Digital transformation and e-commerce undoubtedly have a close relationship. The following article will help businesses better understand this connection, grasp the latest trends, and know how to build a successful e-commerce digital transformation strategy.
1. The relationship between digital transformation and e-commerce
To understand the relationship between digital transformation and e-commerce, it is necessary to first understand these two concepts:
This is the business of selling products or services that takes place on the Internet platforms. Accordingly, e-commerce companies can create a few products and services or just build stores and software. Meanwhile, Others will manufacture, store, transport and distribute their products.
This is the process of applying new technology to change the business model from the traditional to a digital one. Through it, operating methods, leadership, working processes and company culture will change.
For customers, digital transformation can simply be browsing and shopping for products across all business’s e-commerce channels. In this case, the company website, e-commerce channels and related departments: warehouse, accounting, packing, shipping, etc. must all operate seamlessly to ensure the buyer’s experience.
Conclusion of the relationship between digital transformation and e-commerce:
Therefore, e-commerce is part of digital transformation. The application of e-commerce in digital transformation is not just for businesses with products. Service businesses can also go digital even if they do not have such products to produce, ship and deliver.
For example: In addition to Vinmart and Vinmart+ supermarket systems, Vingroup also builds a website and VinID online shopping application. As a result, businesses can increase their reach, serve more customers, and increase revenue.
2. The method to build a successful e-commerce digital transformation strategy
For the quest of building a successful e-commerce digital transformation strategy, businesses should note the following as follow:
2.1. Defining your digital transformation goals
First and foremost, businesses need to determine what their digital transformation goals are to formulate the appropriate strategy base. In which, profits and results of e-commerce digital transformation must always be placed at the center. This is the way for businesses to go digital successfully and effectively.
For example, your business’s digital transformation goal is to operate faster, more efficiently, attract new customers, increase profits, or simply enhance the customer experience.
2.2 Building a digital transformation strategy in e-commerce
After clarifying the goals, businesses need to develop a right strategy. These are specific methods that will make digital transformation in e-commerce successful.
The leaders should also consider how that digital transformation and e-commerce strategy will perform in real-life circumstances. Ask questions like: does the current e-commerce platform allow sales on mobile devices or international sales?
To increase the customer experience, businesses can use management tools integrated with software solutions to track and organize interactions for consumers. Some management tools to help increase customer experience in e-commerce for references are:
- Gainsight: This application is developed based on SaaS that helps to collect customer data from multiple sources and turn them into useful insights.
- Qualtrics: This is software that specializes in collecting and analyzing customer feedback to suggest suitable ideas to help the company improve continuously.
- Zendesk: This software makes interacting with customers easy and can scaling with further needs of business developments.
2.3. Deploying new technology solutions
To guarantee the success of e-commerce digital transformation, businesses cannot ignore new technology solutions. The adoption of these solutions will increase the operational efficiency of the business, enhance the customer experience, and ensure the security of the network.
- AI can analyze customer data, assess the buyer’s personality and needs to recommend suitable products and services.
- Automated machinery systems, IoT-enabled devices help increase the shopping experience.
- Cybersecurity software and solutions such as cloud computing, Zero-Trust help store and protect data safety for businesses and customers when shopping on e-commerce sites.
2.4. Updating customer’s journey with VR
One of the new technology solutions that businesses should apply to e-commerce is virtual reality (VR). The application of this technology will enhance the experience as well as serve customers faster. What is more, businesses do not need to reinvent the entire business model to implement digital transformation initiatives but to put a proper application of VR/AR tools.
Example: Many e-commerce sites have invested in virtual shelves tools. This type of shelves allows the buyer to view the clothes from many angles and experience the clothing like in the real world.
2.5. Embark on digital innovation
Having prepared all of the above, the last thing businesses need to do is embark on digital innovation. Based on their specific business needs, enterprises then choose the right new technology for digital transformation of e-commerce.
Example: If there is a need to sell products on an e-commerce site, businesses should choose tools that help increase the likelihood of a real-life experience. At the same time, if a powerful digital transformation is needed, the enterprise should choose tools with omnichannel capabilities, customer experience management, and data analytics.
For effective e-commerce digital transformation, businesses should remember and apply the above 5 steps. However, these 5 steps are not fixed but can be flexibly changed to suit the actual digital transformation needs.
3. Trends of digital transformation in the field of e-commerce
The important note in digital transformation and e-commerce is to grasp market trends, applications and outperform the competition. Here are 6 digital transformation trends in the field of e-commerce that are and will continue to develop in the future.
3.1. Direct-to-consumer sales will grow
More and more customers prefer to buy directly with the brand.
Research shows that more than 55% of consumers want to shop directly, personalize and buy exclusive products that the DTC brand offers. Because they think they will buy the real thing, the original price, get direct feedback and enjoy more promotions from the brand.
