If concerns around your distribution model, business and/or IT complexity are hindering your organization’s digitalization process, then it’s time to think again. That was the main message to the businesses I met during the Internet Retailing B2B Summit last month.
The show delivered some excellent content around the pain points of digital transformation, the need for transparency in the process and approaches to data. But, the conversations I had tended to centre on three very specific concerns:
1. Channel conflict. Businesses that sell through distributors wanted to understand how they can evolve, digitalize and go online, while maintaining those all-important channel relationships. The Intershop platform is extremely strong here. So, the reality is that it is incredibly simple to set this up technically. In fact, it is even possible to set up your e-commerce platform so that your distribution network receives all the business generated should you wish to.
2. Complex business models. This was an interesting one. There are many businesses operating in multiple countries, across multiple business divisions and are of course multi-channel as well. I think there is a misperception that this level of complexity makes it difficult to offer a holistic, single view customer experience. When in fact, it is pretty straight forward to manage their whole business from a single platform.
3. IT complexity. Of course, with business complexity comes IT complexity. Whether it is concerns again about integrating with channel partners, legacy systems or staying on top of technical innovations and customer experience demands, many of the businesses I spoke to were surprised at what is possible. For some businesses, this is where Intershop’s Order Management System has something compelling to offer as it connects all the front-end sales channels with the back-end finance and logistics systems enabling order orchestration, complete inventory visibility, order routing and fulfilment as well as after order services and return management.