Digital disruption has been in the know for more than a decade now. Almost every organization is thinking of adopting digital technologies to help them operate and fulfill customer needs better.
Brick and mortar stores now rely on digital storefronts while the service industry is trying to reach their audiences through web, mobile-based applications. Manufacturing, on the other side, is improving operational efficiency through automation and IoT technologies.
For every business, big or small, the way of going about digital transformation differs, but the inevitable challenges are budget, time, and effort involved.
It is important to have a clear approach to justify the cost of transformation and predict possible risks. This blog highlights a 5-step framework for retailers and distributors to create a well laid out plan to ensure successful outcomes.
Step 1: Start With Strategic Objectives
Digital transformation is not just finding a technology solution to empower a single process or a system in your organization. Instead, it is conceived as a process to revamp the entire business process and develop new competitive advantages.
To start with, determine the objective and scope. For instance, you might want to reduce operational costs, automate repetitive manual processes to release talents for more critical tasks, explore cross-border selling, reach customers across different digital touchpoints, and so on.
In this phase, the leadership team consisting of the board members, CEO, and the management have to group to reimagine your business process and service delivery for digital transformation.
Step 2: Get Your Operational Team Onboard
Rope in your operational team not only to align them with the digital transformation goals but also to set goals based on their inputs.
Your operational teams include warehouse staff, fulfillment staff, finance, and so on. Explain to them, plans like ‘What’s in it for them?’ ‘What are you transforming to?’, ‘How will their capabilities improve?’ and ‘How the revenue landscape will undergo a transition?’. Gather inputs like their operational challenges and areas that can be automated.
Objections could be raised relating to compatibility with existing management tactics. By the end of this phase, you should be ready to chalk out a staff training plan to get them performing faster, post your digital transformation project.
Step 3: Define Short-term and Long-term Goals
Once the teams and management share the same vision, it is time to set up goals. People heading all the departments have to work coherently to enable the rest of the eCommerce ecosystem. Agree upon the topline vision and start working on creating a process to make that happen. In other words, define your short and long-term goals.
For instance, let’s consider improving customer experience with content (product data) as your topline goal. Work on the long-term and short-term goals that can help you get there. In this case, your short-term goal could be perfecting the product information you accumulate from various third-party vendors, creating a content format for every channel, and delivering it with ease.
Using a PIM system can be a classic example. With PIM, you can create a centralized repository for all product-related information, including images, videos, specifications, and descriptions.
You can involve multiple internal teams like design, content, and marketing to collaborate and work on improving data consistency and channel-specific content. Such a collaborative environment will improve team productivity and product discovery across web, mobile, and social channels, ultimately leading to enhanced customer experience through content.
Step 4: Finding the Right Technologies and Implementation Partners
New technologies with old processes are just a way of replacing your existing system with an expensive alternative that doesn’t bring any significant improvement that you aim for. Now that you have defined your process and goals, finding the right technologies and implementation partners is all you have to do.
For retailers and distributors in an eCommerce landscape, the following are the systems that need to be considered for digital transformation.
- ERP / WMS – try to see if you can move from a legacy to a modern ERP, a modern architecture that helps you with better integration and flexibility.
- Centralizing your customer and product data.
- Better customer experience using new age eCommerce and content management platforms.
- Agile sales and support – which includes CRM and customer support system.
- Omnichannel marketing automation – Achieve consistency in messaging across all channels.
- Robust Cloud infrastructure along with data security.
- Deep data analytics.
- And finally, powering the entire ecosystem using AI and Machine Learning data models.
Step 5: Zero In On the Technologies and Implementation Partner
The first thing to do while choosing an implementation partner is to eliminate bias. Just because you’ve worked with a technology partner before doesn’t mean that they will be the appropriate choice for your digital transformation project.
You’ll have to consider questions like ‘Do they have the technical expertise?’, ‘Do they have prior experience working on similar use cases like yours?’, ‘What results have they achieved using technologies for similar companies?’ and so on.
Look out for partners who have a deep understanding of your pain points and strengths so that they suggest the right technologies to make your digital transformation project a success.
How Can Ziffity Help?
Ziffity, being an Adobe Silver partner, helps brands in their Digital Transformation journey with Adobe’s cluster of products. Here are some of Adobe’s products which can help you:
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