2014 is slated to be the year of digital commerce, but what is it? According to Gartner, “E-commerce, predominantly known as web-based selling, has morphed into digital commerce as it encompasses the emerging channels of mobile and social, and starts to reach into the more traditional channels of organization” (Gartner, Predicts E-commerce Becomes Digital for Those That Can Adapt Fast). As technology advances, retailers are forced to adopt new channels to keep up with consumer demands. Digital commerce is the way for retailers to blend all outlets together to deliver the two major components to customer satisfaction: personalization and customer experience.
Before diving into the driving forces of digital commerce, it is important to grasp its trends. Digital commerce relies on social media, social commerce, mobile commerce, multi-channel retail and cloud commerce. Social media connects retailers directly to their customers allowing bi-directional communication and feedback. Social commerce takes social media to the next level by integrating shop fronts with Facebook. Specific offers and coupons are linked to profile likes and interests. With mobile commerce, consumers are able to purchase goods and services from their smart phones and tablets. As a result, all websites need to adapt for mobile view. Companies such as Amazon are taking m-commerce to the next level by designing mobile apps for facilitated shopping. Multi-channel commerce includes the integration of online, brick-and-mortar and mobile commerce. The expected emerging trend of 2014 is cloud commerce, or offers based on the information on consumers’ personal cloud.
As retailers adapt and enhance these various channels, their levels of customer satisfaction will increase. Creating a personalized environment for online shoppers has become a crucial part of a customer’s shopping experience. With 45% of online shoppers stating they are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations (colderice.com), tapping into personalization is valuable to your business. In terms of digital commerce, personalization technologies are enabling key differentiations among eCommerce sellers, so it easier for those who adopt the technology to engage the consumer and increase customer satisfaction and revenue.
Personalization goes hand in hand with fostering the best possible customer experience, as implementing personalization offers numerous benefits to customers. It also offers benefits to store owners since personalization has been linked to lower shopping cart abandonment. This may be because shoppers feel loyal to the store, as the store “gets them.” To customers, personalized eCommerce makes them feel special. Who doesn’t like to receive a free gift/coupon for their birthday? Colderice.com reports that 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a site that recommends products. The power of recognition has always influenced shoppers, and it is time to carry that trend online.
The line between eCommerce and digital commerce is blurred as digital commerce continues to grow and expand, forcing organizations to adopt new strategies as they enter a new era of digital industrial economy. The best way to navigate the changing digital ecosystem is to adopt new technologies as best you can and focus on customer experience and personalization. By building and maintain a loyal customer base, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and ensure steady sales.