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Digital transformation for nonprofits

How nonprofit organizations can utilize e-commerce sites to improve cost efficiency and data management

Getting digital


One of procurement’s key responsibilities is to identify and evaluate digital tools and technologies that can help improve operations, reduce costs, and increase productivity. This includes researching and comparing different options, and assessing their potential impact on the organization. As we’ve seen recently, procurement teams must also navigate the challenges of global inflation, supply chain disruptions, and increased turnover, while delivering needed supplies to keep organizations running. 

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the shift toward online purchasing has rapidly increased. This shift has significant implications for procurement teams, who must not only embrace digital transformation but also act as its evangelists, budget guardians, and work-from-anywhere enablers. According to the Amazon Business 2022 State of Business Procurement Report, 91% of buyers have a preference for online purchasing, highlighting the need for procurement teams to bring the same convenience employees experience at home in their personal lives, to work.

The shift toward online purchasing is particularly important for nonprofit organizations. The Fifth Edition of the Salesforce Nonprofit Trends Report states that “Digital transformation is defined as the integration of digital technology into all areas of an organization, fundamentally changing how the organization operates.” The report also found that 74% of nonprofits believe digital transformation is essential, yet only 12% of nonprofits have reached digital maturity. This highlights a gap that nonprofits still have a long way to go when it comes to digitizing their operations. 

The report also cites that cost efficiency and data management and optimization are leading reasons for digital transformation in nonprofits. These are critical areas for nonprofits as they seek to maximize their impact and achieve their goals and e-commerce sites can be the perfect partner.

Cost efficiency

Cost efficiency is a key driver of digital transformation for nonprofits, as the need to operate more efficiently and effectively with limited resources and funding continue to grow. Digital tools and technologies can help to automate processes, reduce costs, and increase productivity. E-commerce sites can help nonprofits achieve cost efficiency in several ways:

  • Volume discountsVolume discounts on commonly purchased products can help nonprofits save money and reduce shipments. This is especially beneficial for nonprofits that need to purchase large quantities of products. For example, by reviewing reporting from the previous 12 months, many are able to identify volume discount opportunities for tail spend purchases.
  • Price comparison: E-commerce sites that aggregate a wide selection of products from competing sellers give buyers the power to comparison shop across price, type, and reviews so that nonprofits can choose the best deal for their needs.
  • Streamlined purchasing: Centralizing orders with on-demand tools such as Guided Buying, a Business Prime feature, can reduce administrative costs and time spent on repetitive tasks. 
  • Automated reorderingAutomated reordering features allow nonprofits to set up recurring orders for items they frequently purchase, which can save time and reduce the risk of stockouts.
  • Tax-Exempt purchasing: Some e-commerce sites offer tax-exempt purchasing for eligible nonprofits, which can help organizations save money on sales tax.

In addition to these cost-saving features, e-commerce sites can provide nonprofits wide range of tools and resources to help manage purchasing and expenses, such as reporting and analytics, budget management, and approval workflows. By leveraging these tools and features, nonprofits can gain greater visibility and control over their spending, allowing them to make more informed decisions and achieve greater cost efficiency.

Data management and optimization

Data management and optimization are also important to help nonprofits collect, analyze, and use data for more informed decision-making and progress tracking. E-commerce sites can help nonprofits improve data management and optimization in several ways:

  • Track purchase history: Tracking purchase history, including order details, invoices, and delivery information increase purchase visibility to simplify spend reporting and help aid during audits. 
  • Analyze spendingReporting and analytics tools allow nonprofits to analyze their spending patterns and identify opportunities for cost reduction.
  • Approval workflows: Automating approval workflows help ensure purchases are reviewed and approved by the appropriate individuals before they are made. This can help to improve data management and reduce errors.
  • Budget management: Nonprofits can set up budgets and track spending by category, which can help organizations to better manage their finances and make more informed purchasing decisions.

By leveraging these tools and features, nonprofits can improve their data management and optimization, allowing them to make more informed decisions, track their progress, and optimize their operations. This in turn can help nonprofits reduce costs further and improve overall performance.

In conclusion, digital transformation is essential for nonprofits, and it is critical that nonprofits make the investment in it. With cost efficiency and data management and optimization being two of the leading reasons for digital transformation, e-commerce sites can be the perfect partner. By utilizing these tools, your nonprofit can use reporting to discover actionable insights that can help improve your operations, maximize your impact, and achieve your goals.

Click here to read more about how your nonprofit can continue to grow in any economy.

Find out how your nonprofit can continue to grow in any economy

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