Article

Vidur Kaul
Vidur Kaul 9 November 2016

Ecommerce - Digital Modernization Of Supplier On-Boarding

Supplier on-boarding is a major aspect in the e-commerce sector, which demands digital modernization. Let’s look at the need for this digital transformation and modernization in the e-commerce supplier on-boarding process and its associated benefits.

Digital transformation is the fundamental driver for innovation and disruption in almost all the industry sectors including e-commerce. The e-commerce space has grown in leaps and bounds with the widespread adoption of digital technologies and digital transformation. The growth of e-commerce has impacted the way organizations do business and people consume it. E-commerce empowers customers through convenience and a wider choice of products.

For retailers, it is bringing in exciting business opportunities beyond their geographical constraints. However, to thrive in this increasingly competitive space, e-commerce players have to embrace the technology advancements and new concepts along with a mindset for changing the existing culture, strategy and operational processes. This includes integrating new systems into the existing IT infrastructure and establishing new business processes in line with their digital transformation strategies.

E-commerce supplier on-boarding is one of the major aspects in the sector which also demands digital modernization.  Let’s have a look at the need for digital transformation and modernization in e-commerce supplier on-boarding and the opportunities associated with it.

The significance of digital modernization in supplier on-boarding

In this age of increasing relevance of e-commerce a diversified set of products and portfolio are significant for satisfying the increasing demands of a millennial consumer. To get a flavor of diversity in their products, e-commerce players have to on-board more suppliers, which results in maximizing the probability of attracting new customers. In today’s highly competitive e-commerce landscape, online retailers which fail to digitize their supplier on-boarding process wil lag behind their competitors. Launching a new product range can also get delayed resulting in the loss of sales.

For small and medium enterprises, it is difficult to comprehend all the checks for compliance for supplier onboarding and can loose interest in some instances. Apart from this, in the on-boarding activities, both the supplier and the retailer have to put in a lot of manual effort in administrative activities with the need to manage a lot of data which can also lead to disengagement. Most of the on-boarding time is spent in managing supplier data as it is handled in silos and is fragmented.  In some instances, even though the e-commerce player put in a lot of effort for supplier on-boarding with training sessions using various artifacts, it ends up in confusion in comprehending the standards and procedures.

How to address the seller onboarding challenges in the e-commerce space?

challenges-in-the-e-commerce-space

A self-service supplier portal will largely address the challenges associated with the seller on-boarding in e-commerce. It automates a largely paper intensive activity, which helps in accelerating the on-boarding process. It also enables the supplier to manage their product catalogue on their own and gives them insight on how their product appears to the target audience. This would help in analyzing their current strategies and implement newer strategies to attracting more consumers including uploading more products thereby increasing the number of options they provide on the e-commerce site. With more product options available more consumers will browse and buy from the respective e-commerce portal.

Real time validation for seller verification and compliance checking options available in a self-service portal can speed up the on-boarding process and decreases the number of forms the supplier might need to maintain. This has helped a lot of e-commerce retailers increase the number of suppliers they can on-board quickly.

The option for seamless communication with suppliers using online surveys, mails etc. makes it easy to coordinate leading to better product delivery. Tracking and monitoring of issues online also leads to faster problem resolution.

As we said earlier, managing the supplier data is a tough challenge that the e-commerce player faces due to fragmented data collection and the amount of paperwork involved in seller on-boarding. However, digital modernization of these processes helps online store information be in a centralized location, leading to seamless supplier data management.

Apart from all this, consistency in supplier on-boarding and having a supplier 360 view helps the e-commerce retailer save time and money, helping them to focus more time and resource on their end consumers.

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