The digital age has transformed the way customers shop and share their experiences.
High performing organisations are investing in innovation to digitally transform customer experiences for driving business growth and loyalty.
Many but not all companies understand that the path to purchase is not linear. Very few customers land on the homepage, click onto the product and then check out – all at the same time.
By mapping and tracking user journeys across apps, websites, blogs, vlogs and social platforms, and eventually physical stores, customers and their browsing and shopping behaviors are understood more holistically and comprehensively.
That’s why businesses need to move away from traditional ways of seeing their customers as either online or offline regulars and instead treat them as one. When customers interact with a business, they expect a seamless experience across physical and digital touchpoints. They no longer distinguish between the two – if they did so ever.
With one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, ecommerce is one of the big winners.
The growth of ecommerce during the first three months of the pandemic was similar to standard 15-year results. With the expectation that ecommerce penetration over the next three years will sit somewhere between 30 to 35 per cent of global sales, it’s time for companies to break down the mental barriers between the physical and digital world and rethink their digital strategies.
The good and the bad
Now, more than ever, businesses need to have effective ecommerce and omnichannel strategies so they can stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.
While the past century has been about optimising supply chains, offshoring productions and space productivity, retailers have been forced to address changing consumer demands.
Despite this, many are still lagging. Why; and what constitutes a good ecommerce omnichannel strategy?
While strategies come in many shapes and forms, and so much has been written about this, we have identified some common themes that successful ecommerce companies are rapidly adapting.
- Data is the backbone for decision making: Successful companies invest in systems that allow them to systematically capture and integrate data from multiple sources such as marketing, sales and warehouse management into one place.
- Building analytical capabilities: While data is the key ingredient, companies need to focus on analytical capabilities in order to process data and better understand how to improve customer experience.
- Being clear about digital ambitions and understanding the input factors: Whilst turning a profit is crucial, it’s considered to be an output. Companies who struggle to understand, manage and track the right input factors are the ones who usually fail.
- Molding the proposition: Companies need to adjust their value proposition for today’s digital consumer, taking into consideration what the right assortment and price point is, including the right omnichannel experience, product delivery and customer loyalty.
- Solving Go-2-Market: A strategy is worth nothing unless it’s put into execution.
Not too late
Ecommerce is no longer the side-hustle of a company; it has become an integral part of consumer life and thus of every business.
Companies that don’t get ready now will struggle in the future.
That being said; it is still the beginning and we see further proliferation of marketplaces, social commerce on the rise and new technologies like artificial intelligence technology and advanced analytics becoming readily available.
With new marketing channels also arising, it will present many opportunities for growth within the digitised omnichannel world.