A digital commerce revolution is taking place right now. For forward-thinking entrepreneurs, providing a customer-friendly and frictionless eCommerce experience is no longer a distinction – it’s a requirement to exist for businesses.
Today, digital commerce is more than just a buy button at the end of an online sales funnel. Instead, it’s an anticipatory and ubiquitous experience to exceed customers’ expectations for a more fluid and enjoyable buying trip.
What is Digital Commerce?
Digital Commerce in a single line can be understood as a fully automated E-Commerce taking care of the entire cycle of a consumer’s purchasing decisions.
Digital Commerce is purchasing and selling goods on all digital channels like mobile internet, e-commerce platforms, etc. Digital Commerce takes all the activities from developing customer experience to marketing, sales, and promotion to optimizing proper product delivery.
Using digital commerce, customers can buy goods and services through a self-service and interactive experience. It also covers the people, processes, and technologies that help with analytics, development content, product descriptions, customer experience, customer acquisition, retention, and pricing at each touchpoint during the customer purchasing journey.
The current pandemic crisis has allowed digital commerce to flourish. Furthermore, it has become a foundation for both B2C and B2B purchasers, with half of all shoppers buying online for the first time.
Types of Digital Commerce
Active Digital Commerce:
Active Digital Commerce refers to businesses that regularly sell their products and services and accept payments online.
Passive Digital Commerce:
Passive digital commerce refers to businesses that market their products and services online but only accept payments offline.
Functions of Digital Commerce
All aspects of purchase decisions are considered in digital commerce. All the stated functions are essential, and without them, the digital commerce experience would be miserably inadequate for the consumer.
Typically, digital strategists map out the complete consumer journey, whether it’s for a product or a service, calculating how important each purchase milestone should be and designing consumer journeys that give a smooth experience for the end-user. Digital commerce encompasses, but is not limited to, the following features:
- Mapping of User Experience
- Marketing as a function, promotional campaigns, and social media involvement
- Customer Services
- Customer Acquisition
- Product descriptions, photos, and other material are used in content marketing
- Data and KPI Analytics
- Fulfillment of orders and supply chain management
The Need for Digital Commerce
Today’s business world is changing at a breakneck pace, and with it comes a shift in consumer behavior. Digital commerce has been embraced as a vital component in the inner workings of the online retail industry, primarily due to the modernization of technology. However, to succeed, you must keep up with technological advancements.
Customers are looking for more simple ways to shop using their smartphones as more individuals utilize mobile devices, indicating changes in consumer buying behavior. Of course, this doesn’t imply that everyone is shopping on their phone. Still, it is something that companies must consider if they want to reach a wider audience.
To Increase Visibility:
The buying process is now totally channel-agnostic. Regardless of the platform, consumers desire frictionless transactions. For businesses, this implies various ways to reach out to customers, including social media, marketplaces, brand websites, apps, and more. As a result, there are several sales chances.
Providing Best Customer Experience:
Customers may shop from the comfort of their own homes, and they won’t have to deal with pushy salespeople. Customers do not have to bear the stress of shopping in a crowded environment. They may escape significant traffic congestion and the hassle of locating a nearby parking spot. There are no long check outlines for customers to stand in. Products can be browsed, ordered, and searched at any time of day, and returns and exchanges are simple.
People are also using digital to get follow-up support from the companies they do business with, such as customer service. Another item to consider is omnichannel fulfillment, which most customers nowadays expect when purchasing from a brand.
This trend has developed as a robust solution for merchants and shops that wish to grow their orders with less effort during the previous several years. This process connects inventory sources (store, warehouse, supplier, and marketplace) and fulfillment sites (online, mobile, store, kiosk, or call centers) to multiple sales channels (online, mobile, store, kiosk, or call centers) (which may include home delivery, store pick-up, or collection point pick-up).
To Build Authenticity:
Small and large brands can succeed if they are perceived as genuine and honest to their respective brands. According to certain studies, approximately 70% of online shoppers seek social evidence. Through social networking, feedback, and relevant content, digital commerce helps businesses acquire authenticity.
To Generate More Revenue:
Digital commerce drives more revenue and visibility with omnichannel tactics. For example, businesses that take advantage of online purchasing trends (and provide unique personalized purchase alternatives) enjoy a boost in revenue.
