This post was contributed by Jared Cornell, Customer and Marketing Specialist at ProProfs.
The eCommerce industry has been the talk of the ‘business town’ for decades now, and there are no signs of this industry slowing down anytime soon.
As per Bill Borrelle, CMO of Pitney Bowes – “The eCommerce industry will experience dramatic changes in the coming few years, and digital transformation is going to be the major driving force behind that.”
So what made this industry grow by leaps and bounds even during an uncertain and volatile economy? Experts believe that a combination of factors such as the rise in the internet and smartphone usage and value-consciousness among consumers are responsible for this evident eCommerce digital transformation in retail, manufacturing, electronics, and other industries.
If you ask customers what they like about online shopping, they can provide you with a long list of reasons. Your customers might not be aware of the nitty-gritty and hard work that goes into creating an eCommerce store. However, for them, the letter ‘e’ in eCommerce does stand for ‘easy’. After all, no offline store can ever match the level of comfort that online shopping provides using digital mediums.
Now, instead of reflecting on the wonders of eCommerce in the past, let’s dig a little deeper into the future of this ever-growing industry.
What is Digital Transformation in eCommerce?
According to Gartner, “Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models.”
eCommerce is a large industry, and it’s no big surprise that everyone wants to know the future of eCommerce in the light of digital transformation.
With technological revolutions like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and digital awareness, it’s being hailed that the industry is going to experience a huge makeover.
Before we talk about the major trends, let’s take a quick look at some issues that are ailing digital transformation eCommerce growth.
How is Digital Transformation Changing the eCommerce Industry?
Enhanced Customer Experience
Digital transformation has changed the way customers interact with eCommerce websites. With the help of advanced technologies like chatbots, AI, and machine learning, customers can now have a more personalized and engaging experience.
For example, businesses can use data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences, and then use this information to personalize product recommendations, promotions, and marketing messages.
Digital transformation in eCommerce has made it possible for businesses to optimize their websites for mobile devices. This means that customers can easily browse and make purchases using their smartphones or tablets, which enhances their overall shopping experience.
Improved Supply Chain Management
eCommerce transformation has enabled businesses to streamline their supply chain management by implementing automation and analytics.
For example, businesses can use automated inventory management systems to track inventory levels in real-time, and automated order processing systems to streamline the order fulfillment process.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another technology that is improving supply chain management in eCommerce. IoT enables businesses to track products and shipments in real-time, accelerating the speed and improving the efficiency of the supply chain.
With the increasing number of cyber threats, eCommerce businesses are now investing heavily in cybersecurity measures.
Using digital transformation technologies, eCommerce businesses can now implement fraud detection systems to prevent fraudulent activities. These systems use advanced algorithms to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions, reducing the risk of loss to the business and customers.
Digital transformation has enabled eCommerce businesses to have an omnichannel presence. This means that businesses can now reach customers through multiple channels like social media, mobile apps, and websites, and even integrate their offline and online channels. For example, businesses can offer in-store pickup and returns for online purchases, which provides customers with a more convenient shopping experience.
Furthermore, voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have become increasingly popular in eCommerce. Digital transformation has enabled businesses to develop voice-enabled apps that customers can use to shop online using voice commands.
Challenges on the Way of Digital Transformation eCommerce
Growing Fear Around Online Data Privacy
While eCommerce might be gaining immense popularity, internet users are still skeptical about entrusting companies with their data and concerned about its eventual use. Here are some enlightening statistics by Pew Research that point to the same.
- Around 59% of people believe that online data may be false, and around 70% find it hard to believe in the credibility of online data.
- Further, around 72% of people believe that organizations exploit their personal data without permission.
There is More to Digital Transformation than Technology
- People fail to realize that digital transformation is not only about technology. but also about financial, cultural, and process readiness. Here are a few digital transformation examples in manufacturing to prove the point.
- Successful transformation requires human empowerment, leadership, and ecosystems for leveraging technologies for digital transformation and human talent.
Mixed Responses to the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence
The adoption of AI in eCommerce can be another major roadblock as there is no general consensus among the consumers. While some favor it, others are equally fearful. A study by Pegasystems sheds light on some key figures.
- 60% of people think AI alone cannot be trusted to make final decisions on an enterprise level.
- 52% find it hard to believe in AI and find it biased.
Further, it’s important to have a clear-cut understanding of your business goals and team motivation if you want to invest in AI for digital transformation in commerce. Any automation is only as efficient and as fast as the professional using it. In-house employee empowerment and motivation play critical roles in digital transformation success in eCommerce.
Now that we have discussed the major issues with commerce and digital transformation, let’s move ahead to find out the upcoming trends and future of eCommerce in the light of digital transformation in manufacturing, consumer goods, electronics, and other industries.
Trends in eCommerce Digital Transformation
There are several distinguishing developments that transform digital commerce:
Digital business models, cost regulation, and customer experience lead the strategy charts.
eCommerce is a sector where customer experience can have astonishing effects. Disruptive competition is going to be more intense, with more and more brands joining the online race. Adopting digital business models with automated processes and smart cost-cutting methods are surely going to help brands carve successful strategies.
Most of the companies will be adopting the ‘flywheel approach’ with eCommerce customer experience as the center of all business operations and strategies.
5G is going to revolutionize the post-2020 scenario.
The number of subscribers, online shoppers, and internet users are going to boom in the coming decade. Millennial shoppers are going to increase in numbers and will look for even faster and more comfortable modes of delivery, shopping, and payment. 5G will change the landscape of eCommerce with its advent and empower the sector to cater to these demands.
As per an estimate, more than 2 billion shoppers will be added to the online shoppers’ community; and 5G will undoubtedly create more eCommerce opportunities.
