When e-Commerce and the Cloud Collide

Traditional commerce is going through a rapid metamorphosis.  The market is constantly adapting and evolving to keep up with the constant advancements in technology and logistical processes.    Today’s consumers are now demanding immediate gratification and greater access to goods which is causing traditional commerce and EDI of yesteryear to evolve.

B2B commerce of the 20th century was once laden with endless stacks of paper stemming from purchase orders and invoices to shipping documents, the endless cycle of filling out forms, scanning documents and manual data entry was an accepted but arduous part of commerce.  Enter EDI, a solution to the logistical needs of businesses everywhere, which allowed businesses to reduce the copious amount of work that was a byproduct of traditional business exchange models.  EDI greatly enhanced business efficiency, transferring documents between business partners instantaneously while reducing the labor hours involved with order fulfillment, input costs such as paper, as well as the need to fax.  E-Commerce was born and systematically changed B2B commerce in the 20th century.    According to the Research and Advisory firm Frost & Sullivan, B2B e-Commerce will hit $12 trillion worldwide by 2020 and they consider this to be the preeminent industry in innovation and market attractiveness (Vidyasekar 2014).

The 21st century and the impact of mobile technology, specifically Smartphones and tablets, has ushered in the next evolution of EDI, m-Commerce.   The internet has provided an entirely new way for consumers to browse, to shop and to educate themselves on products and with consumers now having mobile, on-demand access to the internet via their Smartphones the dawn of m-Commerce is upon us.   The ability of customers to instantaneously access global inventories, compare prices, read blogs and product reviews seamlessly from their couch or while window shopping is changing the dynamic of brick and mortar stores into showrooms.  Fulfillment center advancements are needed to provide dynamic inventory allocations and real-time updates.

M-Commerce is causing drastic logistical changes and business model shifts, and standard retail customers are not the only ones demanding these changes.  B2B businesses are feeling this pressure as well.  As vendors seek to constantly keep up with consumer’s buying and purchasing habits via model adaptations and logistical streamlining, businesses are relentlessly searching out suppliers who can keep up.   The world of e-Commerce is continuously evolving and adapting and the next generation of EDI must be a dynamic solution.

In an effort to further reduce expenses, minimize server space, increase inventory and software accessibility while simultaneously modernizing processes, many companies are turning to cloud-based software solutions.  Although highly contentious, the role and impact of the cloud is and will continue to be far reaching.   The internet has reshaped the world of the 21st century and the companies who have adapted their business models to flourish in this environment are thriving and leveraging their competitive positions, further creating barriers to entry and eliminating threats of competition.  Today’s market place is too dynamic and unforgiving to accept late responders.  Staying competitive must be at the forefront of one’s business model.

The challenge for e-Commerce going forward is finding an EDI solution that can bridge the gap between the e-Commerce systems of the 20th century with that of today’s cloud-based business requirements and m-Commerce’s empowerment of the consumer.  DataTrans Solutions has numerous products that offer resolution to these needs.

If you would like to discuss your organization’s current position and explore the impacts that adapting to e-Commerce, m-Commerce and cloud-based computing will have, please feel free to call me at 1(800) 469-0877.  We will discuss your business’s unique needs and how transitioning your internal systems can help keep you ahead of the competition.

Travis Baldwin

Works Cited

Vidyasekar, Archana Devi. The Global B2B E-commerce Market Will Reach $6.7 Trillion by 2020.  Frost & Sullivan. Dec 31, 2014.  Retrieved on Jan 2, 2015

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