5i SOLUTIONS

Our view of e-commerce development solutions is a set of five base integrations. Each consecutive integration builds on the implementation of the previous one and deepens your business’s digital transformation.

01. Native base eCommerce solution

Gets your business online commercially by enabling e-commerce revenue channels (including online payment gateway integration).

Most businesses that think of themselves as being present online are not there. Having an information and links type profile on a third-party B2B or BTC platform does not qualify you as an e-commerce business.

A more practical benchmark of a business's online presence is a fully functional and controlled (native) operating infrastructure that supports driving revenue from core products and services sold via digital commerce channels.

02. POS-eCommerce integration (unified commerce solution)

Provides a single version of the truth (SVOT) view of the customer (online and offline).

Having an effective digital commerce solution in place creates a solid base for the digital transformation of your business. However, running digital commerce separately from your physical retail distribution network creates digital-physical commerce dualism that manifests as gaps and silos breeding inefficiency and losses.

A very important customer may have visited stores in your distribution network for forty years, but the business doesn’t have any memory or awareness of this crucial fact. Can you do better than that?

The next step in this journey is unifying the online and offline views into a SVOT view of the customer. This process involves the integration of the underlying e-commerce and brick-and-mortar (POS) transactional systems. Achieving the unified commerce state is a critical stage in the business’s digital commerce maturity that opens up a variety of new technology tools for harnessing the value of your e-commerce systems.

03. Delivery (fulfillment) integration

Enables sending delivery orders generated via digital commerce platform to the delivery partner via back integration (reverses the conventional online delivery setup).

Many businesses in such relatively low-tech retail segments as FAB (Food and Beverage) have lagged in e-commerce adoption resulting in lacking a native base e-commerce solution. Thus, delivery service providers took over their critical customer-facing e-commerce infrastructure. This became a simple way to enter digital commerce, but what’s wrong with it, and can you do better?

Such a substitution of the critical native e-commerce solution provides access to digital commerce distribution channels, however, at the expense of sacrificing direct relationship with the customer and data to the 3P platform or the delivery provider. If you are a retailer juggling 2-3 tablets from several delivery providers alongside your POS and ERP systems (f.e. a Kitchen Management System) then there is a better way to handle your e-commerce fulfillment!

Rather than depend on the delivery providers for online orders, you can and should establish a native base e-commerce solution followed by integration with your delivery partners on the backend. These will protect the direct relationship with your online customers and your ownership of the critical e-commerce data, wheres the delivery (fulfillment) order is sent directly to the delivery partner.

04. ERP/CRM-eCommerce integration

Provides a 360-degree view of the order flow via deep integration of the digital commerce platform with the essential accounting and order generation processes that serve as the Business OS.

Having achieved the unified commerce and fulfillment stage, based on effective integration of delivery channels, is outstanding! But if the business's digital heart and operating system remain isolated in legacy, closed, and proprietary ERP and CRM systems, then it still lives and functions in the twentieth-century (severely limited) space. What goes wrong here, and can we do better?

Much of this segregation is internal, driven by the accounting, HR, and Sales teams that depend on outdated financial reporting cycles and conventions. Such suboptimum standards are embedded in the ERP/CRM systems, preventing the business from generating the maximum yields from the hard-earned e-commerce innovation.

Integrating your ERP/CRM and e-commerce systems unleashes a wave of business efficiency that paths your way to operational excellence. Through such integrations, transactional and supply chain data, augmented by domain-specific analytics, begin to power the management of your business resources at a deeper level, where e-commerce drives growth in revenue and margins.

05. Advanced integrations

That is where the magic happens! Includes integrations with ML/AI-driven stock and demand prediction/recommendation engines, personalized loyalty solutions, and advanced analytics.

When the market-facing (front) end of your e-commerce business is deeply integrated with its operating system, having implemented a native base e-commerce solution, unified commerce, as well as delivery and ERP/CRM integrations, have you arrived at full digital commerce maturity? Surprise! The highest rewards of e-commerce lie ahead.

Now, based on the fully integrated e-commerce stack, your business is ready to leverage its digital commerce circulation system in executing sophisticated solutions involving Machine Learning, AI, and advanced analytics. That is where the magic happens!

At this stage high quality, relevant data can drive personalized loyalty programs delivering refined offerings to the customers to their maximum delight. Going even further, you can run prediction engines optimizing your stock inventory and product basket management and approach just-in-time standards in trade flows with similar or exceeding impact that marked the achievements of the manufacturing revolution of the 1980-90s.