Companies in trading industries have been flocking towards digital commerce in growing numbers and with increasing haste. No surprise, as cutting out the middlemen, expanding to new markets and employing data and automation offer lucrative opportunities for growth and profits.
In fact, data-driven e-commerce is not only an opportunity, it is becoming a key requirement for brands and goods manufacturers as well as retail and wholesale companies and even service providers who want to ensure they remain relevant in the future.
The trade market landscape is changing rapidly, new competitors arise out of the blue and old rivals fall behind unless they reinvent themselves.
So, how do you ensure success in e-commerce?
In short, by leveraging data for customer value. Sounds simple, but it is in fact quite complex.
Most existing companies will need to rethink their approach to service and product development to ensure they deliver customer value. Because, what matters most in the future is not the unique features you have spent years, if not decades, finetuning. It is now all about the customer: How easy, practical, and enjoyable the purchase and use of your offering is for them and how well you manage to fulfill the customer’s needs when it comes to support, services, repairs and even recycling.
Those who successfully deliver the best customer experience throughout all touchpoints on the buyer’s journey triumph.
True customer-centricity requires parallel development tracks:
- Rethinking your offering, maybe your whole business, so that it is no longer based on what you develop but what your customers need and desire. For a product manufacturer this could mean transforming into a service organization.
- As you reformulate your business strategy and adjust your offering, you will likely need to change the company’s internal operations to support value creation. For many traditional organizations, this means closer collaboration across functions from customer service to sales and marketing as well as manufacturing and/or service delivery.
- Employing intelligent and automated solutions to collect, validate, and utilize data are essential for optimizing the customer experience. Becoming truly data-driven will require a great forward, or sideways, leap from process automation to customer touchpoint automation. This means finetuning every step and every customer-facing endpoint, ensuring smooth, secure, and uninterrupted data flow.
- Building your own digital commerce platform from scratch is no longer required: consider utilizing shared platforms for instant lift off. This may be a real stretch of imagination and trust for the most conventional players, but platform economy offers solid benefits in terms of increased agility and resource efficiency.
These steps illustrate a way you could start delivering replicable customer value that will drive engagements and loyalty. More business and smarter business with better CX means more profits.
Are e-commerce ecosystems the way into the future?
The most notable digital ecosystems have been created by, and are still associated with, industry disruptors. But as the range of network increases, their benefits start to allure more and more companies.
Existing “transaction platforms” can offer immediate market access but serious companies in the trade industries might want to look a bit further. What they should ideally be exploring or considering is "innovation platforms", shared technology frameworks upon which to build their own future and fortune.
Understanding the myriad dynamics at play in a platform business isn’t necessarily easy. Becoming a part of an evolving and complex ecosystem will require a new strategy and approach to service delivery as outlined above. One of the most important decisions is whether you become a chief architect of an ecosystem or a complementor in one.
And the good news you were waiting for
We can help you. At Vincit we have been helping businesses thrive in digital environments for decades. We can deliver business consultancy with focus on creating customer-centric platform strategies. We are best known for the design and development of user-centric and data-driven digital services, which in this case translates into e-commerce ecosystems that span all processes from sales, marketing, and customer service to delivery & backend operations. To ensure your future in digital commerce is long and bountiful, ensuring top-level security and continuous development play a crucial role too. We’ll stay with you on that leg of the journey as well.
To recap, the future success of your business relies not on you and your product features. Not even on our ability to coach, mentor and build a future-forward e-commerce platform for you. What determines a winning outcome is your ability to focus all efforts towards one goal: providing value for your customers by leveraging data.
For further reading, check out how we helped iLOQ, a digital locking technology innovator, employ a partner portal for service delivery excellence.
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