May 16 by Lin Shearer
What is Cart to Cash?
Cart-to-Cash is a set of business processes and solutions that combines E-commerce with Quote-to-Cash to deliver seamless omni-channel buying experiences across the customer lifecycle – from research to reorder – and through the sales channel of the buyer’s choosing.
Why are Companies Making it an Imperative?
While business buyers today increasingly prefer to order online, successful omni -channel B2B commerce requires more than an online store. Assisted sales and channel partners will continue to be necessary for complex, high – value sales and wholesale distribution. Successful omni – channel B2B commerce is the ability to deliver consistent, optimized buying experiences across all of these sales channels. In retail, omni -channel is about consistency between online and physical retail stores. In B2B, the foundational omni -channel experience begins with ensuring consistency across self -service e -commerce and direct sales, as well as partner sales if the enterprise sells through an indirect distribution channel.
To survive and thrive in this environment, winning enterprises need an end-to-end digital Cart-to-Cash solution to be able to deliver these consistent, optimized buying experiences across all of their sales channels, on any device. Cart-to-Cash is a set of business processes and solutions that combines e-commerce with Quote-to-Cash to deliver seamless omni-channel buying experiences across the customer lifecycle—from research to reorder—and through the sales channel of the buyer’s choosing
Building a Solid Cart-to-Cash Foundation
Cart-to-Cash requires digitizing the entire sales process across online and offline sales channels—combining a mobile-ready, scalable webstore with advanced digital sales enablement tools from configure price quote solutions to digital contracts and automated billing and renewals, streamlining and optimizing every stage of the buying process. A successful Cart-to-Cash solution goes beyond the online store to digitally empower buyers and sellers, drive behavioral change, and drive business outcomes.
To achieve and sustain this world-class buying experience, enterprises require a carefully crafted, comprehensive technology strategy for omni-channel selling and digital commerce. Any successful Cart-to-Cash initiative needs to account for three major interrelated issues: Automation, Adoption and Agility.
1. AUTOMATION eliminates manual tasks and accelerates execution of processes, while increasing measurability of activities and intelligence on business trends and performance. However, automation can cover a vast array of activities, from distributing marketing content online to supporting self-service environments for submitting orders. End-to-end automation can prove difficult to accomplish without the right portfolio of technologies. Success though can yield considerable advantages, like shifting reordering activity to an online channel, and reducing the cost-to-serve by 80 to 90%.
2. ADOPTION means coaxing people to embrace an approach and system based on high usability and relevance. If a system cannot be mastered as easily as popular web stores, then innovative capabilities will likely be neglected. Similarly, functionality must immediately resonate with users, whether aligning with buying preferences, or providing capabilities that help sales and partners do their jobs better. Failure with adoption will hobble any omni-channel initiative right from the start. For example, past difficulties in getting dealers and other intermediaries to use partner relationship management software often upends channel management initiatives.
3. AGILITY entails consistently staying on top of market dynamics, exploiting opportunities quickly, being responsive to clients and outclassing competitors. Forewarned is forearmed. So superior insights into trends, customer behaviors and internal processes enable firms to rapidly change practices around selling, marketing and managing partners, product lifecycles, pricing and capacity. Key to agility is having process automation in place that can be easily reconfigured as businesses evolve or are reinvented. For example, telecoms can now easily adjust pricing, bundles, promotions and agreements in response to market trends (with all billing implications taken care of), to raise average revenue per user (ARPU) and reduce churn.
Omni-channel selling is now an essential core competency for most industries in raising the competitiveness of enterprises, and boosting growth rates of revenues and profits. Moreover, the omni-channel buyer has proven to be a more valuable customer. The skill, agility and precision that prospects, customers and partners are engaged with across different touch points will be a major differentiating factor that separates market leaders from other businesses. Omni-channel selling practices and associated Cart-to-Cash technologies will transform markets, in opening up opportunities for new business models to emerge, as well as in driving consolidation of firms that fail to adapt.