Make the Leap from ecommerce to Omni- Channel

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1 Iaodesign/Shutterstock An ecommerce platform is the foundation for a successful Omni- Channel business model

2 arvato Systems North America 6 East 32nd Street, New York, New York United States All Rights Reserved Copyright 2014 This document is arvato Systems sole and exclusive property. You are not permitted to duplicate, hand out, or distribute without prior written approval. Version 1.1 November 1,

3 Your customers and the marketplace are constantly evolving, and to complicate the matter, technology always seems to be two steps ahead of everyone. While this endless evolution continuously causes retailers to chase their tails, there is no need to panic your investments in ecommerce have built the foundation for success in this dynamic landscape. In this short paper, we will provide a framework of today s Omni- Channel standards, and then within this context put your ecommerce platform under the microscope. You will discover how a fully implemented ecommerce platform is the foundation for a successful Omni- Channel strategy and enables your business to adapt and respond to future shifts in your customers behavior. The term Omni- Channel has become increasingly popular yet simultaneously diluted. Meanwhile, every business, industry, customer, and product to some extent remains unique, requiring you to sift through the noise and create an Omni- Channel business model relevant and appropriate for your use case. In essence, an Omni- Channel experience enables B2B and B2C Forrester s 2014 study customers to begin their interaction with your brand from any Omni- Channel initiatives are driven mainly device and location, and continue their journey through because customers expect it (62%) and purchase and beyond. The same in- store products must be competitors are already offering it (55%) 1 available and accessible from any physical and digital touch point. Items should be consistently priced throughout all channels. An order placed using a tablet app should be accessible to in- store or telephone sales representatives if information or changes are desired. Conforming to Omni- Channel consumer demands The immediate consequences of resisting Omni- Channel best practices may not be immediately realized, but over time the impact could result in losing customers, competitors making inroads into your markets, poor brand perception, and high purchase drop- off rates. Your brick and mortar business could morph into mere showrooms or dressing rooms, or become pick- up and drop- off points where traffic is high but transactions are not taking place. Your world- class website then becomes a pit stop where shoppers conduct product and pricing research to do comparison- shopping. Version 1.1 November 1,

4 Three key considerations for twirling ecommerce magic into Omni- Channel 1. Cross- Channel approach: Determine the sales, distribution, marketing, and purchasing channels your customers utilize. Customize each to encourage them to research, evaluate, browse, demo, and eventually purchase your goods and services. Thus developing a positive association with the experience. Do you have a program and ongoing plan to effectively communicate with your potential and existing customers in each of these formats? 2. Sales cycle: Tailor communications and shape interactions leveraging varying technologies and capabilities towards each channel, while simultaneously driving customers to take incremental steps forward throughout the entire process. How are you using your Omni- Channel platform to evaluate and improve your customers engagement cycle and process flow? 3. Consistency: It frustrates customers when available product information differs by channel. Are you guaranteeing each customer has a positive experience where all company, product, solution information, specifications, and pricing is easy to access, find, and understand? Omni- Channel IS: 1. A core component of your company s overall go- to- market programs and initiatives 2. A platform that seamlessly integrates across all departments supplier management, purchasing, sales, marketing, finance, logistics, fulfillment, warehousing, distribution, order management, etc. 3. Most effective when companies leverage each channel s capabilities a. For example, ing product information contained in a link does not leverage the primary strength of as a communication channel to deliver a personal, engaging message to a temporarily captive receptive audience 4. Always moving new or existing customers towards a transaction and through your marketing funnel Quantifying Omni- Channel On average, failure to capture 5. Relevant across each market sector and business verticals: B2B, B2C, D2C Omni- Channel revenue costs 6. An extension of your ecommerce platform retailers 6.5% of revenues or 7. ONE channel encompassing all relevant consumer touch points $6.5 million per $1 billion. 2 Version 1.1 November 1,

