Modern B2B Sales: What to Know About the Evolution of...
Learn how ecommerce—and the technology and automation that it provides—can keep your business running like a well-oiled machine.
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Ecommerce activity has skyrocketed in the past year.
But with this growth comes a set of challenges for merchants across every industry. We live in an ever-changing commercial market where flexibility and resilience in your operations is essential to long-term growth. Ecommerce—and the capabilities and automation that it brings to the table—can help your business thrive during times of disruption.
In this article, we talk about the benefits of investing in ecommerce and how it can help your business run like a well-oiled machine.
In the past year, COVID-19 has been the catalyst to many major changes in ecommerce. The first is the pandemic’s impact on supply chain. Illnesses and port delays have caused significant slowdowns, making it more difficult for sellers to maintain predictable inventory levels, fulfill products to customers, and keep shipping costs down.
Another impact of COVID-19 is the worker shortage in ecommerce. Workers are reassessing which job sectors are “essential” and desirable, particularly in sectors like retail and sales. Older employees are accelerating their buyouts and retirements, which has shifted the workforce to younger generations. Remote work opportunities have also radically changed working options, making it more difficult for companies that rely on in-person interaction to recruit new workers.
These changes in health, supply chain speed, and working preferences have led to a staffing shortage across ecommerce, creating a chain reaction within supply chain and fulfillment and making this a more volatile time for many online merchants.
To mitigate these supply chain and labor challenges, your business needs to be able to expand your resources and increase productivity. As you handle more traffic, demand, and sales, your ecommerce platform should equip you with the tools you needed to streamline your process and operations.
One way to transform your business is through automation. Business automation is all about building repeated processes that can cut down time-consuming work and expand your business’ capabilities. This means having flexible systems that can help you automate all aspects of your fulfillment, from the time a purchaser hits the “place order” button to the shipment and delivery of their order.
Manual order input can often drain your team’s resources and hinder their workflow. It is time-consuming for sales reps to build out an order, provide quotes, and enter data into a CRM—especially in B2B ecommerce.
Because it takes time, manual processes can create a delay between when your business receives the order and when it gets placed in your system for fulfillment. In an age of ecommerce when customers expect to receive their orders quickly, these delays could impact the customer experience and hurt your chances of building customer loyalty.
Automating your fulfillment process helps improve accuracy, monitor stock and demand, and remove any bottlenecks. This means that a customer order can be automatically pushed into your back-office systems for fulfillment, and you are fully aware of your inventory at all the times.
Having smooth and effortless processes allow you to better manage your operations and communication with suppliers, which is key to managing some of the challenges in the supply chain.
Although labor is a major challenge in ecommerce, there is also a big opportunity for digital industries to bolster the capabilities of their staff. Ecommerce businesses already have a leg up—the efficiency and automation tools that power the $5 trillion ecommerce industry are well-suited to maximizing your company’s productivity.
Ecommerce helps your business to better manage operations, speed up communication, and reduce manual labor. This enables your team to focus on more high-value activities like acquiring new customers and building relationships.
In essence, ecommerce automation transforms your sales team from order-takers into money-makers, enabling you to achieve more with the resources that you have.
With ecommerce automation, you can increase productivity, accelerate operations, and strengthen the capabilities of your workforce. This allows you to improve your quality of service, expand your business operations and intelligence, and build a more self-sustaining future for your business.
As your business scales, your processes will become demanding, and you may need to shore up your systems to handle more complexity. You may even outgrow your platform and find yourself looking for new tools. This is a clear sign that you need to embrace smarter, more future-proof technology. Looking to migrate to a new platform? Check out our whitepaper.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.