Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Webchannel Experience Management: Multichannel Commerce on a Single Platform

Internet has opened a new era of business opportunities. Each day, thousands of new consumers are joining the Internet.
The latest smartphones and tablets make the Web a busier hub of consumer interaction. The customers are nowadays extremely sophisticated shoppers. And let’s not forget how much more powerful they are with the rise of social media.
You need to offer equally powerful incentives to keep them loyal. Running an ordinary Web shop is no longer enough. Therefore more and more companies are adopting Internet as their primary sales and distribution channel.
To stay competitive, a lot of companies integrate e-commerce to their present business strategy. A little research will show that there is an extensive array of technology and solutions for enterprises.
Specifically for the companies running SAP, SAP Web Channel Experience Management was introduced last year, which is a big improvement on the old SAP ISA solution.

The SAP Web Channel Experience Management application lets you run all Web channels on a single platform, delivering an integrated process for e-commerce, e-marketing, e-service, and Web analytics in just one application. You can reduce IT cost and complexity and empower business users and channel managers, while enriching shopping and service for consumers and relationship management for partners.

Improving Online Experience

In the traditional journey of a purchase, commonly depicted as a funnel, a business loses potential customers as they move closer to the purchasing stage. While this is natural and expected, improving the user experience can reduce this loss by removing unnecessary barriers to shopping online.

 

Naturally, you differentiate your firm from e-business competitors by giving your Web customers the most compelling multichannel shopping and service experience. Today, that means implementing a strategy for a context aware, multiple-device customer experience that doesn’t end when the customer logs off or hangs up the phone. In fact, the experience continues right through to the moment customers enter a physical store or take delivery of shipped goods.

The typical Web customer increasingly uses a mobile device and has direct interaction with other customers through social channels. You no longer control engagement through traditional customer relationship management techniques and a plug-in Internet connection that chains the customer to a desktop experience. A company can differentiate his firm from e-business competitors by giving the Web customers the most compelling multichannel shopping and service experience.

SAP Web Channel Experience Management is successful in aligning with a solid, end-to-end multichannel strategy. It offers mobile device–enabled tools for product filtering, detail views including appropriate images and multimedia files, and online loyalty management. Customers can check product availability on the Web, read syndicated reviews and opinions through social media feeds, and check before paying that the merchandise will be available to ship. They can even order on the Web and pick up their merchandise at an outlet down the street. They can follow guided navigation paths with visual cues that help them move through complex procedures in a series of screens. And they can do it all on a tablet or smartphone.

Business Goals

The primary goal of implementing the SAP Web Channel solution is to turn the Internet into a profitable sales and interaction channel that delivers convenience and satisfaction to business partners and end consumers. Other goals for implementing a Web shop could be also: - Increasing sales & profits – Reducing costs and saving money – Enhancing the company image – Improving Customer Service – Competing with the competitors – Reducing Supply Chain Cycle.

Advantages

One of the big advantages of the new web channel solution of SAP that it runs all the e-commerce, e-marketing, e-service and Web Analytics on a single platform. This helps to decrease IT costs while satisfying demanding customers and makes managing the web solution much easier. The new administration tool (Web channel builder) helps to create, manage, and extend the online channels to achieve optimal Web presence. Business users could now make targeted cross- and up-sell recommendations, execute special campaigns, create and update catalogs, and manage the orders. No extra IT assistance is needed to update the web shop into production.

For the business customers and consumers easy-to-use and powerful online self-service functionality is provided. The rich common user interface is much more intuitive and good looking in compare to the old ISA solution of SAP. Users can make purchases and request support online, and their experience is consistent across all points of contact.

Other functionalities that is provided and improved in is viewing catalogs, shopping, checking out, paying, tracking orders, returning goods, requesting service, and making complaints. There is also a possiblity to implement a self-service rewards mechanisms to boost customer retention rates. The design of the web shop is flexible and scalable, the web application incorporates Web 2.0 technologies to offer options for user-interface design and interoperability with tools for content management.

A couple general business benefits from SAP Web Channel Experience Management:
  • Improved customer experience and heightened loyalty
  • Expanded market reach and preparation 
for greater globalization
  • Reduced costs and higher revenues to 
boost profitability
  • Lower total cost of ownership through 
integrated processes
A summary of the new SAP Web Channel Experience Management solution:
  • One platform for business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-marketing, e-commerce, and e-service
  • Easy integration with Web tools
  • Nontechnical site administration
  • E-marketing, including loyalty and campaign 
management
  • Rich e-commerce with in-store pickup, 
real-time availability, and one-click ordering
  • E-services for live assistance and self-service
  • Integrated content and knowledge 
management 


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