5 Omni- Channel IS NOT: 1. Merely a multi- channel distribution or marketing strategy 2. Limited to your mobile channel 3. A random message or presence in various formats and devices 4. Marketing jargon or buzzwords for super brands Now that we explored Omni- Channel from several angles, let s see how your ecommerce platform fits into the equation. Do not think of ecommerce as a mandatory prerequisite or procedural necessity when considering how to effectively migrate to Omni- Channel. Instead, consider how the right ecommerce platform enables, supports, and empowers this business initiative. For starters, most successful Omni- Channel retailers have an ecommerce platform that conforms to the basic criteria below: Built for the enterprise a modern platform based on open standards Natively global easily adapted for new sites, foreign languages, and local currency Agile and scalable a flexible, grow as you grow, foundation capable of extensions, add- ons, and modifications allowing fast, low- cost integration periods as brands, product lines, and variations of existing products become available A blueprint for your business enables state- of- the- art B2C transactions and is also capable of driving complex B2B commerce Master data management for consistent, accurate product information or customer data Order management cloud- based order SaaS, using existing commerce and data sources Seamless end- to- end integration solution can interface with and exchange data from all relevant business sources and functions, providing real- time information throughout the transaction cycle Having the above can translate to short- term, stand- alone ecommerce success. However, below are additional critical considerations that will enable your business to make the leap to Omni- Channel and enjoy sustained success with that model. 1. Scalability How has your business changed and evolved over the past five years? What will it look like next month or five years from now? Your ability to cost- effectively and quickly bring new products, services, concepts, and brands to market is Version 1.1 November 1,

6 channels evolve, your reaction time and adaptability will be highly correlated to success in achieving your corporate goals and objectives. Ideally the ecommerce platform will scale linearly to support very high traffic systems. In fact, with cloud technology, you can configure platforms to pay only for what you use and effortlessly scale for high demand periods. 2. Ease of Integration Ideally the platform is architected to be the operating environment for modern, always- on internet applications, and provides the framework for building high performance applications. The strength and agility of the hybris platform not only enables us to build all of our applications on this single stack an architecture unique among commerce platforms but also allows our clients and partners to build extensions and additional applications on the same stack. The benefits of this single- stack architecture are: Reduced development costs Increased performance and operational efficiency Reduced maintenance costs Improved integration and user experience Replace a plethora of poorly integrated point solutions including shopping cart, order management system, shipping software, CRM, site search, etc. with an end- to- end solution. 3. Flexibility and Extensibility The operating systems and execution environment used by your programmers and developers is fluid and likely to evolve rapidly. hybris is front- end agnostic, allowing developers to choose any front- end technology they feel most comfortable with or that is required (e.g., a flash based front- end). The hybris OmniCommerce Connect API provides a sophisticated set of RESTful commerce web services to interact with non- Java front- end technologies (i.e. ios apps) or to integrate other software packages. Wire and quickly configure new and existing components while quickly adding your own business objects and processes using a proven persistence framework and a UI SDK. The hybris platform offers well defined interfaces which affords you total flexibility from extending the core to customizing the label of a button to maintaining upgrade compatibility without fear of creating a zombie system. Use modern concepts such Big Data the hybris platform supports the broadest range of database technologies. Version 1.1 November 1,

7 By supporting all major RDBMS players and new non- SQL Big Data players, the platform allows you to offload non- transactional data from your RDBMS and store petabytes of data as well as efficiently manage structured and unstructured multi- domain data (product, customer, order, etc.) from various sources at extreme scale. An ecommerce platform strongly aligning with these competencies consistently enhances your range and depth of Omni- Channel capabilities. Gearing up for the Omni- Channel era is no time for layers of patches and band- aids to muddle along in a constant catch- up game. If your current ecommerce platform fits that mold, you are already falling behind and beginning to panic. You could be headed down that road and not even realize it, as devices and technology standards exponentially evolve. Key Takeaway The right ecommerce platform can bridge the gap between 24/7 brand engagement dreams and realities sooner than you think, and provide your According to a Google study, 90% of multi- device owners are actively engaging in customers with the experience they expect and demand. sequential multi- screening activities. Mapping a clear path to Omni- Channel success, and right sizing those goals with a capable ecommerce solution, generates lasting ROI and sells itself within your organization. Sequential multi- device usage patterns; moving from one device to another in order to accomplish a task, is an accepted consumer behavior that requires you make this transition to Omni- Channel sooner rather than later. For more information contact arvato systems North America or call arvato Systems North America arvato Systems uses the technology, talent, and expertise of over 2,700 people at more than 25 sites throughout the world to create integrated, future- proof business infrastructures that help make our clients more agile and competitive, and enable them to deliver new standards of service to their customers. We create streamlined digital processes that support innovative business models while providing operation and support services. arvato Systems is a hybris Platinum partner with a solid reputation, over eight years of hybris implementation and product development expertise (B2B module, B2B Accelerator, Telco Accelerator, Digital Module, OMS). 1. Customer Desires vs. Retailer Capabilities: Minding the Omni- Channel Commerce Gap 2. RIS News Omni- Channel readiness report, October 2013 Version 1.1 November 1,

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