The global e-commerce market is set to reach nearly $5 trillion by the end of this year.
Now that it’s easier than ever for companies to set up their own website and digital selling platforms, many small and midsize businesses are jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon.
Online shopping models provide increased supply chain resilience, greater market reach, more brand awareness, and limitless opportunity. But with more and more SMBs entering the online marketplace, it is more important than ever to have the right technologies in place to make the most of these efforts.
Software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology and hosted payment platforms that integrate with e-commerce platforms can help SMBs reach their e-commerce goals.
One of the ways this technology can help with these goals is by creating a more personalized experience for your customers.
Create Personalized Experiences with Customized Shopping Experiences and Pricing
Today, shoppers expect more than a one-size-fits-all online shopping experience, with 50% of consumers willing to pay a premium for an enhanced shopping experience.
To provide an enhanced shopping experience, SMBs need to tailor their sales and marketing strategies to each consumer. Customer data in your ERP system can help with this by forecasting demand and analyzing purchase history to provide a more customized approach.
The expectation for personalization also extends to your B2B customers, with 64% saying they would switch to another vendor that provides real-time, personalized pricing.
You can easily enable customers to make repeat purchases, at personalized rates by utilizing an ERP and a hosted payment platform that allows for tiered and custom pricing models – all without needing to contact a rep.
SMBs can also create a more efficient online shopping experience for their customers using an omnichannel e-commerce platform.
Create a Seamless Experience for the Omnichannel Customer
Modern consumers expect a seamless online shopping and checkout experience, regardless of where they choose to make their purchase.
According to The Harvard Business Review, nearly 3 out of 4 customers use multiple channels during the shopping process. Technology that provides a single source for all your customer orders and carts is essential to ensure that customers have a smooth experience, whether they’re purchasing on a desktop, mobile device, over the phone, or a combination of shopping platforms. To provide the best support and most personalized experience, your business can integrate all of its digital selling platforms to gather more insights into your customers and their shopping habits.
Another factor that can contribute to a seamless shopping experience is your online checkout process.
With 70% of shopping carts abandoned, a complicated checkout process is the main reason why customers don’t complete their purchases. Hosted payment platforms that integrate with your omnichannel platforms simplify checkout and allow customers to smoothly transition from one platform to another. Furthermore, integration with your ERP system means you still have all your customer data in one place, and you do not need to manually chase down orders or invoices to update your financial data.
The logistics behind your e-commerce business can also play a big role in its success.
Optimize Your Logistics to Offer Free Shipping and Returns
To keep up with today’s Amazon Prime era and current consumer expectations, small and midsize businesses would be wise to offer free shipping and simple return policies.
Shipping and return policies can directly impact success, with 53% of consumers mentioning free delivery as the number one reason they decide to purchase from an e-commerce vendor, and 33% saying a simple return process is the deciding factor. While free shipping may seem like a large expense for small and midsize e-commerce companies, nearly half of SMBs claim free shipping increases their profits.
ERP technology can also help to increase profit margins while still offering consumers the free shipping and returns they’ve come to expect.
ERPs provide the level of visibility required to optimize logistics like delivery routes and shipping container usage, minimizing shipping costs and increasing your bottom line. Increasing average order volume (AOV) with minimum spend threshold or bundles also results in higher margins, since you can make more sales without increasing the cost of shipping.
In addition to ERP benefits, hosted payment platforms allow for easy bundling and rewards that will help streamline the shopping experience and increase revenue retention.
Get Ahead in the Crowded E-Commerce Marketplace
In today’s digital age, optimizing your e-commerce platform is a necessity for companies of all sizes. As small and midsize businesses increasingly adopt digital selling strategies, it’s essential to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
By using ERP technology that offers insights into every aspect of your business and hosted payment platforms that provide integrated, seamless checkout experiences, you can set your e-commerce platform up for success.
Read the e-book on e-commerce best practices for manufacturers.
Read the e-book on e-commerce best practices for food and beverage companies.
Visit softengine.com to learn about industry-specific ERP technology for small and midsize companies.