It was a warm and merry holiday break for the team at Luminos Labs, and we’re back to work with exciting new projects and anticipation for Episerver Ascend 18 in the spring. Last week I had the opportunity to do some more research on the all-important holiday shopping season and reflect on what made a difference this year. That lead me to come up with a few suggestions for success in the new year, whether you’re a retailer, wholesaler, or brand manufacturer.
Digital commerce = digital transformation
Whether your organization is experienced selling direct to consumer or thinking about making the pivot soon, you are probably aware that you need the right technology ecosystem to address this ridiculously unforgiving segment. Expectations regarding customer experience never stop growing, and it’s critically important to build on top of an infrastructure that handles current requirements while remaining friendly to future growth and integration needs.
If your current E-commerce experience management system doesn’t offer personalized product recommendations and pricing, a stellar mobile experience, or integrate seamlessly with other mission-critical systems like ERP, PIM, and DAM, it’s beyond time to consider a new platform. Looking ahead, select a platform with native content and commerce, a strong partner ecosystem, and a reputation for innovation in their space. We recommend Episerver for midmarket to enterprise organizations.
Episerver’s flexible, future-friendly platform offers options including decoupled, headless, multi-site, cloud architecture, and more.
Mobile strategy is a ‘must have’ in 2018
Mobile commerce retail sales are expected to account for about 28% of all e-commerce retail sales in 2017, and about 45% of all e-commerce sales by 2021, according to a Business Insider Intelligence report. While traditional retail sales are still growing as much as 4% in 2017, total e-commerce sales, including mobile commerce, are growing as much as 4x faster.
It’s also not enough to have either an app or a mobile website anymore. There is no time like now to increase your organization’s investment in both categories to ensure you meet customers where they are while getting the absolute most out of the features both of these channels have to offer.
The number of people who shopped online this holidays season was breathtaking. Mobile experienced a record-breaking Cyber Monday, smartphones and tablets drove $2 billion of the total online retail sales. 47% of visits to retail sites on Cyber Monday happened on mobile devices and accounted for an incredible 33% of online revenue. Organizations simply can not afford to ignore this critical channel.
Build vendor partnerships that work
In the quest to deliver a world-class digital commerce experience and drive more revenue through online channels, organizations are increasingly reliant on healthy, long-term relationships with specialized partners for strategy, design, build, and ongoing maintenance of content and commerce platforms. Meanwhile, the growth of qualified and talented digital agencies with genuine experience in this field is not able to keep up with the growth. As a result, many organizations have pasted the label ‘digital’ to their brand in the hopes of turning a quick buck.
Interestingly, as these major, mission-critical systems have begun to move into the cloud and pivot towards SAAS-based subscription models, there is even less of an incentive to treat implementation partners as project shops. Long-term cultivation and maintenance and digital commerce, like digital in general, must become a growing line item in the annual budget, in addition to big-bang, capital expenditure projects necessary to replace major components.
If you are in the process of selecting a partner for this critical role in an upcoming digital transformation, it’s necessary to as yourself, and your potential partners, a few, critical questions.
- Do they have track-record of success with the specific technology you intend to adopt?
- Can they provide good references?
- Do they have demonstrated experience with your specific or generally similar business model?
- Do they embrace the challenges of integrating new technology into an existing ecosystem?
If you’re thinking about making changes in 2018 or you just have questions about digital commerce in general, please don’t hesitate to connect with us. We’d love to learn more about the challenges you’re overcoming.