Two recent shifts have influenced the way entrepreneurs and enterprise retailers do business. The first,and more gradual of the two has been the continued explosion of ecommerce. In just two years there has been a 45.8% increase in ecommerce market share.
The second happened almost overnight, forcing brands small and large to pivot and adapt to a whole new set of rules and consumer expectations. One brand even implemented a nationwide curbside pickup solution in just 72 hours.
We’re talking of course about COVID-19, the global pandemic that permanently shaped the way we buy, sell, and do business, issuing forth a new era of digital commerce.
On a recent episode of Own Your Commerce, Paul Do Forno, Managing Director at Deloitte Digital, spoke about the digital transformation that is being accelerated by what’s happening in the world, highlighting some of the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities for enterprise retailers.
One of the biggest challenges for brands in the post-Covid world, according to De Forno, was the increase in customers who weren’t accustomed to shopping online being forced to embrace ecommerce due to public health orders and guidelines. As a result, retailers were faced with implementing large-scale buy-online pickup-in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, and micro-fulfillment solutions. Listen to the full conversation to access key opportunities for scaling enterprise retailers now.
Here are some prominent takeaways for retailers we’ve highlighted from the conversation. Let’s dive in with one of do Forno’s favourite expressions, “reduce the friction.”
Reduce the friction of the purchase process
Who would’ve thought consumers would be picky about their checkout experience? It turns out 18% of cart abandonments are the result of a too long or complex checkout. Even De Forno admitted bad checkout is his ecommerce pet peeve.
Retailers have an opportunity to reduce the friction of the online purchase process by building solutions that are responsive, fast, and continually evolving. What really moves the bottom line is that “relentless look at friction points.” Brands should be thinking about the number of clicks it takes to get to checkout, the number of pop-ups for customers to navigate, the speed and seamlessness of their purchase flow, and how an optimized checkout experience can drive conversions and improve customer retention.
Find innovative ways to connect with customers
According to do Forno, it’s more important than ever to find new ways to connect with the customer. For retailers it’s about figuring out how to provide that sense of connection that happened organically when a customer would physically enter the store and interact with an associate.
Think outside the box when it comes to connecting with customers digitally. De Forno pointed to brands using live streaming on social media, selling via video and interaction, having employees walk around with live video in store, and face-timing products.
Rather than taking humans out of the ecommerce experience, real people driving these digital experiences can be the key to fostering that essential customer connection.
Don’t forget about this trusted tool: email
Brands shouldn’t be too quick to get caught up trying to integrate the latest-and-greatest when there are traditional tactics that still work well. One of these tactics is traditional email marketing.
Do Forno said brands shouldn’t forget about this trusted tool that still converts really well. Though it might not break the Internet like the latest social media or experiential marketing campaign, if done correctly email marketing can deliver profitable results.
It’s estimated that email generates $38 for every $1 spent, an astounding %3800 ROI. Brands also retain complete ownership of the media and content they send out via email. Don’t forget about one of ecommerce’s trusted tools!
Seize the digital opportunity in B2B
Do Forno says there’s a massive opportunity for B2B brands, particularly in the way payments are managed and processed. Of the $17.5 trillion in B2B payments made in the US each year, he estimated that around half were paid using traditional methods like cheque, wire transfer, and electronic data interchange (EDI).
B2B sales might have been conducted over lunch and a handshake back in the day, but a growing millennial workforce that expects digital automation and efficiency are necessitating the creation of tighter integrations between suppliers and brands, utilization of data to streamline purchase processes, and the creation of online portals where B2B transactions can be conducted quickly and seamlessly.
The goal isn’t to replace B2B salespeople. Rather, it’s about empowering them to be more effective so they can spend their time and energy on high value interactions instead of answering phone calls about a lost invoice or missing receipt. This way they can focus all their energy on reducing the friction of the complex and mulit-faceted B2B sales process.
Learn more from Deloitte how digital B2B payments help rid businesses of red tape.
Explore headless and composable commerce
When it comes to exploring the latest headless and cloud-based solutions, do Forno cautioned brands against assuming the latest and greatest solution will provide value intrinsically. Rather, he encouraged brands to find out whether it’s right for them or not.
Learn more about if headless commerce is a good fit for your business.
He acknowledged some key use cases for where headless or composable commerce tends to be the right fit. These could include existing implementations where a brand wants to do something new and cutting edge, perhaps with a subsidiary brand, but without affecting the parent brand’s capabilities. He also acknowledged the usefulness of a headless solution in incrementally going through changes instead of replatforming all at once.
“It’s not as important that you have an API, but what do your APIs do! Do you have a good checkout? Do you have a good subscription capability? That’s really what’s important, not that it meets a certain test of capabilities, what are the components and capabilities we can stitch together that add value.” – Paul do Forno, Deloitte Digital
Learn how one brand saved time and money in their digital transformation with a composable commerce solution.
Want to keep the conversation going?
Tune into the full episode for a dynamic discussion about enterprise commerce, B2B commerce, and the future of commerce architecture with one of the industries best and brightest, Paul do Forno, Managing Director, Deloitte Digital.
A digital transformation has changed the way we shop, buy, and sell. How will your brand anticipate the shift?
Find out if a headless commerce solution can take the friction out of your checkout experience.