An eCommerce platform for your business can completely transform your operations, sales and growth. A key reason for this is that an eCommerce platform can replace a number of tools and offline systems that many businesses traditionally use. If your business has yet to move online, consider the various manual steps that must be undertaken today for an order to be processed. It's likely that the majority of this process is being carried out in a manual and perhaps unstructured way.

But what if you could turn this on its head, freeing up your staff to focus on more important duties and delivering a smoother experience for your customers?

Well, implementing an eCommerce platform can help to achieve exactly that. We'll examine some of the key benefits of moving your business online and thus minimising the number of your internal systems.

1. Speed up your order processing

Without the luxury of an online portal, your employees will need to navigate a number of different systems in the sales process. Information on current stock will be in one place, whilst delivery updates and product information will be elsewhere. Not only does this lead to frustrations for your workforce, as they grapple with conflicting information and are forced to wait on their co-workers for updates, but it has serious knock-on effects for the service experience of your customers. Eliminating these steps, through the adoption of an eCommerce platform, can dramatically speed up your order processing, leaving your customers with a great user experience and your business with improved cash flow

2. Improve your inventory management 

Imagine the situation. You take a customer's order and send it to the warehouse, only to discover a few days later that the product isn't in stock, or that the wrong product was sent out. Not only has a significant amount of time been wasted, but the customer has been left with a sour taste in their mouth. Having up to date, real-time information on your stock, though, will improve operational efficiencies and cut costs across your supply chain. And at a higher level, you'll be able to leverage the availability of live product data to quickly respond to changes in the market and plan more effectively for the future, boosting your bottom line as you go.

3. Make yourself more visible to existing and potential customers

Sometimes, you want to buy something here and now when you have the need. And you want to do it quickly, without having to pick up a phone and enter into a lengthy dialogue with a sales person. A digital portal allows your customers to do just that. With everything under one (digital) roof, your eCommerce website can continue operations well beyond your usual business hours. With this level of accessibility, you are making it as easy as possible for prospective leads to engage with you, and purchase from you 24/7/365. Not only will this help to drive sales but it will also allow you to market your brand and your products to new audiences around the world.

4. Empower your staff 

With a large percentage of businesses still operating on legacy systems, staff are forced to spend significant amounts of time completing manual tasks where their skills could be better used elsewhere. By going online, you can leave the menial tasks to your eCommerce platform, allowing your employees to grow the business in other areas. And given the features and efficiencies of an eCommerce site, they will have the means and knowledge to offer customers a higher level of service. Providing staff with the tools to do a better job means greater employee satisfaction and well-being, and thus a lower turnover of staff for your business.

5. Live up to your customers' expectations 

The expectations, and indeed the demands, of buyers are evolving at dramatic rates as they seek a faster, more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing buying experience. Taking your business online is thus absolutely essential just to bring it up to the very minimum that your customers are expecting. The greater convenience offered to your customers through an eCommerce site also serves to increase their satisfaction, loyalty and trustall of which are vital for propelling your sales and your business growth.

6. Reduce error rates

A robust eCommerce platform can seriously reduce the errors that can occur during the ordering process. Orders made via an online system by the end-user avoid the potential problems of those captured via email, phone, fax and spreadsheets. No matter how strong your workforce, mistakes happen—your employees are only human after all. So why gamble with the possibility of human-error when an eCommerce platform can accurately take care of the same tasks?

7. Keep up with your competition

With more and more businesses moving online, it's imperative that companies get ahead of the curve to ensure that they remain competitive. And whilst the prospect of updating your old systems may seem daunting, the evidence of the shift in the sphere is plainly obvious! Now is the time to move your business online before your competitors beat you to it!