The Power of Personalization
Today’s post is authored by Corevist’s Senior Implementation Consultant, and resident SAP® expert, Ray Mannion. Ray touches on a very important question that shows up in every single one of our implementations: How can we personalize the shopping experience for our website customers? And how can we do that so that the same rules apply regardless of whether they purchase via the web/phone/fax or email…aka a Multichannel World?
I’ll let Ray share with you our answer to those questions and some of the approaches that we’ve implemented with our clients.
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Happy New Year!
It’s a conversation we have quite frequently, and it’s a fun one to have. It generally happens during our discovery workshop when the person in charge of eCommerce realizes that in 2 days we have connected our web shop to his live SAP® QA system. Suddenly, he sees that any customer can order any material in the system, or at least he can typically discover those products.
“How do we prevent Customer <X> from seeing Product <Y>?”
At Corevist, we believe our website should behave as closely to your SAP® system as possible. Why spend money having us build your rules into our application when you can leverage simple SAP® configuration and enhancements to customize and personalize your customer’s experience across all sales channels?
Tribal knowledge exists quite often in the customer service department and amongst sales reps. Sticky notes and printed spreadsheets line the cubicles of people processing orders by phone, fax, and email. Below are a few recommendations we usually put forth as we are embarking on our 90 day implementation.
Use SAP®’s Listing and Exclusion functionality. This robust area of SAP® configuration allows your company to set up one or more Condition Tables where records can be maintained by business people. “All customers in the northeast sales district 20010 should not be allowed to purchase the uninsulated products that make up material group AB12345.” “US customers should not order products packaged in metric sizes”. “Barnes & Noble stores should not be able to purchase the books with Wal-mart covers”.
Use Dynamic Product Proposals to offer customers a list of their recently ordered products. In a B2B eCommerce shopping cart, most buyers are simply re-ordering the same set of products. Why propose an entire catalog to them or numerous materials with similar descriptions? Just offer them the last 20-30 products they’ve ordered over the last couple of years? A nightly batch job and some master data updates can be set up in less than an hour to provide your website users with this feature.
The “Product Attributes” area of the customer and material master is designed to prevent Ship-To parties from ordering products they shouldn’t receive.
All of these features can behave identically across your sales channels: in the web shopping cart, in the SAP® sales order entry screens, in EDI transactions, and in other batch interfaces. One set of configuration and your sticky notes and redundant databases are history.
SAP® integrated eCommerce is what we do. We love these conversations because we can not only speak to their advantages/disadvantages, but our extensive SAP® consulting background enables us to help you implement them quickly and easily.