How Can Enterprises Overcome Ecommerce Challenges?

Enterprise companies’ large size and organizational complexity are two common challenges that enterprises need to navigate when implementing ecommerce platforms. With the right approach and long-term planning, enterprises can anticipate and overcome roadblocks in their ecommerce implementations.

  • Organizational complexity: multiple stakeholders, KPIs, budgets,  and rules

  • Regional complexity: local laws, markets, practices, cultures

  • IT complexity: mix of new, old, in-house, acquired and other software

Ecommerce both impacts - and is impacted by - many enterprise departments which have their own KPIs, budgets, decision making rules and goals.  Departments include: sales, marketing, IT, finance, logistics, buyers, security, HR, legal, and more. Big changes, like implementing enterprise ecommerce platforms or significant changes in business processes, usually require significant energy and time.  

International variability creates an additional challenge on top of organizational complexity. Involving additional regions or countries in an ecommerce solution adds additional stakeholders, local laws, customs. For example, local tax laws (which may impact pricing), legal requirements and practices, HR specific, cultural differences all are areas enterprises need to consider during their ecommerce planning. 

The complexity of enterprise IT is often a result of past business growth, acquisitions, and IT-department mergers. Enterprise IT infrastructures manage a mix of software, legacy enterprise e-commerce software, and a large variety of local and industry specific software (like bookkeeping, legal, ERPs etc).

All that creates challenges for enterprise companies that must be mitigated by adequate architecture planning.

Slow changes result in slow progress in the fast paced world of ecommerce
Unified monolith top-to-bottom cross-regional solutions cannot be changed quickly
IT complexity restricts business transformation and threatens your market leadership

Focus on speed and flexibility. When choosing enterprise ecommerce software, enterprises need to focus on speed and flexibility to stay competitive. The complexity inherent in enterprise organizations makes IT changes -- like implementing an e-commerce platform or significant changes to business processes -- very expensive in terms of time and effort.  When a project's size and scope expand, then the risks and effort required to implement it grow exponentially as well.

Avoid monoliths. Some companies attempt to resolve regional complexity by designing and implementing by a unified enterprise ecommerce solution and cover all or most regions; however, this approach leads to creation of a “monster” which is expensive to change, very expensive to maintain and which cannot be easily replaced when it becomes a problem -- a situtation which often happens quite soon after launch. 

Be nimble. Enterprise IT complexity restricts business transformation, threatening enterprise market leadership.  This needs to be addressed-  enterprises need to constantly focus on complexity reduction and painless substitution of legacy solutions. 

It is possible for enterprises to move quickly by making small steps in their ecommerce journey
Building a multi-layer platform creates a transparent unified solution for multi-country enterprises
Modular architecture allows the constant step-by-step elimination of legacy IT systems

Virto Commerce's philosophy is based on the idea that making sequential changes is the only way to overcome enterprise complexity described above. Virto Commerce's enterprise ecommerce platform is designed in a way to facilitate this agile approach.

Extensible platform: A customizable & extensible platform and modular architecture makes possible to start acting locally (in terms of regions, functions, processes) and continue by gradually extending the solution, adding new stakeholders, regions, functions, integrations with fast release cycles. 

Agile approach: Small projects reduce the quantity of affected stakeholders during each step of the process and arrive at the point where each small step is not critical for most stakeholders, so you can keep up the high speed of your implementation. 

Multi-layer: Virto Commerce is efficient in building a flexible and maintainable multi-layer enterprise ecommerce platform for multi-regional companies. The success of our customers is proof of our method: we efficiently build local Virto Commerce solutions and then generalize the common rules, practices, integrations and requirements across a more standardized platform -- extending it out across regions and countries.

API-Based. Virto Commerce is an API-based modular ecommerce solution. It can be embedded into any process or replace any function without running a huge project. You can start substituting your legacy systems, improve their process structure or add new functionality without creating additional risks.

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Bosch wanted a direct line of communication with their customer base. To gain this important customer access, they decided to create a customer loyalty program that awarded points and ultimately allowed them to interact directly with their customers.

 

Bosch knew they wanted to use a pre-existing e-commerce solution, as opposed to developing their own. To do this, Bosch needed to choose a software that is based on the Microsoft technology stack, which is their internal technology. Furthermore, the chosen platform needed to be extremely customizable to accommodate Bosch’s complex integrations and specific requirements.

 

This project was the first ecommerce implementation for Bosch, so to help with the learning curve, Virto Commerce held an onsite kick-off workshop with Bosch’s technical team.
Bosch Thermotechnik now has a Customer Loyalty Portal that allows Bosch to gain valuable customer insight and build strong customer relationships. With the portal built on Virto Commerce Bosch Customer Loyalty Portal serves as a long-term solution that grows with Bosch and its future business needs.

 

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