eCommerce is only part of the more general digital transformation that has been taking place so how do you need to evolve to survive.
Joining us this week are
Aisling Finn Managing Director at The Book Resort
Sean Broderick Head of Product Marketing eDesk
Joseph O’Conghaile Head of marketing and eCommerce at Buildforless.ie
James Statham Product Owner AA Digital Product Team
To discuss their journey and role in transforming their business to the digital realm and the unique things that they bring to servicing and looking after customers digitally.
One of the dominant themes of the last 30-40 years is how digital is eating the physical world. We have seem whole industries changed by the advent of digital versions which have changed the world almost beyond recognition. Music Records have been replaced by Spotify playlists, Newspapers and magazines have been replaced by Social Media Newsfeeds, Airbnb has a valuation bigger than any of the hotel chains without owning a single hotel or bedroom. Whether these changes are good or bad is a different debate but that direction of travel is clear.
eCommerce is part of that transformation. To me, there are two clear types of projects we have worked with first off Businesses that would never have existed without eCommerce capability they have been digital from birth, and secondly, businesses that are adapting to take advantage of the new capabilities that are available to improve their businesses by making them more efficient, or improving the customer experience. These are all in equal measure digital transformation projects or eCommerce projects.
To be successful in this space I believe you have to understand three domains within your business
Content, Collaboration, and Commerce. Businesses often want to go straight to the piece where they are transacting commerce online but if they don’t understand and become good at the first two they are building on shaky foundations. Content is all about understanding what information you have in the business and how to use it properly. It might be expertise in your product or service area, it might knowledge and understanding of your customers but in this day and age knowledge or information or content if used correctly is power. What this digital age has brought with it is an ability to access and share knowledge that is fundamentally different from any other age in history and why so many industries and business models are been disrupted.
That act of sharing knowledge underpins the second area of collaboration. Collaboration is what defines service for me. How do I work together with my customer to solve their problem, satisfy their need, help them? We expect businesses to operate in a seamless fashion, service excellence is very often what defines a successful digital business because our expectations have grown exponentially. We expect to be able to easily access the information needed to complete an action or transaction and for some reason, we will always trade privacy for convenience so long as there is trust. The best way to build trust is to collaborate with someone.
And Trust all commerce is based on trust. It makes organisations work, it makes societies and economies work. Without having that, trust in your brand reputation there is no commerce. Commerce is what happens when you put two parties together with one able to help the other and both trusting each other.
So to digitally transform your business into one that works in this new digital economy it is about having processes and systems that allow you to access the information you need easily, that can be product descriptions, product catalogues.
It is about connecting all the different sources together so that when a B2B customer shows up, they get whatever negotiated discounts they are entitled to automatically, they can place orders online at their convenience to be collected or delivered in the way that works for them when something goes wrong to be able to join the dots and get the problem solved quickly and efficiently.
Do these two things successfully and you have an eCommerce business. Add to that a broad catalog offering a real range of choice and other customer experience tools like intelligent recommendations, intelligent search, or the ability to trawl and benchmark your competitor’s pricing on a daily basis and you are building a truly world-class experience.
But world-class begins at the start with you knowing what is important in your business, having a process and system that executes that daily (and one designed to improve) and that forms the basis of long-term growth in the space.
Enjoy the listen.