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What is Digital Transformation?

Feb 21, 2022

If you’re looking to bring your business offering, services and communication to an online audience, a digital transformation is exactly what you need. What do you need to know about digital transformation? Read on to find out!

In its simplest definition, digital transformation is when you create new, or modify existing, business processes, business culture, and customer experiences using digital technology. Digital transformation can mean many different things to different businesses, so the implementation can vary from business to business, but the underlying points of concern and potential benefits are generally quite similar. 

It could mean creating an omnichannel infrastructure that allows you to bring a unified shopping experience across various platforms. For instance, making your online shopping experience the same as your physical shopping experience for customers. Such a digital transformation would require a lot of forethought to be put in, reflecting on what exemplifies your physical shopping experience and learning how to replicate it online, but customers will be more likely to purchase from you. 

It could mean creating a whole new online storefront using a customizable commerce platform. It could also mean just refreshing your digital shopping experience to be more customer-focused. Or replacing manual back-end processes such as order fulfillment with digital, automated solutions. 

Whatever it will mean for your business specifically, the fact remains that it’s necessary to provide a unified digital presence for your customer base if you want to engage in today’s commerce landscape. 

Below, we’ll take a look at several ways in which digital transformation will help your business capitalize on today’s market.

How to Take Your Physical Retail Business Online

At this point, nearly everybody is sick of talking about the pandemic. However, its impact on consumer behavior is undeniable. People turned to digital shopping in an unprecedented way out of necessity, and the trend is only continuing. If this trend continues, digital transformation is practically an inevitability for businesses in modern commerce.

The good news is that you have several options for how to go about doing this.

Businesses that were able to pivot to online experiences capitalized on this trend, but many struggled, and continue to struggle, to meet customer demands for an e-commerce shopping experience. 

If you’re one of those businesses who struggled, then the sort of digital transformation you’re probably looking for is one that brings your retail business online. 

The good news is that you have several options for how to go about doing this. 

For instance, you can use an already existing marketplace platform like Amazon and simply create a store page there. Many businesses have enacted a lighter digital transformation, shifting their products onto existing platforms and learning to optimize their products in accordance with what works best on that platform. This is generally a good digital transformation strategy for businesses that are consumer-focused, like retail and manufacturing businesses.

Or, you can have a developer create a bespoke commerce platform with a fully customized online store for your business. This is much more difficult and requires a much heavier investment, but allows you to create your own ecosystem through the cycle of digital transformation, which may lead to more customer loyalty, as you become the one-stop shop for your product’s consumers

A third option, and the one we often recommend, is using an existing commerce platform that will allow you to fully customize your online store to look and feel the way you want it to. This provides a lot of flexibility for branding and crafting customer journeys while avoiding the investment and headaches that come with trying to build your own platform from scratch. This is a good middle ground in digital transformation, as it allows the business to retain a lot of control over presentation without forcing said business to create an entirely new platform. 

How to Start Selling Your Brand on Amazon

For many businesses, the simplest route may be the best. And if your business is focused on the American market, selling on Amazon could be the way to go. 

The steps to begin selling on Amazon are pretty simple, and they go as follows:

  1. Create your Professional seller account on Amazon. 
  2. Enroll your brand in the Amazon Brand Registry. This means you’ll be officially registered as an Amazon seller. 
  3. Add your products and customize your listings with strong content, such as product descriptions, demonstration videos, etc. 
  4. Use the Amazon Stores tool to customize your storefront. 

At a glance, selling on Amazon is easy-peasy. You can be up and running in a short amount of time, and you’ll have instant access to millions of shoppers. 

Of course, there are some drawbacks to just going with Amazon. For instance, while you’re being given access to those millions of shoppers, you’re also competing with countless other Amazon sellers. When a customer searches for something you’re selling, they’re going to be presented with your competitor’s products as well. This digital transformation strategy has both benefits and drawbacks, but it will be up to you to decide which route works best for your business.

Also, the customizability is limited. That means it will be harder to craft a user experience that has parity with your other retail channels. You will, in essence, be an Amazon storefront no matter how much you customize your seller page. 

It’s also important to consider that Amazon isn’t necessarily the best option for international reach. The North American Amazon shopping experience is much different than that in other locales around the world, and it’s not necessarily the powerhouse platform in other places that it is here. If you’re an international business, Amazon may only be part of your digital transformation strategy, with other platforms being considered based on their reach and market share.

Still, the simplicity and ease in getting started can’t be denied. If you’re looking for the quickest solution for a digital transformation that brings your business into the online market space, Amazon could be your best bet.

The Three Models for Selling Items on Amazon

For retailers and manufacturers who want to sell their products on Amazon's platform, there are three alternatives. In his article we go through the different alternatives.

How to Set Up a Product Information Management System

Your product information management system, or PIM, is going to be a crucial component of your online retail business. Digital transformation is almost guaranteed to require PIM, as e-commerce platforms will universally ask for details regarding your products, and the more readily accessible this information is, the more successful you will be in plying your wares.

Essentially, the PIM is how you manage all of your product data. It’s where you’ll manage product descriptions, accompanying informational material, and so on. It’s where all the information that will help you sell your products is stored, and in the case of digital transformation for online marketplaces, it is where the information shown to customers is pulled from.

In a perfect world, your PIM will synchronize across all channels to deliver product information where and when it’s needed.

In a perfect world, your PIM will synchronize across all channels to deliver product information where and when it’s needed. For instance, it will deliver SKU and pricing information to the clerk looking up a product in a physical retail store just as efficiently as it will display that information to a customer viewing the same product in your online store. 

In many cases, marketplace platforms will include their own PIM solutions. A good thing to look out for when choosing a platform is whether or not they’ll let you use your own PIM software in place of the one they’re providing, as all PIM systems are not equally suitable for all businesses. If you’re already set up with a PIM system that your company is comfortable with, it may be worth it to choose a platform that lets you bring your own PIM, as converting from one standard to another can cause numerous issues with products being displayed wrong, or worse, the wrong products being sent to consumers.

In the case of Amazon, there is a pretty large list of PIM software solutions that will integrate well with the platform. That’s good news, because it means you’re not tied to one proprietary PIM. It’s also maybe not so great news, because it means you’ll have to do a lot of research and experimentation to find the right solution for you. Digital transformation is all about these key decisions, and while there’s usually not a bad decision to be made, your choices can have more or less effect on your business depending on how they’re implemented.

How to Digitally Transform Your Business With Avensia

Whether you’re looking to sell through a marketplace like Amazon or create a more bespoke commerce platform, we have the experts to help you find success in your digital transformation. 

If you’re creating an Amazon storefront, our e-commerce specialists and designers will work closely with you to help you optimize your digital presence. We’ll help you find the best PIM for your needs, and we’ll help you create the best possible user experience. 

Alternatively, we offer two comprehensive online commerce packages, Avensia Nitro and Avensia Excite, that will have you up and running with a digital storefront of your own faster than you can imagine. 

Both of these packages will provide you with a fully customizable online presence that gives you control over your brand and provides true omnichannel connectivity across your business. 

Avensia Nitro focuses on getting you up and running as quickly as possible, while Avensia Excite is a more flexible, composable package that gives you a headless commerce solution to build the online store of your dreams. 

We also offer solutions to support your end-to-end commerce operations, as such we help put together a package of best-in-class software for your CRM, Loyalty, PIM, MDM, and other needs. 

If your business is looking for consulting on your digital transformation journey, contact us today and let’s work together to find success.