Published May 29, 2024

How automation can help B2C retailers embrace the future of shopping

Celigo

Celigo

In today’s ecommerce world where new innovative channels are emerging daily, staying ahead of the competition requires agility, adaptability, and innovation. The recent buzz around shoppable TV—a revolutionary way for consumers to purchase products directly from their screens—highlights a broader trend: the proliferation of new shopping channels like TikTok Shop, Instagram Shopping, and more. For B2C retailers, the challenge is not only to keep up with these emerging channels but also to smoothly integrate them into their existing operations. 

This blog will explore the challenges that B2C retailers face in entering new markets, how automation can solve those challenges, and why an advanced integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is key to embracing and preparing for the future of ecommerce.

The challenges of entering new markets

Entering new markets, especially those driven by the latest technological trends, presents several challenges. Here are the four main hurdles: 

  1. Diverse platforms: Each new shopping channel comes with its own set of technologies, APIs, and data formats. Integrating these with existing systems can be complex and time-consuming, requiring specialized knowledge and often significant development resources to ensure seamless functionality and data flow.
  2. Data silos: New channels often create additional data silos, fragmenting critical information across different systems. This fragmentation can make it difficult to get a unified view of the business and customer behavior, leading to challenges in data analysis, decision-making, and strategy formulation.
  3. Operational efficiency: Managing multiple platforms manually can lead to inefficiencies and errors, hampering the customer experience. The need to constantly update, monitor, and troubleshoot each platform can strain resources, reduce operational efficiency, and increase the likelihood of mistakes that can negatively impact customer satisfaction.
  4. Scalability: As the number of channels grows, so does the complexity of managing them. Scalability becomes a critical issue, as expanding operations to include more platforms without a robust, scalable solution can result in overwhelmed systems and teams, potentially leading to lapses in service quality and performance.

It goes without saying that each new channel mounts more and more challenges.  But there is a solution to this—automation through an advanced iPaaS. 

How automation can help

Automation can revolutionize the way retailers overcome challenges and streamline their entry into new markets. By harnessing the power of software integration and business process automation, retailers can achieve smooth operations, enhanced data management, and increased efficiency, all of which are crucial for success in a competitive ecommerce landscape. Automation can help in four key areas:

  1. Flawless integration across platforms: Integrating various applications and systems is a crucial step for any retailer looking to expand. Software integration tools enable a unified platform that connects different applications, regardless of their underlying technology. This means that whether you’re integrating with platforms like TikTok Shop, Instagram Shopping, or any other sales channel, software integration handles the heavy lifting. Prebuilt connectors and templates simplify the integration process, allowing retailers to quickly onboard new channels without extensive custom development. For instance, adding TikTok Shop to your sales channels becomes a straightforward task, ensuring product information, pricing, and inventory levels are consistently updated across all channels.
  2. Unified data management: Breaking down data silos is one of the biggest advantages of software integration. By integrating all data sources with a single platform, retailers can gain a holistic view of their operations and customer interactions. This unified data management facilitates better decision-making and more effective marketing strategies, as all relevant data is readily available and easily accessible. Retailers can analyze customer behavior across different platforms, adjust their strategies in real-time, and personalize their marketing efforts more effectively.
  3. Automation and efficiency: Automation is a cornerstone of modern software integration. It enables retailers to automate repetitive tasks and workflows, reducing the risk of errors and freeing up resources to focus on more strategic initiatives. For example, when a new order is placed on an integrated sales channel like TikTok Shop, the system can automatically update the inventory, generate a shipping label, and notify the customer of the order status. This level of automation ensures a smooth and efficient operational flow, enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing the workload on staff.
  4. Scalability and flexibility: As the ecommerce landscape evolves, scalability and flexibility become crucial. Retailers need to ensure that their technology stack can adapt to new ecommerce channels as they emerge. Software integration enables B2C retailers to scale their operations and enter new markets without being constrained by technological limitations. This adaptability is key to staying competitive and driving success in a rapidly changing market.

By leveraging software integration and automation, retailers can create a robust and flexible infrastructure that supports their growth and operational efficiency. This approach not only simplifies the process of entering new markets but also ensures that retailers can provide a consistent and high-quality experience to their customers across all channels.

Future-proofing with an advanced iPaaS

As the retail landscape evolves, an advanced iPaaS provides the agility and flexibility B2C retailers need to stay ahead. By adopting iPaaS, retailers can future-proof their operations, ensuring readiness for new technologies and market opportunities. Celigo’s launch with TikTok in April 2024 opened up new horizons for retailers seeking growth through TikTok Shop. Tapping into this platform strategically is crucial, yet failing to smoothly integrate it with your ecommerce tech stack could lead to incomplete data, outdated information, and operational inefficiencies.

Moreover, advanced iPaaS platforms offer robust data management, breaking down silos to provide a comprehensive view of customer interactions and business performance, facilitating informed decision-making and tailored marketing strategies. Automation features enhance operational efficiency by automating routine tasks, reducing errors, and freeing up valuable resources.

Whether integrating with the latest shopping channels, automating workflows, or gaining insights from unified data, iPaaS equips retailers to thrive in a rapidly changing market. For B2C retailers looking to explore new markets and stay competitive, iPaaS is not just an option—it’s becoming a necessity.