Online retail is expanding. It is limitless. This growth is triggered by internet penetration and extensive use of smartphone and tablets. Technological advancement in terms of internet connection is another major reason for this unprecedented growth.
A source reveals that the share of eCommerce in the overall economy across major regions will rise. Globally the digital commerce market will rise at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17 that is from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $2.5 trillion by 2018. There will be a remarkable increase in the revenue and market share of major eCommerce players like Alibaba, Amazon and eBay.
Recent trends of eCommerce
It is expected that eCommerce will shift from Transactional to Experiential Commerce . The focus of the business will shift from efficiency and product to understanding the behavior of customers by connecting with them emotionally. Trends that will take the driving seat are
- Almost 50 percent of the shopping will be through multiple devices , so retailers need to redesign the shopping experience
- Smartphone and tablet will account for almost 40 percent of eCommerce transactions
- Shopping big days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles Day will be even bigger(expect almost a 60 percent increase than last year)
- Customers expect personalized content , so retailers will shift from annoying pop-ups to relevant non–intrusive ads
- Order fulfillment will top the list of priority- More emphasis will be on faster and same day delivery
To survive in the competitive marketplace, companies have now adopted various business models to attract more customers, multiply revenue and scale up. Various companies now emphasize on providing an integrated purchase experience. Integration of online and offline store is the major trendsetter, where the shoppers start with their smartphone but purchase at a Point of Sale. Retailers to address the challenges of delivery and return orders are integrating logistics to their system. An enterprise-level solution will provide them a better control of delivery, and improve the customer service.
Why an Enterprise eCommerce Solution
eCommerce has changed the way of business, it is a key driver for reaching out to demography that is otherwise untouched by the traditional sales channels. In the last one decade or so, many E-tailers have swarmed the market. The major E-tailers differentiate them from their counterparts by providing services like Cash on Delivery, Cashback, Loyalty Programs, Free Shipping and Same-Day Delivery. to integrate these features, they need a comprehensive enterprise level solution that will serve as the digital backbone for businesses, to connect with customers better and will make a difference in the long-run.
A robust enterprise level eCommerce solution will deliver innovation, agility and speed that is important to thrive in the changing dynamics of the eCommerce ecosystem. Automating processes, syncing those with the existing system, multiple brand management, empowering the sales associate with real-time business insights, inventory management, and omnichannel management will be possible less-time consuming and seamless.
Choose the right technology
It is often difficult for retailers to choose the right technology as it has a significant impact on their eCommerce business. Selecting the right one is an organized, systematic and time-consuming process. Important determinants for selecting the right technology are
- Understanding of requirement – business objective, key bottlenecks, important features that a business needs, third-party integration required, requirement of up-sell and cross-sell
- What are the existing solutions and systems – programs that you are using now, and how these will work on the new platform, post migration
- Set the budget – cost of the platforms available, price for designing and development, maintenance, cost of migration, integration of bespoke solutions
Once you have considered these factors, you can choose the appropriate Enterprise eCommerce platform. Few of the popular choices are
Features for Scaling up business
Integrating an Enterprise eCommerce solution is profit-yielding for the businesses. It assures at providing an extraordinary and personalized shopping experience to the customers. The right mix of scalability, usability, security and localization features and customization of the enterprise-level solution will do wonders to the business. The solution helps businesses to cope up with the changing customer experience. Important features of the solution that assures flexibility and scalability are
- Inventory Management – Why you need to overestimate, when you can track your products, their selling price, discounts and other information that will help to take appropriate business strategy for improving the sales figure. It will also automate price updates to match the business trend.
- Offers & Promotions – Targeting your customer with suitable offers and promotions is essential. Businesses can create offers, unique codes for various offers, on-site advertising, customer loyalty programs and in-cart messages. Different loyalty programs will be connected to the shopping cart, product categories to ensure an improved shopping experience. Thus, turning customers into loyal advocates will be easy with various loyalty programs.
- Multi-channel sales – No need to complex the process when you can simplify it with a simple solution. Enterprises need not skip between various sales channels with this easy-to-use solution, but get the big picture of your business and take strategic decisions based on it. A single interface, will give you the glimpse of your business like track the orders, add new stores and channels, update processes and streamline other processes.
- ERP and CRM Integration – Seamless integration of the third-party applications is important for businesses to streamline operations. Since the solution allows CRM and ERP integration, you can get product data, customer data, and relevant information easily. Thus, you can stay updated with customer information that is integral to the success of your business.
- Shipping and Logistics – Logistics determine the success of an eCommerce company. The software will automatically connect your inventory to the shipping carriers. Thus, it will initiate the process of printing labels, validation of address for delivery, notification to customer, tracking the shipment, automatically and retailers can get details of the workflow in just one click. You can compare the rate of courier services or shipment companies. Integrating third-party logistics partner is easy which will ensure better delivery.
- Tax Compliances – Yes, tax compliance is a major concern for the eCommerce giants. By integrating this solution to your existing system, you can have a record of the sales tax that you have collected from different channels and the taxes that you need to pay.
- Big Data Analytics – Generate financial reports, consumer reports, and inventory reports and reshape the financial decisions to increase the business efficiency. Retailers can forecast daily, weekly and monthly sales and prepare plans for specific sales channels. The aim of integrating the analytics tool is to increase the revenue and get a competitive edge over the counterparts.
- Digital Campaign – To engage the customers, the solution lets the business integrate “Share” and “Like” button of social media platforms that are used widely. If a customer Likes a product and wants to share it with the social media community, it will be easy. Displaying the icons of different social media platforms reflects affiliation of the business and boosts credibility. Email Marketing is another step to personalize the shopping experience. The solution will help in easy integration of email platform.
- Automation of Workflow – The ultimate aim of this solution is to automate the business processes. It will streamline accounting, shipping management and eliminate errors which will in a way improve the customer experience.
These features are important for scaling up business. Irrespective of the business model you follow, integrating this solution will accelerate the growth of your eCommerce business. So, choose an Enterprise eCommerce Solution that assures flexibility and can be tailored as per the business need.
So, what do you think?