The world of e-commerce is changing rapidly. New technologies and software are flooding the market, claiming to offer the answer to all your (e-)commerce needs. That’s why many organisations are tempted to adopt a technology-first approach. In my opinion, listening to the customer and rethinking your business model and underlying processes is a much better starting point for businesses that are ready to take the next step towards Unified Commerce.
In a previous blog post we looked at the trends that will likely influence the development of the e-commerce landscape in the coming years. Customers’ demands and market conditions are constantly changing, leading to a proliferation of tasks and business processes to fulfil emerging needs. These tasks and processes generally benefit your business by improving efficiency and effectiveness, but they are all too often introduced on an ad hoc basis, meaning the broader picture is lost and there is a lack of a clear strategy. The result is that as a company you do not get maximum value from these initiatives and your customer’s experience suffers too.
A streamlined experience across all channels is just one of the advantages of a Unified Commerce approach. I would like to share the key benefits of rethinking your business processes.
Organisations are constantly faced with the need for change, which becomes necessary as a result of new regulations, fluctuating market conditions or the emergence of new ways of working. Business process design facilitates flexible processes. You get the flexibility of adjusting processes while incurring minimal cost. Processes can easily be customised to suit the requirements of the customer as well as those of the organisation. According to McKinsey, agility has the potential to improve customer experience by up to 30%.
Many organisations have to comply with industry regulations. A holistic approach to business processes ensures that you can implement regulatory requirements quickly, thereby preventing delays in compliance and potential fines or penalties. This approach also means organisational processes across departments become transparent and visible to staff.
Streamlining your business processes eliminates a lot of red tape and allows staff to focus on their work since it cuts down on a lot of repetitive tasks and makes access to information easier. This in turn makes for increased productivity and a happier workforce.
With agile processes and increased productivity, staff are better able to focus on the customer. They have increased capacity to respond more quickly to customers, build solutions faster and tailor their way of working to the changing business environment. Unified Commerce brings people and technology together in a way that increases customer satisfaction.
It’s important to bridge the communication gap between business and IT by using clearly defined standard processes. The focus should be on the processes, and the technology should support those processes. This can help to ensure that everything from technology infrastructure and data to governance and compliance are integrated and aligned.
Constant advances in business processes indicate that e-commerce will be even more vibrant and scalable in the future. It’s clear that successful transformation programmes are based on a holistic approach in which business processes, organisation and IT are closely linked. To face the challenges presented by e-commerce developments, you have to stay up to date and be prepared. But if you implement the recommendations presented here, you’re already on the path to success!
BearingPoint combines our deep understanding of retail processes and best practices with our extensive knowledge of transformations using the Fast Forward methodology.