COVID-19 has transformed eCommerce forever, leaving many businesses to wonder what steps they can take to ensure topline growth and future-proof their enterprise. Business leaders realize they need to do something different to keep up to speed.
In this article, we discuss how to strategically transform your business to drive topline revenue growth and discuss where you need to invest your resources to sustainably grow your business.
The Importance of Thinking Ahead
Prior to 2020, many businesses were already approaching a turning point. While some businesses continued with the same tried-and-true formulas, others began carving out pathways to future-proof their systems. However, once the spread of COVID-19 disrupted the commerce landscape, there was an aggressive shift away from brick-and-mortar to online selling. Some businesses experienced a drop in sales while others had such a huge spike in demand that they struggled to keep up and saw their current operations break at the seams.
Then there was a third group of sellers: those who hadn’t just begun exploring new paths, but had completely transformed their business to make the most out of their digital presence prior to the pandemic. These businesses had online storefronts and digital systems that were prepared and ready to scale. The success of these sellers demonstrates the need to invest in a business transformation strategy, especially as the industry becomes even more competitive in 2021.
What is a Business Transformation Strategy?
A business transformation strategy is the process of digitalizing, automating, and streamlining your operations to make them more agile and scalable. This process involves strategically investing in the right technology and resources so that your business can quickly respond to any opportunities that will unlock growth for your business.
A transformation strategy touches all aspects of your business, from your ecommerce platform and back office integrations to your marketing technology and fulfillment strategy. Investing in these components in one comprehensive strategy allows you to react to industry changes, implement updates on the fly, and act on great ideas to drive more revenue for your business.
How do you know when your business is ready for a transformation project? The answer is when you begin to encounter limitations to your growth. This could mean seeing your website break when you have a surge in orders, finding yourself bogged down by long development cycles, and experiencing the pitfalls of manual and error-prone processes. The goal of a business transformation project is not to make short-term fixes—it’s about looking ahead and gearing up your business for the long haul.
Make Sure Your Ecommerce Platform Is Built to Scale
Your eCommerce platform is the centerpoint of a successful business transformation project. Sending visitors to a subpar website experience or fumbling with a clunky, disparate back-end means you lose out on opportunities for growth, sales, and revenue gain. Business transformation focuses on looking for the right ecommerce platform and making sure it has the ability to scale. This involves a 3-step sequence focused on scaling your front-end, back-end, and marketing systems.
- Front-end: The customer-facing side of your online store is where topline revenue is generated, so we recommend starting the business transformation process with the technology and systems that power it. You need to be able to count on your website to give shoppers a clear path to purchase and engage them with an enjoyable shopping experience.
- Back-end: Next, focus on scaling your back-end technology. You want your systems to be able to handle sales volume of any size easily, automate processes, add in new features, and perform critical procedures like accounting and fulfillment without lag. Efficiencies from this area of your website will ensure everything else works smoothly.
- Marketing: Finally, you’ll want to be able to incorporate marketing features without being bogged down by development cycles. Sustainable ecommerce growth requires building healthy customer relationships throughout the buyer journey and beyond. You need to be able to implement things like campaigns, subscriptions, and email marketing with ease and agility.
The increased flexibility and efficiency you can gain from this three-step business transformation sequence will enable you to drive greater revenue at the top line, which will trickle down to the bottom line and ensure your business is sustainable for the years to come.
How to Prepare for Business Transformation
To strategically advance your online presence, you want to evaluate your current systems, uncover any bottlenecks to your growth, and use these insights to inform your strategy.
First, look at the bottlenecks to growth—the obstacles or limitations you’re seeing in your current systems. Businesses often find that their online potential has been stifled by the growth limits of their ecommerce solution. Indicators could be seeing increasing site slowdowns and increasing complexities and obstacles as you begin to fulfill more orders. Identifying these bottlenecks is the first step to determining which areas to invest your resources in.
The next step is to audit your website and identify areas of strength and weakness. Analyze key areas like your website’s technical performance, your product merchandising and site usability, your checkout process, and your back-end capabilities. These areas provide a snapshot of your selling potential, pointing to where you can better integrate, expand, and optimize. You can then use these insights to pinpoint the areas you need to invest in, which will effectively improve your website and allow you to achieve success.
Interested in learning more about business transformation in ecommerce? Join the ecommerce experts at Miva for a webinar on how to strategically transform your business, drive topline revenue, and discover opportunities for growth in this new economy. Learn more.