Portal or E-commerce?

Published April 6 2021

Using a Portal Versus an E-Commerce Solution for Your Business 

We often hear from customers that they're unsure if they need an e-commerce, as they do not sell online directly to customers, and that all they need is a Portal. But then again, as portals progress and become transactional, are they not really e-commerce?

This question has many important implications both on the technology foundation and platforms used, as well as in internal and external communications and expectations.

How to Determine if You Need an E-commerce Solution 

We’d recommend looking at this question through an e-commerce maturity lens, where capabilities and complexity can increase over time. It helps thinking about what the solution provides in terms of information, interaction, and transactions:

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Steps to Think About in E-commerce Maturity:

  1. Provide public information: providing e-catalogs, for example, that people can look at and see all the details, public information, technical specs, services that are provided, support information for customers, etc.

  2. Enabling access for information tracking: If you own an Alexa, or Google home, you can ask it questions like “Where’s my order at?” and on the receiving end, you expect a quick and accurate answer. Like those home devices, a business with a well-established e-commerce platform, should be able provide the same service. Your business should have a place for consumers to effortlessly locate information. They should be able to find orders, invoices, shipping alerts. And for you, a snapshot of everything that is happening across the multi channels that business is taking place in.

  3. Interaction: When consumers have issues with orders or need additional help, having easy access portals that have that interactivity is crucial.

  4. Transaction: the ability to conduct real time transactions in the system, like placing orders, etc.

Microsoft E-commerce Solutions 

Those who are users of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, CRM and especially Dynamics 365, have the ability to add a layer of interaction that allows the organization to leverage data and business functions on an enriched level. Users can leverage business information to create solutions such as portals, e-commerce, websites, personalization, and marketing assets for the customer.

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When Dynamics 365 is in place, users can build on top of its secure and scalable e-commerce solutions that provide both customers and your business with everything needed to meet demand and service.

Keeping these three questions in mind will help better mold your e-commerce strategy:

  1. What does e-commerce mean to my business?
  2. How do changes in consumer and business behavior affect my business?
  3. What are my options in implementing e-commerce solutions that will work well with my Dynamics applications?

Would you like to learn more about e-commerce options from Microsoft for your organization? Watch this webcast: Introducing New Microsoft e-commerce Solutions for B2C and B2B. Learn about Microsoft's e-commerce roadmap and architecture, discover what's available now for B2C maintenance, as well as what's coming in the near future for B2B, see a Microsoft B2C e-commerce informative demo.

Introducing New Microsoft eCommerce Solutions for B2C and B2B - on demand webinar - Alithya