You’re ready to take your business online. However, the world of ecommerce can be daunting for someone just getting started. Not to worry; we’ve got your back.
The truth is, in order to be competitive in today’s consumer-oriented environment—whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler—you need to implement an omnichannel ecommerce solution backed by a Configure Price Quote (CPQ) application powerful enough to handle B2B complexity. This will not only help you satisfy the scaling demand for technology in online wholesale and retail, but will keep your buyers happy as well.
So where do you begin? First and foremost, there are five steps you should take before building an ecommerce solution to ensure digital transformation success.
5 Preliminary Steps
These steps will basically be an analysis of your current workflows and business model in order to improve upon your highest-performing processes, extend their functionality to match your digital integration plans, and prioritize your company’s values.
1. Analyze and streamline sales.
What approach are your sales reps currently using? Where would you like to see improvement? How can you streamline? Make sure you adapt your workflow based on how you procure clients. For example, can you speed up the ordering process by implementing cross-sale and up-sale opportunities?
2. Keep what you do best in place.
When it comes to your current systems, what’s working? How can you integrate those into your new ecommerce solution? For example, how can your existing CRM and ERP systems work better with a CPQ solution?
3. Streamline managerial workflows.
Create a comprehensive dashboard so that you can simplify the decision making process, ensure all stakeholders are included, and reduce managerial headaches.
4. Optimize your product catalog.
Is your current catalog of products and solutions accessible to and convenient for customers, vendors, and partners? Make sure you’re offering related products, configuration options, and more to ensure all parties get what they need.
5. Get your team on board.
Individual workflows will most likely change company-wide, so you’ll need to teach your team the new system. Remind them that simplifying the buying process is the ultimate goal and will make their lives easier in the long run!
Choosing a Solution
Now that you’ve conducted your assessment, it’s time to focus on choosing the platform, tech stack, and server architecture that will allow you to go digital. This is important to get right from the start, as many businesses struggle to change and/or redevelop technology at a later stage.
Here are some things to look for when making a decision; the ideal solution will have the following characteristics:
- Scalability to ensure it grows alongside your business
- Ability to manage more complex products or solutions
- Security to ensure all transactions are safe
Remember, the solutions you choose will affect your entire digital endeavor, so always keep business goals, productivity, and budget in mind. The ideal vendor will assist you throughout the decision-making and implementation process, and help you better understand how applications like CPQ can complement and extend the capabilities of your ecosystem.