Most businesses, no matter how big or small, have some type of online presence in today’s digital world. But as the ecommerce landscape continues to change, many companies are realizing their systems running their business have become outdated, and can no longer effectively support their business or customer expectations for consistent and relevant experiences across touchpoints.
To deliver these seamless, omnichannel experiences, front-end and back-end systems need to be on a single, unified commerce platform. This unified platform will create a central repository for order, customer and inventory data from all channels. This data can then be supplied to front-end customer facing systems, such as ecommerce, POS and call centers, ensuring accurate and relevant information across all customer touchpoints. This will result in improved business efficiencies and customer experience.
In a recent webinar hosted by Ultra Consulting, Sanjay Mehta, Oracle’s NetSuite Industry Principal for ecommerce, discusses the value of a unified commerce platform and outlines some best practices to consider when looking for an ecommerce solution, including:
Design flexibility and tools for experience management
As a brand you need to have unlimited control over your user experience and design. This allows you to differentiate yourself while driving a great experience for your customers. Business users should be enabled through tools to update and maintain rather than being beholden to technical staff.
Leverage a pre-built, starting-point store
Why reinvent the wheel? Take advantage of as much prebuilt leading practices and customize from there. Reduce your time to market and costs in turn as well.
Must be mobile
Mobile is now pretty much part of every shopping journey. Research shows more than 50 percent of B2B buyers are using their mobile devices to learn about products. Providing a responsive experience to accommodate your customers' devices is key to a great customer experience and improving your search engine results.
Provide self-service account management
Online account management allows you to off-load resources and time from your call center or service department and even sale reps. Most customers today expect to be able to view their orders, cancel an order, check the status of their order or get help any time they need it. For B2B buyers, besides the account management capabilities, additional online capabilities are important such as viewing and paying invoices, creating saved lists for frequenty purchased items and generating quotes.
Create a rich, interactive and personalized shopping experience
Dynamic merchandising, faceted search and guided navigation all help you drive sales whether you’re selling to consumers or businesses. Personalizing and localizing the experience to your customers based on their data from your back-end systems of customer, inventory and order information, will make your engagements more relevant with them, driving customer delight and retention.