The purchase of digital goods and services is now part of a multi-faceted omni-channel customer experience.
In this journey, customers expect to be able to use whatever “channel” and whatever technology they prefer to transact, with drastically shortened delivery times.
This is mirrored in the convergence of the digital commerce and physical commerce worlds. Customers now expect to be able to browse, compare and purchase, all online. In fact, according to Forbes, by the time a B2B customer makes first contact – whether via a phone call or walking in to purchase – 80% of the sales journey has already been completed. Customers are taking themselves on this journey, using digital content.
What’s more, digital commerce is only gaining momentum, driving e-commerce even further. Statista predicts e-commerce to DOUBLE within a year, to a value of $1.7-trillion.
If you are in any area of commerce you need to:
Mix your physical commerce channels with your digital commerce ones, to create an omni-channel customer experience.
Increase your data mining capabilities to more finely hone e-commerce strategies in the era of Big Data and predictive analytics.
Create a seamless digital commerce ecosystem of solutions that serve all touch points, on all devices, in all channels.
Digital Commerce means mobile commerce, especially in the developing world, where Internet access is primarily via a mobile device.
Customers will increasingly use mobile apps to pay for real-world goods and services, with the apps linked to rich data platforms serving a range of supporting mobile experiences.
As social media platforms continue to dominate the customer’s online experience, these platforms will offer direct sales functionality, effectively allowing businesses to run shops inside their walled gardens.
With the rise of machine learning and AI, automated software “bots” will take over many of the low-level customer interaction functions in the digital commerce journey.
The merging of the digital and the physical into a seamless omni-channel will enable companies to maximise delivery efficiency, with multiple drop-off points replacing large-scale warehousing.
Any brand that does not offer e-commerce will be hobbled, as customers will simply not be prepared to travel to its real-world stores in the face of competitors offering a true omni-channel experience.