In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, senior leaders are looking at new ways to leverage legacy, existing, and future technologies to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Digital transformation in the form of innovative experiences are likely to become the new normal that the modern consumer will come to expect from their favorite brands. In fact, according to Adobe, Australia and New Zealand customers have the highest customer experience expectations in the world.
With that in mind, how can you be sure that your business is positioned to provide the experience that today’s customers demand?
Digital transformation comes down to using technology to change the ways in which you do business, offer services, and provide solutions to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Microsoft defines it as “reimagining how you bring together people, data, and processes to create value for your customers and maintain a competitive advantage in a digital-first world.”
Many businesses, particularly those operating in environments that move as fast as retail, are adopting new digital processes and technologies every year. However, they lack a clear and cohesive business plan to properly implement and integrate these new digital processes and technologies and make the most out of them.
They end up with systems that don’t communicate well with one another, extended delays, and costly bottlenecks that come as a result of a lack of cross-functional planning and prioritisation. Sound familiar?
McKinsey Research has identified some critically important success factors for digital transformation. These factors call into five clear-cut categories:
In considering all of these factors, how should today’s business leaders actually approach a transformation?
Your vision should clearly state what you want the business to become, and why. It should be simple, and inspiring. Consider the following:
Assembling a cross-functional team built around senior stakeholders from across your business is key. A digital transformation is a whole-of-business exercise, which means that leaders from almost all departments need to be involved. Include one or two members who are experienced with digital technologies to support the broader team. This exciting team will be counted on to:
You need to create a detailed picture of where you are now to enable identification of what needs to change, in order to achieve your vison.
Start with the perspective of your customers. Remember, your customers are going to evaluate their experience with your brand based on usefulness, simplicity, and ease of use. Additionally, they’ll consider how much they enjoy interacting and engaging with your brand.
With that in mind, examine each business unit below to determine where your organisation currently stands:
Performance – what’s working/what’s not working?
__Technology __– what technology is currently being used and how?
Data – what data is currently being used, and how? Is it accurate?
Operational Pain Points – what processes could be improved?
Ways of Working – are there tasks that could be automated?
Capabilities – what capabilities currently exist? Do teams need to be retrained or upskilled?
Projects – what projects are currently planned or underway?
Ideas – how does your team think digital technology can help them deliver on your organisation’s vision?
Finally, it’s time to develop the plan. Here, you’ll identify all of the tasks that need to be completed throughout the course of your digital transformation strategy. These tasks generally fall into four groups which will assist you with phasing the work and building your roadmap.
Quick wins – high value, low effort tasks that deliver immediate benefits
Foundation – tasks that need to be done in order to build the foundation required to deliver the desired experience
Optimisation – existing processes and platforms that can be optimised or improved to accomplish an objective
Accelerate – tasks that need to be completed to accelerate business growth and achieve long-term objectives
Once your plan is developed, it is time to deliver. At this stage it’s important to remember transformation means trying something new, which some team members may find difficult. Building a culture of learning and consistent improvement will help empower your team to experiment and try working in new ways.
Set KPIs for each project. Measure and celebrate the wins, learn from the losses, and apply the learnings to your overall plan. Your vision shouldn’t change, but the route that you take to get there might – and that’s okay.
This is also a good time to introduce some new ‘digital’ ways of working. There are some great collaborative tools that can help you with project & resource management – Trello, Monday, Jira, Asana and communication tools like Slack.
Always be sure to maintain clear and open communication with your transformation team, your project teams, and your overall business.
Pattern works across a range of clients including some of Australia’s most recognisable retailers and brands, as well as niche players and start-ups. We have helped several clients craft and deliver digital transformation strategies.
If you would like to understand more or discuss how Pattern can help you with your Digital Transformation, contact us today.
Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.