What Is Digital Transformation?
By: Lizzie Davey
JANUARY 10, 2023 | 5 min read
The world of commerce has changed and will continue to evolve in accordance with shopping behaviours and markets.
According to Statista, the market share of ecommerce sales worldwide has increased from 7.4% in 2015 to 19.7% in 2022. It’s predicted to reach 24% by 2026.
With these changes, brands and retailers must embrace digital transformation to give their teams the tools to keep up with modern commerce.
What Is Digital Transformation in Commerce?
Before jumping into what digital transformation looks like in commerce, here’s an overview of what it means in general: Digital transformation involves using technology to create new processes and customer experiences to meet market demands and the changing needs of consumers.
In commerce, it looks pretty simple from the surface: Brands and retailers that once relied on passersby can now use technology to reach more shoppers online. In the past, merchants relied on customers coming in-store. If, for whatever reason, they had to shut up shop or move elsewhere, they had to start again from scratch.
Digital transformation has made it possible for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) retailers and brands to digitise their efforts to reach an extended (sometimes global) audience in seconds. It can refer to a store’s website software that it uses to sell products directly from its desktop or mobile site. Digital transformation can also refer to the advanced technology commerce brands use to manage inventory, carry out accounting, and personalise individual shopping experiences.
Basically, digital transformation in commerce is anything that makes the ordering, buying, and selling process easier for both merchants and shoppers.
Here are some examples of how commerce brands have transformed digitally:
- Using contact payment systems;
- Automating order platforms to update stock levels in real-time;
- Creating mobile ordering apps so shoppers can purchase on the go;
- Building automated SMS sequences to connect with shoppers;
- Leveraging buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) technology;
- Implementing augmented reality (AR) to give online shoppers a better sense of what a product looks and feels like; and
- Implementing a product experience management (PXM) solution to keep up with the speed of commerce.
Why Digital Transformation in Commerce Is Crucial for Lasting Success
Competition today is fierce. If a shopper can’t find what they’re looking for right away, they’ll go elsewhere. Digital transformation helps brands and retailers stay on point and ensure they offer consumers a delightful experience every single time they step into their store or land on their website.
Research by PTC cited improved operational efficiency (40%), faster time to market (36%), and the ability to meet customer expectations (35%), as the biggest benefits of digital transformation.
Here’s what else this transformation can help you achieve:
- Better end-user experience: Technology creates slick sales cycles for customers which boosts retention rates (research by McKinsey & Company shows that digital transformation can generate a 20–30% increase in customer satisfaction).
- Smart digital processes: Speed up backend operations and reduce costs involved with doing every task manually.
- Better insights: Access customer data to improve shopping experiences and create personalized journeys.
- Control over analytics: Access to insightful data can be used to gain a competitive edge through online ad campaigns.
- Meet customer demands: Shoppers expect personalised experiences and convenient shopping experiences — digital transformation helps brands tap into these modern-day needs.
- More accurate order management: Keep tabs on stock and automatically order replenishments to avoid order backlogs and disappointed customers.
- An equal commerce landscape: Small brands can now compete with big names and retailers thanks to accessible technology.
Checklist: 3 Essential Steps for Embracing Digital Transformation
Download this checklist to help you tackle the most important steps for managing change in your organisation.
Digital Transformation: A Revolution in Ecommerce
The market share of ecommerce has increased so dramatically that it’s becoming a necessity for brands and retailers to adopt digital transformation. To compete with brands (both big and small), merchants must create streamlined processes and excellent customer experience, otherwise, they’ll lose out on customers and revenue.
As ecommerce continues to grow, expect to see more and more retailers and brands implementing digital transformation to keep up, sell more, and ensure they’re aligning with the fast-changing needs of the modern-day shopper.
Build Engaging Shopping Experiences:
Every shopping moment should be memorable. To build engaging experiences, you need digital transformation. Download “The Change Management Guide for Digital Transformation in Commerce” to get a head start.