Now more than ever, technology is underpinning growth and competitiveness. Many businesses are relying on digital platforms and technology to grow and scale and disrupt industries. Many offline businesses are recognizing the need to move online and many businesses that employed few digital platforms and technologies are embarking on major transformation efforts.
In an exclusive conversation with Indianretailer.com and in partnership with Alavi.ai, Neeraj Bhople, CTO, Seniority.in, guides about how one can digitally transform its existing e-commerce business and what are some of the challenges B2C/ D2C e-commerce businesses face when executing digital transformation and how to deal with them.
3 Main Areas to Execute to Digitally Transform an E-Commerce Industry
User Experience (UX)
Simpler Faster/ Buying Process - The buying experience has to be simpler and faster for consumers. If you really want to digitally transform your e-commerce organization, get external help to do it or give it to the cross-functional team to look at the user experience and look at what is the simpler way to make the buying process good.
Personalization Based on Customer Analytics – Personalized recommendations should be there in your process. Also, personalized marketing should be done to enhance the consumer experience.
Headless Architecture/ Omnichannel/ PWA – Omnichannel experience is something people have been trying to do for a long time. The key to a good omnichannel experience is that the context maintained across all the channels.
Augmented Reality/ Visual Search/ Voice Tech – You need to give an augmented reality experience to your consumers. Your platform should gear up the visual search.
Process and Organization Optimization
Cleaner, Faster Process Using Technology – The technology process should also be looked at thoroughly and you should look for ways to improve it.
Ownership-driven Organizational Structure – If you want to change the way an organization works, you have to make the organizational structure in line with what you are trying to achieve. The org structure needs to change in such a way that the process is driving the ownership in a way that those cross-functional teams are built to help accountable for.
Business Collaborations with Other Partners
Private Label – You have to leverage the faith of users that they have in you to possibly look at having private label products sold on your website.
Alternative Payment Methods – You should look at integrating payment methods and collaborating with payment partners to enhance the consumer experience.
Co-creation With Other Businesses – You can co-create something with the other business partners, and then co-label and co-brand that product.
Lessons and Challenges Faced While Executing Digital Transformation
Lack of Clear Definition – You need to understand that you’re already digital so you need to figure out what else you can do. So, the definition of what else you can do as part of the transformation of your organization needs to be clearly defined. You have to very clear about what you want to achieve, what is the definition of transformation for you, and how does this all fits in your organization.
Considering Digital Transformation as a Tech Project - Digital Transformation is always a business project, not a technology project.
Lack of Consensus/ Buy-In from Leaders – Digital transformation will never be successful if the senior managers and leaders are not in line with this vision.
Wait and Watch Attitude – This attitude usually happens when you try to convince the leadership about something you want to do within the organization and they don’t want to do it and show laid back attitude, this kind of thing doesn’t help.
Trying to Do too Much – Do not try to do too much at the same time. Always ensure that you are picking up the key things first.
Thinking We Know Everything/Not Taking Help – We understand our business and we may know what we are trying to do but there are others in the industry who probably would have done something similar or better, try to learn from them. Don’t be shy of getting third-party help.
Technology Trap – Getting the latest technology is not the aim here; transforming the business digitally is the aim. Look at the right technology needed for your business.
Best Practices to Adopt in Rolling Out Digital Transformation
Drive Management Buy-In – You cannot be 100 percent successful if you do not have the buy-in from the management and all the key leaders in the organization. This is the first thing you need to do as a leader; explain to them why it is important, how it is going to help, and get their buy-in and then go ahead with the transformation.
Take Customer-Centric Approach – Everything you are doing as an e-commerce organization has to be customer-centric. If you are bringing any changes in your process, always think about how the customer will be impacted by the same. You need to look from the customer’s perspective all the time.
Create New Cross-Functional Teams & Take External Help If Needed – You have to make a cross-functional team that will take ownership of the different aspects of your entire organizational work or transformational work. Also, go and take help from third parties or whoever you think will help you with what you are trying to do.
Be Unapologetic about Change – When you are trying to bring in transformational changes in the organization, people are always going to resist the change so try to convince them and explain to them why it is important.
Adopt a Startup Mentality – You need to document all the important aspects of what you are doing because after six months or a year if someone leaves the organization, the important information should not be lost.
Digital Transformation is Really about Human Transformation – Digital Transformation is about transforming the culture of the organization.
These points will help you in bringing digital transformation within your organization. The three key points you should keep in mind are think of what more you can do than what you already have, while you’re doing it ensure that you’re doing it prudently, and you should try and take everybody in the organization along if you want to go ahead with the transformation.