The world of SAP eCommerce is already steaming ahead into its next chapter, but where does that leave you? To spare you the concern, read on to find out why technology is something to embrace and how you should go about choosing the best in SAP eCommerce.
People have always found comfort in the "norm", but this is changing rapidly. With advances in technology being developed over a couple of years rather than decades these days, people are more willing to embrace technology and the efficiency it offers than ever before. However, there has been a tendency by the major players in the development circles to simply re-vamp what is already out there, and few people search for alternatives anymore. Has this left people wandering on 'safe' ground in the world of eCommerce technology?
Never has the term "shop around" been more important, with the wealth of innovative software available. This is something to be excited about, but with the sheer number of companies out there vying for your attention, you should have it clearly set in your mind what you want for your solution. The world of eCommerce is dynamic, imaginative and constantly being redeveloped in order to give your business the boost in online sales and marketing that it needs, whether B2B or B2C, so make sure you know what the needs of your online platform are.
Let's take an example. Your business has several different application service providers operating together; one for finance, one for marketing, one for sales, one for HR, and so on. If these different packages need to communicate, they would need costly and complex integration to understand each other, so you start running into problems like pricing, stock monitoring, delivery information, sales data, and so on. You need a single platform running all your business applications to streamline this, to give you reports so that you can gauge who buys and who visits, manage the account executives operating in different places, monitor the pricing of stock, make decisions on sales performance - the list goes on.
Keeping Up With The Joneses
To top all of that off, you need something more tangible for the customer. Today’s customer is fickle; having been spoiled by the ease of online shopping which has developed in recent years, if you don’t keep up with everyone else in the marketplace, you could be losing out on gaining clout within the eCommerce sector, as well as popularity with customers. The new customer knows what they want, and it has to be easy to find. To you, this means that if they click once and don’t like what they see they will never be back, and once they click the “Proceed to Checkout” button, if the process isn’t completely seamless and hassle-free, they won’t be back without further costs being incurred in basket abandonment and increased marketing – but even that isn’t enough! The rise of mCommerce is seeing the tablet and smartphone take over from PCs in how people conduct their online experience, so do you go for an app or a mobile version of your website? At every turn, your customer needs to be constantly reinforced with the ease of conducting business with your brand. In truth, the more touchpoints you control, the harder it is for a customer to leave you – the right SAP eCommerce strategy is absolutely crucial.
What Can I Do?
So, what is it you should be looking for in an SAP eCommerce company? Really, there are two things you need to be aware of. Firstly, go with a company that not only understands the marketplace, but that understands all those problems we have just listed above. If a company simply isn’t listening to your needs, or they generalise too widely trying to give everyone a one-size-fits-all approach, they aren’t worth the pound notes. You want to maintain your individuality – make sure they know it. Secondly, internal is key; there are a lot of SAP-related eCommerce companies who claim that what they are selling is the only way to do things; namely, they claim that having your eCommerce system based outside of the SAP system is productive – is it? How can the consistent replication of data, hardware, risk and integration, and therefore the time and cost implications this gives, be a good thing? Go with a company who offer an SAP-native solution, as it will cut down massively on costs and the risks inherent with those third parties.
If you bare these two things in mind, you will arm yourself against the prospect of future emerging technologies. Whereas a solution based outside of SAP will require constant management and "dimensions" to adapt, a solution which is native to SAP will safeguard against all of that, because there is no back-and-forth. As I stated at the beginning of this article, technological advancement is moving fast, and you need to make sure you're keeping up. We need to stop wandering over safe ground.
If you'd like to find out how you can eliminate duplication and go native, why not take a few minutes to view our Omnia eCommerce solution page.