In 2020, retail eCommerce sales worldwide amounted to 4.28 trillion US dollars. E-retail revenues are projected to grow to 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022. Online shopping is now one of the most popular online activities worldwide, and there are over a billion e-commerce websites ﬂoating around the internet, meaning that trying to get their products and services in front of the right audience can be difﬁcult if not done correctly.
Your business needs to work at top capacity to grow in an era of never-ending choices and evolving consumer expectations. Competitive advantages of the future will be gained through operational excellence and greater efficiencies, and these will only be generated by updating legacy eCommerce solutions, implementing eCommerce automation, and using order management systems.
The rise of omnichannel, i.e. the proliferation of channels and customer touchpoints, is creating new challenges for stock management, delivery, and fulfillment. Ecommerce automation is one of the essential elements of any eCommerce platform, and it involves warehousing automation and marketing automation. In fact, every eCommerce department has an element that can benefit from automation, freeing up resources so employee time can be invested elsewhere on more valuable tasks.
This could include automating elements of customer service or returns processes.
For instance, companies with large warehouses can invest in robotics and free up their staff to do more customer-centric activities. Supply chain management can also benefit from automation software and send inventory alerts when the stock begins to exhaust. Overall, eCommerce automation is set to drive significant efficiencies and business growth.
Maximizing visibility with OMS and ERP
For a retailer to manage operations and customers, it needs a holistic view of all its processes, and of course a single view of its entire inventory.
Without appropriate systems in place, it’s impossible to oversee what has been ordered from where, and what the resulting stock levels are. The challenge becomes even more complex for global businesses if warehouses carry different product categories or are dispersed across a large geography.
A robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) management solution brings process and structure to inventory management, including the ability to check what stock is coming in to allow for pre-ordering (allowing customers to reserve items in advance before they become available) or even pre-selling (selling the idea of a product to assess interest).
By pairing ERP with a strategically implemented Order Management System (OMS), retailers can meet evolving customer demands and create personalized customer experiences while getting the most out of customer data and strengthening business resilience.
The value of a headless approach
Brands are tightening up their distribution and introducing ever more sophisticated warehouse management models and delivery services to compete with the likes of Amazon. The competition is fierce and in the future, they will need to put in place processes and solutions that plug into a number of inventory sources and are able to process complex orders at speed.
What is needed is a continued strategic evolution of technology platforms, processes, and eCommerce expertise in order to improve, remain competitive and build consistent omnichannel experiences for an everchanging retail audience.
Modern businesses that require top-notch operational efficiency may opt for a headless eCommerce platform that integrates their platforms, processes, and expertise together seamlessly. A headless approach creates a flow of information between the OMS, the warehouse, and the logistics department, enabling operational excellence and business resilience that will help them to remain competitive in the post-Covid world.
For more in-depth analysis about the future of D2C and how to achieve operational excellence, read the latest BetterCommerce report The ultimate blueprint to delivering an effective D2C strategy here.
Prior to joining BetterCommerce Finlay was implementing same day delivery propositions for brands and retailers across the UK and Europe. With 16 years of commercial leadership experience across the media, digital, IoT and e-commerce industries he is playing a strategic role in developing and executing our GTM activities.