”Of course we have a web store!” exclaims the VP of Sales when I suggest that the revolution of digitalization is pounding at the backdoor of also his company. Too many are still stuck on this basic level of digitalization.
These days it is not any more enough to have a web store with a sleek look and feel. Of course, basics such as UX and product data need to be in check. However, the ongoing second wave of digitalization is first and foremost about the revolution of data. Data is the new oil, they say.
For example, in the B2B world, data about the customer behavior and profitability is valuable stuff. It is hardly trivial from the perspective of logistics and service operations streamlining whether a customer orders daily through a call center or monthly through a digital channel: the difference in customer profitability may be tens of margin percentage points! Should this difference perhaps be considered in customer pricing? How would you manage your key account, if you knew that the service costs eat up the entire profitability? Data is real money.
The digital channel need not either be a mirror image of the brick-and-mortar store in the web. One of the key benefits of a digital marketplace is the opportunity to utilize historic purchase data (ERP data) and data created during the transaction itself (clickstream data) right now in real time (=big data). What if your web store could predict based on ERP data, customer profile, and clickstream data which product basket the customer is right now shopping for, and guide through the entire transaction with predictive recommendations? Average order lines per order would increase automagically alongside with customer loyalty.
Technologically, from the SAP stack, the above described examples mean as platforms for example HANA, Predictive Analytics, and hybris. However, if you don’t wish to build all the goodies custom made from scratch, it will pay off to visit the Bilot booth at the SAP Innovation Forum on March 4, 2015 to experience Bilot’s Smart products that are Smart and Simple.