We are seeing a rapid change in the importance of business technology, and its role in making a commercial prospect go big or go home. Businesses are trying to become more tech-centric to further digitalize their business processes and futureproof their market presence.
It’s getting increasingly competitive as more and more organizations realize that digital commerce could be the single most important ‘piece’ of their sales strategy ‘puzzle’. It will be responsible for scaling businesses of all types – from retail E-Commerce to B2B commerce, manufacturing, wholesale and direct to consumer – so that they can break through to the next level.
A tech-creator or a tech-led business?
If you take your inspiration from the global giants like Amazon or Walmart, you might think that a technology-first approach means investing in your own intellectual property to create a digital offering that is cutting edge and better than the best. While it can work for the trailblazers, however, it is better to leave that kind of heavy investment in creating proprietary technology to those companies with the resources to take on the risk, since failure can be very expensive indeed. This is not to mention the ongoing costs of maintenance, security, support and training, which would most likely need to occur indefinitely.
Taking this approach is not always about the scale of the organization either. A good example to understand this in the retail space will be with brands like Zara vs Primark.
CEO of Zara’s parent company, Inditex, in the company’s 2021 annual statement, mentioned how the company’s fashion “combined with a fully integrated omnichannel offer in each region, and supported by technological innovation” has enabled it to extend its influence in the digital world, with digital sales being “one-quarter of the total” revenue. It has made investment in its own technology platform a key part of its growth strategy. Primark, on the other hand, has maintained commitment to its instore experience with the understanding that its customers value the way it can “keep prices low and offer the best value on the high street.”
While Zara has chosen to invest in proprietary E-Commerce technology, Primark – despite also having a huge presence in the international market – has been rather more conservative in its digital transformation and only just started its journey with a new website and click and collect offering. While the power of the Primark brand is of course supported by its scale, this does demonstrate that it is not essential to try and be a tech trailblazer to succeed. It’s still possible to take advantage of digital transformation by introducing already-established solutions to enhance your unique business offering, so that you can focus instead on maintaining the competitive elements of the business that make you stand out in the market.
The key is understanding where you need to own tech, and where you can use tech that's already available.
Adopting a MACH solution to be a tech-led business
Any new technology, especially in the domain of B2B or B2C E-Commerce, could have a very short life expectancy. Dedicating hours of labor and sums of capital to develop a new solution, such as your own E-Commerce search functionality or Product Information Management system, only to restart or abandon a few months later, could be myopic in the larger scheme of things. Such tech investments could very likely be counterproductive for overall growth. Really, you don’t need to spend your resources on an in-house digital tool if it does not offer any competitive advantage.
By adopting a MACH solution, you can reap all the benefits of having the latest technology solutions, but without having to build them yourself.
You want to replatform – one last time – to a modular eCommerce platform in order to implement the MACH approach. Its cloud-based, headless architecture and best-of-breed APIs and microservices give you the liberty to ‘compose’ the product you want from already available technologies.
By choosing composable commerce you can pick and choose from a host of services to create your own digital commerce framework. As no single vendor can provide you all the options delivered just to your liking, this allows your company to build a tailored experience with a variety of vendors to create a truly bespoke approach that much better reflects your business. As the driver of a digital commerce strategy, you will want agility, flexibility and control to experiment with new features and strategies to see what works best for your sales and marketing requirements.
How do we get started with MACH?
Through the Emporix MACH-based platform, you can integrate the best-in-class tech solutions from different vendors to ensure you consistently provide a premium user experience. You can stay on top of every aspect of the sales journey and, most importantly, avoid paying for services you don’t want or can’t afford.
You could benefit from specialized tools for in-depth analytics, tailored communications, dynamic pricing, and data-based inventory management; but you can also be equipped for social commerce, hybridized (online/offline) experiences, VR and integrations with AI assistants and other smart-tech. The opportunities to experiment are endless, since if a plug-in doesn’t work, then try something else so that you are always updating and honing your offering.
Allowing technology specialists to take care of the key functionalities of your E-Commerce platform like this will allow your business to become tech-led without losing sight of your primary goals. There’s no need to invent new tech when you already have access to the best possible solutions available at any time, right?
For more information on how Emporix can help your business become technology-led, you can read more about our composable commerce platform here.