Commerce

Why Commerce Should be the Key to Your Digital Transformation

The customer is your business’ number one priority because they are your main source of revenue and drive you to the next step in your success. Customer expectations are frequently changing and more customers are relying on digital processes for their commerce efforts due to their fluidity. Businesses must digitally transform to keep up with how customers and interactions are most beneficial to them.

A digital transformation journey is effective for businesses because it is rooted in commerce and investing in commerce throughout a digital transformation will have a direct impact on your business and its future, starting with your go-to-market strategy.

Your Go-To-Market Strategy is the North Star

How a business decides to go to market digitally will impact everything else regarding the business and its future. A go-to-market strategy is different for each business depending on organizational goals and the focus on incorporating new channels. If your business doesn’t have any clearly established goals, then the first step is to ask, “What is commerce to my business?”

For example, if a manufacturer traditionally sells through channel partners or through sales representatives, it’s important to think about how digital channels fit into that strategy. If the manufacture evaluates the interactions that are occurring between them and the channel partner, they may recognize that there are several low-value interactions occurring on a day-to-day basis between them.

What if we determine that we have an opportunity to reduce the cost to serve the channel by adding a channel partner portal? Activities such as order entry, checking stock and availability, checking on the status of an order are prime examples. When you understand the cost of conducting business with your channel, you have the opportunity to not only fund the investment of creating a portal but also align the necessary capabilities and technology that will support your efforts to reach your goals.

Although cost reduction is a good start, the bottom line is that companies want and need to drive revenue. So, ask the question, what if I could sell to my channel through this channel partner portal? For many manufacturers, the introduction of new products to the channel is a big pain point. Ask yourself, would it drive revenue by introducing new products digitally to my channel? What if I could connect products to other products and help guide my channel when they order a specific item? Would this help me sell more products? As you focus on the opportunities within this specific channel, it becomes clear that opportunities exist to sell more to your channel.

When you are clear on how your digital solution will benefit your organization, you can start to focus on what the technologies need to do to support these initiatives.

Having the Right Processes, Tools, and Resources

You must also evaluate if your business has the right processes, tools, skills, and resources within the organization to support the initiatives of your go-to-market strategy with questions such as:

  • How do our existing processes support this digital vision and direction?
  • Do we have the right technologies in place to support this vision?
  • Is our organization structured to support this digital approach?
  • Is our organization ready for change or do we need help with this?
  • Do we have the right internal skills in-house today to support this vision?
  • Does our product data and content support this digital vision?

All of these items are impacted by your business’ go-to-market strategy when deciding to add a digital channel.

Include Voice of Customer and Employees

If your business has an idea of what your channel is looking for, then you must validate that information with your actual channel as well as channel-facing employees. This means conducting interviews with employees and channel partners to solicit feedback on what you think you know.

Make and Invest in a Plan

Solidifying a go-to-market strategy also helps determine what you are trying to do and what opportunities exist to reduce costs and drive revenue. When you determine what these items are and what it means financially to your business, you can define an investment strategy. With a clear understanding of financial gain, you can create a return-on-investment model that supports your business case and demonstrates to leadership that this makes sense.

Understand What Success Looks Like

Businesses shouldn’t quit once a go-to-market strategy is solidified, but rather continue to think end-to-end when it comes to understanding the success of that strategy. For example, does your business have a process for onboarding customers through the new digital channel? How do you initiate the onboarding process between employees and customers? What steps do you need to take to set that process up if it’s not established?

Understanding and measuring the success of a go-to-market strategy should focus on the things that matter upfront to your business and not view your digital channel simply as an additional commerce experience, but as an important decision, that changes how your company works internally and externally.

Going Digital is a Game-Changer

Every business is going to have a different approach and thought process when establishing a digital go-to-market strategy that will affect each piece of your business. Stay tuned for my next piece to learn more about expanding your go-to-market strategy by selling directly to your customer. To learn more about how to address each layer of a digital transformation, contact our commerce experts today.

 

About the Author

Senior Commerce Consultant for Perficient, a leading digital consultancy. Experience includes more than two decades in digital commerce, product management, business development and marketing for manufacturing and distribution organizations. Has provided strategic leadership for global suppliers and brands resulting in innovative techniques for improving the customer experience overall, reducing cost of sales and accelerating efficiencies within complex buying and selling scenarios. Authored articles for leading publications in the manufacturing, distribution and ecommerce industries.

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