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Posted March 9, 2023

Unifying Customer Processes with SAP Commerce

By Ramkey Ramakrishnan

SAP Commerce: Deliver Omni-Channel Customer Experiences by Unifying Customer Processes

SAP Customer Experience can help build exceptional customer experience by providing end-to-end insights by connecting commerce, marketing, sales, and service data.

Commerce for Direct-to-Consumer (D2C), Marketplace, or Complex Industry Models

Q: What steps can you take to put an effective D2C model in place? How can organizations implement new technology and processes without alienating distributors and other channel partners while providing a unified, satisfying customer experience?

A: The D2C model is more suitable for custom-built products; selling custom-built products through traditional channels may not be a possible solution. The consumer may go to a competitor if he/she finds their matching configuration. The process starts with understanding the consumer requirements and working with the product engineers to build a solution or product the consumers need. This involves a lot of back-and-forth communication between the consumer and the product engineer. Canam Research partnered with GyanSys and SAP to gain more insights into Omnichannel Customer Experience and Digital Commerce, and the integration issue was cited as one of the biggest challenges by the respondents.

Commerce Cloud-CPQ solution reduces this communication by effectively controlling the design possibilities and compatibility rules. In implementing the omnichannel solution, the communication provides a complete view of the quoting and development process for all parties to react in real time.

The Commerce Cloud features, such as Dynamic Front-end Design, Rule Engines, Guided Quote process, integration with the installed base, dynamic quote preparation, and workflow approvals, enable effective implementation of the D2C model. At GyanSys, we have implemented a D2C solution for a medical equipment manufacturer, allowing them to install their product at hospitals using an SAP e-commerce solution. Our team of experts has allowed the consumer to configure the products with compatible components and services for buying the products such as patient monitors (Bedside Monitoring - BSM), ventilators, electroencephalographs, electromyograph systems, electrocardiographs, defibrillators, and hematology analyzers over 120 countries.

End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility

Q: What important steps can organizations take to adapt to new business models and minimize supply chain disruption?

A: The supply chain disruption is caused by no inventory visibility at various locations or the planning and scheduling process. Over the last two decades, efficiency improvements fueled the supply chain. Global Supply Chain visibility from procurement to consumption is traceable by integrating the e-commerce solution with numerous end-to-end supply chain functionalities.

Collaborating and optimizing product workflows allows organizations to capture and analyze customer feedback in real time and is critical to identifying areas that may be frustrating customers. With Supply chain visibility, we enable shippers to improve customer service and cost controls through managing inventory in motion, proactive status updates, limiting disruptions, and risk mitigation.

GyanSys’ joint survey with Canam revealed that many still use spreadsheets or a third-party app for analytics and reporting.

Creating a Seamless Omni-Channel Customer Experience

Q: How do organizations deliver seamless and frictionless experiences across all touchpoints throughout the customer journey?

A: To create personalized and seamless experiences, you need to understand your customers and their different customer journeys. That means using as much data and

insights about them and their experiences as possible. We must understand how customers move across multiple channels to complete tasks and request information. The SAP Commerce Cloud platform follows customers throughout their buying journey.

The front-end responsive design enables the multi-channel touchpoints to be seamless. Consumers don’t think in terms of channels or company departments – they will only think about whether the overall experience they have with your brand is either a good one or a bad one.

Product Content Management for Business-to-Business (B2B)

Q: Gartner mentioned SAP’s Commerce Cloud solution in their Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce report stating that the Product Content Management application provides more complete functionality than the product management capabilities of most other commerce platforms.

A: SAP offers native integrations to other supporting products within the SAP ecosystem. GyanSys’ survey shows that 25% of the respondents indicated that it was difficult to update their product catalogs.

The Product Content Management (PCM) functionalities are much superior in SAP Commerce Cloud. The commerce site is weaved seamlessly with dynamic content management, managing catalog versions, and can import multiple supplier catalogs, which in turn shortens product launch cycles. Speed is critical when promoting

and selling new or revamped products. It also enables a holistic customer view and omni-channel purchasing experiences.

PCM plays a vital role in increasing the knowledge about the product features to the end customer. It allows you to build the product information pages and connect to the commerce pages by context sensitivity.

It presents product promotions, compares products for the customer, and it organizes the products in multiple categories, and enables the customer to search by various facets. It is highly customizable to present the products based on the customer interest collected by his previous visit history. It allows multi-media features to explain the product features with video, audio, and multi-dimensional pictures. It integrates well with the backend S/4HANA for the technical details of the product.

Data-Driven Intelligence

Q: How important is it for organizations to integrate and shift to a predictive data-driven intelligence model to analyze customer behavioral patterns through the buying journey?

A: The center of any decision-making process is data. Data plays a critical role as it can provide actionable insights into your business for decision-making and problem-solving. Collecting and analyzing customer data helps in eliminating assumptions. It can identify trends and buying patterns and provide insight into processes such as customer service, customer retention, financial and inventory management, and logistics.

From the data, you can understand their preferences, previous buying behavior, and preferred methods of communication and identify customer preferences in their journey where they are likely to experience roadblocks. Organizations can explore machine learning to automatically maximize conversions with behavior-based recommendations.

Integrating analytics with social media listening tools can help organizations research and analyze customer buying feedback informally and provide insights into data governance and quality control to help course-correct the buyer's journey before it is too late.

Perpetual Innovation

Q: How important is it for organizations to embrace innovation when choosing the right eCommerce platform for sustainable growth?

A: By moving to a proven, innovative commerce platform, you can unravel business agility, steady your margins, and grow at your own pace.

Adapting to new technological innovations is inevitable to compete in the market.

The criteria for selecting the e-commerce platform varies by the needs of the organizations. Here we can list some of the guiding principles:

  • Ease of Integration: The e-commerce platform should have the leading features and the ability to integrate with the existing environment seamlessly without any degradation in performance.
  • Agile: Able to add features and continuously improve customer-facing capabilities.
  • Scalable: Considering the technology that can grow with the organization in adapting higher volumes.
  • Sustainability: Availability of resources to support technology and maintain without downtimes.
  • Cost: Last but not least. The implementation should have a positive cost-benefit analysis.
  • Data & Analytics: The platform should be able to integrate with the analytical tools to improve sales and efficiency.
  • Innovative Technology: You can expand beyond traditional channels and devices with your integration platform.
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