eCommerce Is Not An IT Problem
Article adapted from Sage eCommerce's Digital Insights Blog.
Too often businesses look at technology as being the domain of the IT department and this is usually born out of a deep rooted fear of technology. Consequently businesses tend to err on the side of procrastination when it comes to technology adoption – there is still time, right?
It’s a classic case of “head in the sand approach” to technology.
A business approach taken at their own peril.
Because technology, specifically digitization, is impacting every industry. Digitization is accelerating and you are faced with the reality that your business and industry are in the midst of significant change – change driven by technological innovation. Digital represents a complete mind shift – from how you engage with your customers, partners and suppliers, to the internal processes by which you operate your business.
This digitization is being driven by the consumerization of your customers and partners. They all are users of technology on a daily basis and that usage, that digital behavior, is changing their expectations on how they conduct business with you. (Want to learn more about how consumerization affects consumer experience? Check out our blog post here).
According to Statista, in the eCommerce market, the number of digital buyers is expected to amount to 2.14 billion people worldwide by the year 2022.
eCommerce should be, and is, the great equalizer. When it comes to eCommerce, size simply does not matter. What matters is experience and consumer engagement. Larger businesses may be able to compete using their size as leverage in the traditional model, but digitizing on a large scale can be cumbersome as they often must deal with legacy, non-integrated back-end systems. This gives a sizable advantage to smaller sized businesses and that is why the time to look into eCommerce is now.
How should you approach eCommerce?
Small and medium businesses have a lot to gain in the digital era. eCommerce allows you to think big and puts enabling technology into your hands – specially technology that was previously too expensive or too hard to access. For this reason you must view eCommerce as a business solution, not a technology problem. You need to examine it from a business perspective.
The marketplace is crowded with eCommerce vendors. So to determine the right solution for your business, you first need to understand what your business goals are in terms of eCommerce.
Ask yourself, “what kind of value do I want eCommerce to create for my business and my customers?”
Integration means intelligent eCommerce.
The most important criterion for any eCommerce solution is integration with your back-end system. If your existing, or proposed, eCommerce solution is forcing you to enter web orders into your back-end system or updating pricing into your web-store, you do not have an integrated eCommerce solution. What you DO have is a disconnected solution that is not scalable, prone to human error, and will ultimately result in customer dissatisfaction.
Integration means you have seamless replication of the business logic you have predefined in your back-end system, in your web-store. This includes pricing, inventory, sales and customer data. Integration means ALL orders entered into your eCommerce store, by your customers and partners, are automatically generated in your back-end system. Integration means time – time to focus on the growth of your business and not dealing with petty things such as unnecessary human errors or fear of technology.
Only with an integrated eCommerce solution can you transform your business and create measurable value, improve customer experience and engagement, increase profit margins, and improve time-to-market. For these reasons alone, integration must be at the top of your eCommerce requirements checklist.
Check out how Sage eCommerce integrates with the Sage 300 Backend
You need to consider eCommerce as a business accelerator, improving your operating efficiencies while driving incremental revenue. You need to embrace the opportunities of eCommerce as a business solution.
eCommerce is definitely not something to be confined to the domain of the IT department.