Businesses should build branded stores on e-commerce sites with the following requirements:
- Have a full range of items that the brand offers with a variety of models.
- Have affordable prices with many attractive promotions.
- Regularly update new models, support customers when shopping on e-commerce sites.
3.2. Big Data plays an important role in promoting personalization
Big Data will provide data to personalize the shopping experience of customers. Accordingly, customers will feel interested and easily choose the product that suits their needs and preferences.
For example, e-commerce sites like Amazon have leveraged Big Data, using software to modify algorithms on the web based on previous activity. These platforms then make tailored recommendations to provide a personalized shopping experience for the customer.
The above approach helps to serve customers better. However, there are also customers who think that tracking the buyer’s activities is an invasion of privacy, so they do not participate in personalization.
In this case, businesses should use a personal assistant in the form of an Internet of Things (IoT) device. Businesses simply need to install a similar product recommendation integration on their website to still be able to personalize the customers’ experience without invading their privacy.
3.3. Augmented reality (AR) technology breaks the barrier of online shopping
Augmented reality (AR) technology allows customers to visually experience products and services that interest them in a multi-dimensional way instead of just reading text and looking at product images. As a result, customers have a better shopping experience without having to go to a physical store.
To realize this, businesses need to build virtual models of products, services, and stores. Or businesses can pair the virtual model of the product into the real context of the buyer to help increase the real feeling.
For example, furniture retailer Burrow used AR technology to show customers how the brand’s products would look in their living space. Some brands create a 360-degree panoramic version of the physical store on the e-commerce platform for customers to walk through the experience.
3.4. The explosion of online payment methods
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a series of buying trends, including online payment methods. Instead of paying directly after receiving the goods as before, more and more customers are choosing payment methods via online banking, e-wallets, blockchain platforms, etc.
Because this is a simple, convenient, frictionless form of payment, it helps prevent epidemics. Moreover, customers also enjoy many other incentives from suppliers when choosing this payment method.
In addition, the “buy now pay later” services via online payment method are also growing and being chosen by many customers. This type of service is suitable for high-end, expensive items that customers want but don’t need to buy. When using these services, customers can pay interest-free monthly, which leads to the encouragement to buy more and more.
Due to the explosion of these online payment methods, payment processing has become simpler and easier. The company’s capital turnover time is faster. In addition, the fact that more and more customers buy “want but don’t need” items will help businesses sell more products and earn higher profits.
Solution: Businesses should diversify payment methods to bring more options to customers. At the same time, businesses need to combine with payment method providers to create many incentives to encourage customers to buy.
3.5. Headless and API-driven eCommerce continues to innovate
Headless eCommerce is a database that stores customer ordering preferences. This data will be seamlessly transmitted to multiple user interfaces through application programming interfaces (APIs). Moreover, Headless eCommerce is SEO friendly, compatible with many devices. This makes shopping personalized across multiple devices a breeze.
Therefore, businesses should focus on building and innovating Headless and API-driven eCommerce to deliver better personalized shopping experiences across customers’ devices.
3.6. Enterprises focus on optimizing tools
Conversion Optimization (CRO) plays an important role in the e-commerce business. While SEO techniques drive customers to your websites, CRO strategies will help convert those visitors into customers.
CRO emphasizes iterative optimization. In this strategy, the administrator will adjust the site many times and measure the results whether these adjustments are good or not. Sometimes a few small tweaks like product descriptions, more creative services, tweaks to page design, better navigation options, simpler checkout also make the buying process easier and increase customer purchasing ability.
Overall, a good CRO can be more profitable for e-retailers. Therefore, when transforming e-commerce, businesses should invest in CRO.
4. Advice for businesses when embarking on e-commerce digital transformation
Besides regularly updating the latest digital transformation and e-commerce trends, businesses also need to pay attention to the following:
- Increase user experience to increase productivity and retain customers: Businesses should focus on many stages, from product introduction, viewing, ordering, payment to return, refund, advance care, in and after sales. This will promote good experiences and encourage customers to buy.
- Invest in smart digital processes to accelerate operations, reduce costs, and differentiate services: Smart digital processes make customer shopping simpler, differentiating business itself from the competition. At the same time, business will operate faster and reduce costs.
- Better understand and control digital assets to make business simpler: Businesses need to understand the digital assets they use and use them effectively to operate better.
- Enhance infrastructure and strong operations for more flexibility: Businesses need to focus on building digital infrastructure and applying them flexibly to suit each situation to reap benefits tallest.
- Control analytics to gain useful insights and have a competitive advantage: Based on metrics obtained from e-commerce, businesses understand customers better to serve efficiently and create competitive advantage over competitors.
As discussed above, digital transformation and e-commerce have a close relationship. E-commerce is part of the digital transformation of many businesses. For successful e-commerce digital transformation, businesses need a suitable strategic consulting partner.