delays, repetitive work, unnecessary features, poor product launch, & poor information management will no longer stall the product release anymore.
The idea is to move at breakneck speeds, rapidly deliver solutions that support business goals & allow the company to stay competitive. When you are faster to market, you get the following benefits:-
- Allow your brand to dominate the market
- Develop a reputation of being an innovator – rather than a follower
- Cancel Competition and reach consumers before anyone else
The challenge is to be more flexible & adaptive in a dynamic, volatile business environment. Build a brand that can identify & capitalize on opportunities, navigate around risks, & respond quickly to changes in the environment.
Improved Silos - Both within & across departments, the data is not visible, feedback is low, & workflows are inflexible. Co-workers can’t share information easily – despite the proximity. The information, thus, stays clogged in one department.
Data silos result in redundancy of work & confusion with regards to effective collaboration. Thus, leaders need to undertake a substantial digital endeavor to tear down the Data Silos & make way for improved procedures.
Due to this, the data, not visible across teams, will become more accessible.
With no automation or a central hub to access all the necessary data – most departments end up hoarding data & don’t often transfer it to the employees who need it. Removal of silos will reduce duplication, improve knowledge retention, create effective teams & improve productivity.
Reduce Costs – Adopting some of these latest gears will prove profitable in the long term. Taking to Cloud will reduce the IT costs. Rather than purchasing expensive equipment, you can reduce your costs by using the resources of your cloud computing service provider.
- Use of Automation - No longer need to pay wages for expert staff & reduces errors
- Use of Cloud – Reduce Energy consumption costs
- Use of AI – Bots handle a large part of the customer support – Cost-Effective
Streamlining operation processes reduces costs because it takes less time to do the tasks. Besides providing timely, insightful data for decision making.
Customer Satisfaction - Customer dissatisfaction is another reason for showing urgency in DX. Companies are trying to better user experience at any cost.
The buyer is dissatisfied when something goes wrong & companies are trying to learn about it in real-time. Speed matters in such cases & companies thus look to provide answers ASAP.
To prevent this, introduce more agile processes to respond to customers. A quick address of any grievance improves the rapport with your user base.
AI bots in chat support will be a great change for giving rapid replies. Going Omnichannel will help to interact with customers across all touch-points. Personalized offers via Machine learning is another positive. Digital Transformation is integral to Customer Satisfaction.
Digital transformation is a constant process of changing the way you do business. It requires robust investments in skills, infrastructure, & mindset to bring about a real shift in the way businesses are being managed.
Digital Transformation results in higher revenue growth rates. Data & analytics allow companies to forecast the right product mix & upcoming trends. Digital Integration helps businesses Transform internal & external processes to ensure that they can meet market demands.
Companies that prioritized technology expenditures experienced above-average performance. Their revenue growth was almost double that of companies that did not keep up with technology investments.
Old habits die hard; thus organizations should identify ways to internally promote the benefits of change and set clear expectations for their workforce. A rigid philosophy is in place in your company – the goal should be to alter this.
Companies need champions, and the biggest decision-makers when it comes to investing in DX initiatives are the CEO & CTO of a company.
Companies must maintain focus on Digital Transformation as a strategic & investment priority, as well as evaluate the success of DX. They also need to become more data-driven, make DX company-wide, & ensure employees are not left behind.
So, where are you on the digital transformation curve? And what are your plans & strategies to stay ahead?
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