Ecommerce automation is redefining connections and complexity
December 23, 2021
As a company grows, systems multiply. Additional tools and platforms are added to meet the challenges of scale and enable expansion. But when you add them up, complexity increases. Growing technology stacks need management, which takes organizations away from the very things that drove growth to begin with: people and products.
Complexity, scale and the truth about e-commerce technology
In the early days, 15 to 20 years ago, it was very difficult to scale an e-commerce business during the early stages of development. Every change required a large investment. Tasks like opening payment gateways, maintaining security and matching server capacity with storage were mandatory custom codes. This meant that each change in strategy increased the difficulty of running a business.
Then came software as a service (SaaS), and the investment required to make these changes was significantly reduced. Instead of custom development, SaaS allowed companies to choose plug-and-play options. This made new strategies simpler and easier to experiment with.
Unfortunately, once an organization has passed its initial growth stage, keeping up with the rapid pace of change and innovation in the marketplace poses new and more difficult challenges. Changes in the way businesses operate, from order and inventory management to multichannel e-commerce and international e-commerce, and more. It requires co-investment to scale, implement and integrate new systems.
Why? Because of rapid adaptation, companies often rely on manual labor and new hires, followed by the addition of new technologies. As these tools accumulate, implementing changes becomes exponentially more work.
For some online companies, e-commerce platforms remain at the core of their systems. Surrounding them is a constellation of additional platforms and applications.
For others, their e-commerce platforms become a box. This configuration is often referred to as headless commerce.
Instead of a monolithic "store" that runs everything, the content (the front-end) is served through a CMS (content management system) while the commerce (the back-end) is driven by enterprise resource planning, an e-commerce platform and/or the customer. Relationship management software.
But for both configurations, the fundamental problem remains. Companies must find ways to reduce the increasing difficulty of change and leave room for deeper experimentation. Evolution depends on maintaining the speed and flexibility that made them successful as children.
We believe one of the most effective ways for organizations to achieve this is to leverage automation to reduce workloads, but also link their tools in a more adaptive way.