Digital Commerce Revolution: Key Strategies for Success

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A bright yellow Rube Goldberg  machine with red and blue and orange balls, a metal bell, and tracks that the balls can follow. A blurred  young boy stares through the glass case enclosing the machine in the background.

The essentials

  • Digital commerce continues to grow. Evolve with customer changes to stay competitive.
  • Strengthen the operation. Integrate commerce with marketing to meet changing customer needs.
  • master challenges. Rethink your approach, ensure holistic implementation and define accountability.

There has been one in recent years digital trade Revolution. Although there have been major changes in all areas, digital commerce will continue to grow and evolve in line with the changes in the generation of customers. customer expectations will continue to increase and organizations need to evolve to remain competitive. Now is not the time for companies to take their foot off the gas.

Digital commerce activities are critical to the successful execution of a digital commerce strategy: According to Gartner research, 45% of CMOs will strengthen their digital commerce activities in the next 18 months. CMO’s must integrate commerce operations with the marketing engines to ensure their organizations can meet the rapidly evolving needs of their customers.

Most businesses face the same three challenges in digital commerce operations:

  • put strategy into action.
  • Insulated version.
  • Cross-Functional Ownership.

To thrive, companies need to fundamentally rethink their approach to digital commerce. There are three elements of integrated commerce operations that marketing leaders must establish to stay ahead of the competition.

Ensure holistic end-to-end execution

In many organizations Strategy and implementation for digital commerce happens in isolation. A recent Gartner survey of digital marketing executives found that a holistic approach outperforms an isolated approach to strategy and execution, with organizations taking a holistic approach and achieving better commercial performance. By focusing on end-to-end holistic execution, organizations can more effectively integrate their digital commerce operations.

Implementing a holistic approach does not happen overnight. Digital marketing leaders should focus on making incremental progress rather than providing the complete solution. Start by figuring out where the silos are in your digital commerce operations – this will highlight the pain points and opportunities. Over the next 90 days, focus on working through the following components to develop an MVHO, or minimally feasible holistic operations, to start small and scale over time:

  • Define end-to-end goals and KPIs: Define holistic key performance indicators (KPIs) to which all functions contribute, e.g. B. Total revenue target for digital commerce. Defined additional KPIs for individual functions, such as B. Customer acquisition (marketing), customer lifetime value (sales), on-time delivery (supply chain) and website performance (IT).
  • Establish cross-functional governance: Ensure digital commerce is integrated into existing governance, processes and decision making from strategy to execution.
  • Integrate into execution workflows: Integrate digital trading into the execution flows you already have in place (e.g. Multichannel Marketing Plans). Ensure clear purposes and goals when a channel is used for multiple purposes (e.g. social media for brand awareness but also to promote the buying process).
  • Orchestrate the path to market execution: Orchestrate and prioritize execution and investments based on market goals and defined KPIs.

Related article: Expand third-party digital commerce with these three steps

Define functional ownership

There is often a lack of clarity about who is involved and responsible for digital trade. Digital commerce is a team sport, every business function has a role to play. However, many organizations and their internal functions are already stretched with resources, so properly sizing participation and ownership for digital commerce is crucial. Cross-functional responsibility for digital commerce is critical to integrated digital commerce operations, but many CMOs don’t know where to start.

First, determine the level of involvement of each function across the organization. This depends on your company’s go-to-market route. For example, a third-party commerce model requires high revenue sharing with marketing support, whereas a direct-to-customer/business-buyer model requires more marketing involvement. Determine which functions will be responsible for key areas such as trading experience, data and analytics, and back office before determining which functions need to be informed, consulted and held accountable. Over time, embed responsibility for digital commerce in key roles within these functions.

Related article: Why e-commerce needs to evolve for Gen Z

Expand digital operations capabilities

Expanding investments in digital trading capabilities will remain a top priority for marketing leaders in the coming year. While many organizations have already made significant technology investments to support this priority, leaders need to think about people and processes alongside technology.

Much like functional ownership, the required operational capabilities depend largely on the organization’s path to market. For example, a company with a third-party commerce model will need distribution platform, bulk fulfillment, and retail media network capabilities, while a company with a direct-to-consumer model should focus on building performance marketing, last-mile fulfillment, and DTC platform capabilities. Many of these skills are interconnected, which means it is crucial to take a holistic approach to skill development that includes people, process and technology. Digital marketing leaders should conduct an analysis of operational performance gaps before implementing a plan to address existing gaps.

By focusing on building a more integrated digital commerce operating model, breaking down silos and building digital commerce capabilities, marketing leaders can future-proof their digital commerce function and maintain their competitive advantage.

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