Published Apr 10, 2024

Navigating the future of ecommerce: Embracing digital transformation



3 key takeaways

  • Every team across your business should help drive digital transformation efforts.
  • To succeed, you need to integrate your tech stack and automate your processes.
  • With an iPaaS, business teams can build and manage their own integrations.

In today’s digital ecommerce world, you can’t afford to rely on spreadsheets and manual reconciliation between systems. These operational inefficiencies lead to subpar customer experiences–jeopardizing your ability to turn customers into repeat buyers.

Recent data from an independent global survey conducted by Celigo, with more than 1,500 responses, found that 85% of shoppers said that online retailers failed to meet their expectations at least once last year. If your operations aren’t in order, your business is likely one of them.

The future of ecommerce will favor organizations that embrace innovative technologies and omnichannel customer experiences to meet rising consumer expectations. To compete and handle this increased complexity smoothly, you need to modernize your organization. A key aspect of this is ensuring your systems are integrated and replacing time-consuming manual processes with automation.

In order to achieve this level of efficiency at scale, every team across your organization should help drive digital transformation–not just IT. Business teams can play a significant role in supporting these initiatives, but first, you must understand what digital transformation is, learn about its different stages, and identify where your team can contribute to these modernization efforts.

Unpacking digital transformation

Digital transformation is defined as “the process of using digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.” By this definition, most companies are in a perpetual state of digital transformation.

While 94% of enterprise companies have big aspirations to deliver substantial and rapid impact from digital transformation, more than 70% of these projects fail. With consumer demands sky-high, successfully implementing digital transformation, getting ahead of your competition, and preparing for the future of ecommerce is critical.

Effective digital transformation will allow your organization to remain agile in a rapidly evolving ecommerce landscape and quickly adopt new technologies to improve customer experiences. However, digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. You will need to create a strong foundation and build upon it to truly revolutionize your business.

Key stages of digital transformation

Over the past few years, digital transformation has accelerated, and it’s likely that your organization has already taken the first steps to transform your business.

With the sudden rush to modernization brought about by the pandemic, most companies embraced fundamental ecommerce technologies and processes to address evolving market conditions. Now that you have adopted essential ecommerce technologies, it’s time to shift your focus from rolling out ecommerce channels to determining how to best serve customers, automate at scale, and quickly adapt to whatever the future of ecommerce has in store.

We can further break down the digital transformation into three stages. Didier Bonnet, a leading expert on the subject, identifies modernization, enterprise-wide transformation, and new business creation, as three key elements of successful digital transformation. While you might be tempted to jump straight ahead to new business creation, keep in mind that most digital transformation initiatives fail by going too big, too fast.

The best way to ensure you’re ready for the future of ecommerce is to start by simplifying and digitizing your existing processes and functions. One element of this is integrating your ecommerce tech stack to make sure data is able to flow from one system to another.

Once you’ve done that, you can tackle complex cross-value chain efforts like automating your order-to-cash process. Lastly, you can leverage improvements in operations to increase revenue from existing channels or to create new revenue sources.

Supporting transformation efforts

While your IT team has probably begun to build out or implement a digital transformation strategy, to ensure success, every team should be involved in modernizing your ecommerce business. There’s many ways your team can make an impact.

To foster an automation-first company culture, engage senior leaders in discussions about the benefits of automating business processes. For example, one of Celigo’s customers OZNaturals saved hours of manual order management, equivalent to the work of a 10-person team. Given your deep understanding of the business case, sharing such data with your IT team can be invaluable.

You should also consider adopting a solution that enables your business teams to implement simple integrations without having to rely on IT. An iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) can be a valuable asset for driving digital transformation efforts. With an advanced iPaaS like Celigo, your business team can independently create, manage, and monitor integrations. The intuitive interface and low-code environment, along with a vast library of prebuilt connectors, is designed specifically to empower your teams.

By leveraging AI, an advanced iPaaS can help bridge the knowledge gap between technical and non-technical users by acting as a translator. This makes handoffs smooth and efficient. Embedded business logic will also help your team automate and optimize any business process.

By handling straightforward integration tasks, you can free up your IT teams to concentrate on more complex transformation initiatives. This approach also enables your team to swiftly respond to market shifts and spearhead innovation endeavors.

The future of ecommerce

The digital transformation of the ecommerce world isn’t slowing down, and the future of ecommerce requires businesses to adapt to new technologies and continually drive operational efficiency. To effectively meet growing demands and expectations, both your business and IT teams need to have a hand in innovation. With your entire team working together to implement digital transformation initiatives, you can ensure success.

Based on best practices and learnings from thousands of customers, Celigo’s iPaaS can be a partner in your digital transformation efforts. The platform ensures business processes are continually optimized and you have the data you need right where you need it. It also provides scalability and agility by allowing you to quickly integrate new technologies.

Explore how an iPaaS solution can take you into the future of ecommerce. Check out our eBook, “The scoop on mastering ecommerce automation: Your guide to end-to-end integration” for an in-depth look at how to integrate your ecommerce tech stack.

Ready to see how an iPaaS can work for your team? Sign up for a free trial today.