E-commerce is a must for business prosperity

By David Bray
Wednesday, 23 September, 2020

E-commerce is a must for business prosperity

When Australia’s public sector and industry leaders reflect on 2020, what are the biggest lessons they will consider in their strategic planning and decision-making processes for the future?

After the events of this year, I have no doubt that the theme of digital transformation will be at the top of the list. Whether it’s strengthening day-to-day operations or preparing for unforeseen volatility, technology is now widely recognised as a cornerstone of business continuity and organisational resilience.

As Australia continues its economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders are directing their attention to specific opportunities within the realms of digital transformation, more specifically e-commerce.

Even before the global pandemic, e-commerce has been carving out a significant place within the majority of Australia’s industry sectors. But in today’s operating environment, it has become more than a ‘nice-to-have’ offering, with more businesses and customers forced to operate in an online capacity.

It is now the future of buying and selling, in almost every industry sector.

A recent report found the demand for digital buying and vendors that provide fast and personalised responses is accelerating. Global organisations, such as Manitou and Saint Gobain, have begun to transform their buying and selling processes. Utilising digital channels, both businesses have been able to improve their sales performance and competitive positioning.

We have also seen this theme resonate with all levels of government — state and federal agencies increasing their support of technological innovation and allowing SMEs and larger organisations to establish a more visible e-commerce presence.

The South Australian Government recently announced a new incentivised funding boost for exporters to bolster e-commerce offerings. And in early 2020, the federal government endorsed businesses investing in innovation and productivity growth via emerging technology.

It should not come as a surprise given the myriad benefits of increasing e-commerce activity. By moving the sales process online, businesses can open new channels of opportunity, exposing themselves to new customers that were previously inaccessible. E-commerce also enables smaller businesses to adopt a multinational mindset to attracting, approaching and securing customers, enabling them to build a competitive advantage and grow the digital economy.

To capitalise on these advantages, business leaders are developing a top-down strategy that supports and incorporates e-commerce effectively. A successful transformation relies on an organisation’s ability to invest in high-quality technological infrastructure, accompanied by effective training for employees, so this infrastructure is used to its full potential.

Businesses need to incorporate e-commerce as an integral part of their overall digital selling strategy. This ensures that their customers get a consistent buying experience through every channel and reduces the damaging effect of internal channel conflict. Therefore, a unified approach to e-commerce and traditional selling modes is a successful path to a digital selling strategy.

Having survived the pressures so far of 2020, it is time for Australian business leaders, organisations and customers to realise the benefits of investing in e-commerce. It is an essential component for any business and exporter striving to bolster continuity and dominate the buying and selling process in tomorrow’s market.

David Bray is Regional Vice President at PROS Australia and New Zealand.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/DmitryStock

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