Analytics and virtualization will be top innovations.
More brands are expected to move towards virtualization to deliver exciting and innovative customer experiences. For example, virtual reality stations for checking furniture arrangement, to understand the look and feel of a place.
More brands will work on actionable analytics to develop better costing plans, better strategies, and better marketing techniques. Amazon, which is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce companies, is believed to emerge as a winner because of its awesome analytics-based strategic agendas. However, a lack of in-house skills and traditional IT can impede the success of such strategies.
More companies will opt for eCommerce automation.
Automation will become much more than simply a help desk software for business. More companies will adopt novel eCommerce automation for their warehouses, offices, and business units. Everything from real-time data sync, sorting, managing, and maintaining inventories, taking orders, and creating tickets can be automated.
Known as process automation, this approach will be used massively to free more time for business tasks, and other essential activities.
Cross-platform support for better customer experiences.
To stay afloat in the neck-to-neck competition, companies will be adopting the best help desk principles such as cross-platform support, and automated ticketing systems. A majority of shoppers use mobiles for online shopping, and the trend is going to gain figures in the coming years.
To cater to such huge numbers of online shoppers using mobile and a wide variety of digital devices, the companies must be ready with cross-platform and omnichannel customer support systems to stay in the game! Products like ProProfs helpdesk software will help brands to create amazing customer support systems.
Order fulfillment will be a game-changer.
With a large number of online shoppers added to the existing pool, order fulfillment will become a game-changer. Companies will be focusing on inventories (number and location), better and faster delivery methods, and reduction of cost and time for the same.
And, as customer expectations rise, so will the desire for flexible supply chains and the ability to modify and scale ordering workflows that already work.
Privacy and transparency will matter more.
With more data going around, brands taking eCommerce digital transformation seriously will prioritize security and customer privacy. Enterprises will have more options when crafting security policies or choosing data protection tools and methodologies.
To restore faith, we’ll see more emphasis on increasing transparency and privacy for better customer experiences.
B2B eCommerce will take the forefront.
B2B eCommerce companies are growing at a faster pace than B2C online companies.
Explore more B2B eCommerce trends in our guide
Steps to Digital Transformation in the eCommerce
Yet, B2B eCommerce isn’t just about selling to end-consumers, but also manufacturers, wholesalers, resellers, 2nd and 3rd tier distributors, and other types of business entities. These buyers don’t have time to call vendors, logistics partners, and supply chain professionals.
Considering that the majority of B2B searches now originate online (desktop, mobile, or voice search), it’s crucial that B2B businesses quickly move to this selling channel. Here are some steps to digital transformation in eCommerce:
Develop a Digital Strategy: The first step in digital transformation is to develop a digital strategy that aligns with your business goals. This involves identifying your target audience, understanding their needs and preferences, and developing a roadmap for implementing digital technologies.
Build a Digital Team: Digital transformation requires a team that can manage and implement digital technologies. This involves hiring professionals with expertise in digital technologies like data analytics, cybersecurity, and user experience design.
Upgrade Your Technology Infrastructure: Digital transformation requires upgrading your technology infrastructure to support digital technologies. This involves investing in hardware, software, and networking infrastructure that can support digital technologies like the cloud, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence.
Implement Digital Technologies: Once you have a digital strategy, technology infrastructure, and digital team in place, the next step is to implement digital technologies. This involves implementing technologies like mobile apps, social media integration, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence.
Measure and Analyze Performance: Digital transformation requires continuous monitoring and analysis of performance metrics to identify areas for improvement. This involves measuring metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, customer engagement, and customer satisfaction.
Continuous Improvement: Digital transformation is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement. This involves regularly reviewing your digital strategy, upgrading your technology infrastructure, and implementing new digital technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
How Oro Drives eCommerce Digital Transformation
Digital commerce transformation involves many steps, resources, and commitment. To ensure its successul, it’s critical to choose technology partners which are invested in the long-term success of your project.
At Oro, we know that digital transformation is an ongoing process and it may look different for every company and industry. We have vast experience working with enterprises in manufacturing, healthcare, industrial, chemical, automotive, and many other sectors, and are dedicated to helping you succeed in the long run.
If you’re planning to transform your business digitally with OroCommerce, we’ve got your back. We’ll collaborate with you to figure out your goals, determine your MVP, choose the right partners, and implement the solution. Plus, once you’re up and running, OroCommerce will always be there to help you improve and evolve.
Digital transformation is the way forward for eCommerce businesses. By embracing technology, you can streamline your operations, improve customer experiences, and increase your bottom line. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your existing online store to the next level, there’s no time like the present to begin your digital transformation journey.
Author Bio: Jared Cornell is a customer-support specialist, a marketing evangelist and a book lover, associated with ProProfs Help Desk. Jared is passionate about customer support and loves to solve customers’ queries. He is always keen to develop new strategies to help customers seeking Help Desk assistance for a delightful experience. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is digital transformation happening in eCommerce?
Digital transformation is happening in eCommerce because new technologies become available and affordable, allowing businesses to modernize their operations, improve customer experiences, and stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.
What technologies are driving digital transformation?
There are several technologies driving digital transformation, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain.
Why do companies postpone digital transformation?
Companies may postpone digital transformation due to various reasons such as lack of resources, fear of change, insufficient knowledge or understanding of technology, and perceived high costs or risks associated with implementation.
How to start digital transformation of your business?
To start the digital transformation of your business, you should assess your current operations, identify areas for improvement, set clear goals, and develop a roadmap for implementation. It’s also essential to educate yourself on relevant technologies and consider partnering with experts who can guide you through the process.