COVID has certainly changed the world, almost overnight with its effects being felt throughout all industries. The digital transformation for traditional "bricks and mortar" retailers has become a top "survival" priority. This has inadvertently shifted transformation programmes back by as much as 18 months to even yesterday.
As if the challenge of moving to online wasn't big enough, the user behaviour has also drastically changed during this period. Driven mainly due to restrictions imposed by COVID, imposed social distancing has convinced a lot of "traditional" users to shop online. Their decision making process however now includes a lot mroe variables than before. Some of these include offer value, trust, best price, easy purchasing experience, customer service, and engagement with relevance. And the list could go on. Amazon (effectively being the only everything store) has been the main beneficiary of this trend monopolising the market and making Jeff Bezos one of the richest men on the planet.
Businesses moving to a largely online mode still need to protect their brand equity, whilst attracting their increasingly digital customers away from in-store to online or a hybrid (i.e. click and collect) model. One thing that still holds true online is that choice sells. The more related products you have the better the up-sell and cross-sell opportunities you will create on your online sales channel.
Whilst getting your products online can be achieved fairly quickly using SaaS platforms such as Shopify, can significantly increase your possibilities of reaching a larger audience, and subsequent success. And this is where collaborative commerce comes in.
Collaborative commerce, can be defined as the act of using technologies to facilitate the interaction and cooperation between the internal processes and personnel in an enterprise as well as business interactions among other enterprises. Collaborative commerce is also the use of technologies to coordinate or optimize the internal activities of an organization in order to meet a global standard.
Example of Cisco: Cisco managed to restructure their business in such a way that they got bigger by getting ..smaller! By creating a web-based technology platform, (Cisco Connection Online), it was offer to provide its suppliers and manufacturers with real-time sales data. This in turn, allowed them to decrease inventory levels by 4%within just the 1st 3 months
Tell us if you believe Collaborative Commerce is the way forward, and how it could (or has) be applied to your business model. Digital Transformation can be a "difficult" path with many ups and downs but with benefits and rewards to be reaped, if strategically planned.
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