Future-proofing your ecommerce business is key to its survival. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at Netflix as an example. From its humble beginnings as a subscription-based, mail-ordered DVD service in the late 90s to becoming one of the world’s leading authorities in streaming entertainment, the company has morphed into an entertainment giant worth over $140 billion. Had Netflix ignored changes to their consumers’ need for more convenience and neglected to keep up with digitization, they would be yet another headstone in a cemetery of shuttered physical video rental companies.
Instead, they built a long-term strategy to meet their customers’ needs and achieve operational efficiency, embraced continuous innovation through digital transformation trends, and made strategic pivots to capitalize on growth opportunities. These are the three pillars of future-proofing your ecommerce business. Let’s get into it.
To implement a successful future-proof ecommerce strategy, it’s important to understand your digital transformation goals. To ensure profitability, these goals will often relate directly to customer service and operational efficiency.
Customer Service Strategy
Because we live in a digital world, customers have become accustomed to immediate satisfaction. Therefore, it’s important to have strategies in place to consistently enrich customer service and improve engagement. It’s key for businesses to stay connected with their customers and effectively manage their expectations throughout the digital customer journey.
Utilizing innovative solutions like artificial intelligence (AI) is a way to further enhance the journey as valuable customer insight can be gathered using the technology. Better understanding the customers and knowing their behaviors allows managers to make better-informed decisions relating to the customer experience.
Operational Efficiency Strategy
Speed and efficiency are two major factors that need consideration when it comes to operational efficiency. Your enterprises’ digital infrastructure is at the core. Outdated legacy systems can often be ineffective when it comes to accessing real-time data and addressing customer concerns quickly. Unfortunately, these systems are also vulnerable to security threats. Automation and cloud solutions can kick your digital transformations goals into high gear and be an effective part of your long-term strategy for growth.
The other catalysts for your company’s operational efficiency are your people and processes. Optimizing the employee experience and creating simple, repeatable processes with proper documentation will build a foundation for a great working culture. And a great working culture will support happier employees and higher operational efficiency.
2. Continuous Innovation
Our world moves fast. Continuous innovation is the only way to keep up. This concept refers to a company’s constant improvement of their products, services, or technologies to keep them from going stagnant. Competitive analysis can be a great tool for gauging what is working well and what isn’t amongst other players in your market. This can help you align your investments with the initiatives most likely to succeed.
As of June 2022, international giant Amazon, whose pioneering innovations have triggered other marketplaces to follow suit, accounted for 37.8% of the U.S. ecommerce market; they are an undeniable leader in innovation. Amazon’s innovation starts with what it references as a customer obsession under its Leadership Principles. For Amazon, it’s about working to keep the trust of a customer.
The innovative products introduced throughout the years underline this “customer first” principle. Their solutions help to improve their customers’ buying journey as they offer a seamless, personalized customer experience. From already implemented loyalty programs, web services, and pay convenience solutions, the only question is, “What will they do next?”
Agility is essential to sustaining and scaling business. Companies that adapt to an agile business structure are better positioned to handle challenges, are often more innovative than their competitors, and can provide greater customer service. In agile businesses, team members unite with a clear vision to exceed company goals. They are able to attain success by understanding their market and meeting the needs of their customers. Culture, leadership, and technology are all important facets to creating an agile environment.
Data is integral to any pivot as it is vital for business growth. Data acts as a catalyst for decision-making within organizations as it provides a comprehensive look into consumer behavior and market conditions. Quality data allows for issues to be addressed in real-time. Being agile to adjust to changes in the market enables organizations to proactively address small problems before they become significant issues.
In order to future-proof your business, it’s necessary to understand the overall health of your organization in the past and present. Using good historical data, organizations can determine which of their strategies worked and which didn’t. Data focused on current KPIs is impactful because it allows for a quicker recognition of what changes need to be made to attain strategic goals. With predictive analytics, companies can expose opportunities and threats, as well as predict future outcomes for their businesses. Data can be used to project rises and falls in the market, allowing businesses to scale accordingly.
Securing Your Future in Ecommerce
The future of ecommerce is bright. In fact, retail ecommerce is expected to exceed seven trillion dollars by 2025. Thus, it’s important to put your organization in a position to be a part of it. Having a comprehensive strategy, continuous innovation, and agility are a few ways to meet strategic goals and position your organization for long term success. Embracing a human-centric, digital-first approach to your overall future-proofing efforts will increase your organization’s chances of participating in the exciting things to come for ecommerce.
Apexon’s expert digital commerce services help customers to create seamless experiences across different channels. Data and technology solutions paired with the right e-commerce expertise not only optimize the commerce experience, but also help to future-proof your ecommerce business. Check out Apexon’s Digital Commerce services or get in touch with us directly using the form below.