Stay in Competition:
If you have not already considered designing customer journeys around your site, you should seriously consider doing so. Chances are, your competitors are already taking this into account when it comes to digital commerce.
By focusing on the moments of consumer engagement that contribute to brand loyalty, you can learn what makes a customer want to promote your brand experience to a friend, family member, colleague, neighbor, and so on. Then, when you review client data, you can make it easier to stay ahead of your competitors.
Personalization for Every Customer:
The more data you have about your customers, the better you customize and target. For example, digital commerce allows you to track each customer’s purchasing behavior and receive insight into designing promotional campaigns.
One way that eCommerce can assist you with this is through Amazon’s recommended items list. It uses a method in which goods are displayed based on what you’ve previously explored and what you might like based on that.
When it comes to eCommerce, targeting based on region, gender, and cart abandonment rates is simple. Cross-selling and upselling online is not distressing or uncomfortable for the customer because you suggest add-ons while shopping.
Expansion of Business:
While brick-and-mortar businesses are constrained by their physical location, this is not the case for companies that have expanded into digital commerce or eCommerce.
When it comes to brick-and-mortar businesses, several aspects of expansion, such as finding a location or hiring in-office staff, can take a lot of time, money, and effort. On the other hand, developing a firm can be simple when it comes to digital commerce.
Analytics of Customers Data:
When it comes to digital commerce, keeping and collecting information about their customers is quite simple. It is unnecessary to inquire about their preferences, age, or email address. Instead, when people buy or browse your store, you naturally get to know them.
One can understand and keep track of consumer interactions and purchasing patterns. For example, every item that a consumer looks at but does not purchase can help you acquire actionable insights about that customer, allowing you to improve your entire customer experience.
Quick Buying Process:
Everyone is simply catching up with speed in this fast-paced world. When it comes to purchasing, the same rule applies. Customers go online, search for a product they desire, receive quick results, read reviews and product descriptions, add the item to their basket, and purchase it quickly.
These processes take little time, and clients are satisfied because of the quick and straightforward order placing, eliminating the hassles that buyers encounter while purchasing offline.
Challenges of Digital Commerce
Digital Commerce and the online shopping industry have been growing excessively, and with it so have eCommerce challenges. However, overcoming these barriers is not an easy task with the increasing digitalization and demand for online businesses.
Several world industry leaders encounter several eCommerce problems while adapting their business to the digital space. Given below are some of the most common eCommerce challenges and digital commerce solutions for it:
For a successful Digital Commerce Company, data security must be a top concern. There are many possibilities in which data breaches can be made, which can be very harmful to the company’s image and future growth. When purchases are made on a digital Commerce company’s platform, faith and trust are put into the website to keep the data safe. However, sensitive information like phone numbers, credit card details, etc., are crucial and could be very harmful if it gets out.
Opting out of third-party servers and having proper digital commerce maintenance can be one way to keep out of trouble. Another way is to have a reliable and secure verification mechanism for the website.
The digital commerce industry is highly competitive. Many digital commerce platforms will provide for each thing you search for on the internet. Therefore, a distinct digital commerce strategy is essential to be good in this space.
To have an edge, try and conduct a lot of research about the digital commerce industry and the competitors, etc. and have reasonable offers to make your digital commerce company stand out.
Driving Significant Traffic:
The days of businesses relying on a sole source for traffic to their eCommerce site are long gone. Instead, PPC, SEO, social advertisements, email ads, retargeting, display ads, shopping engines, mobile, and affiliates are used by successful digital commerce leaders today to drive targeted visitors to their web-hosted store.
Securing influencer partnerships, producing Instagram galleries, optimizing product photos for Google, and conducting social media prize giveaways are just a few examples of how to drive traffic to your online store via digital channels. The best approach is to invest in a software solution that can integrate all critical aspects of digital commerce.
Managing customer expectations:
Because of this wide variety and choice, the customers will highly expect the digital commerce company they choose to use.
Having a personalized customer experience will help make the customer happy and want to purchase the digital commerce platform again.
Satisfying the customer is okay, but making them come back again shows the customer’s faith in the digital commerce platform and the product or digital commerce service that is provided.
Customer loyalty comes from constant customer satisfaction. Ensure the customer has an engaging experience on the website, with after-sales servicing and whatever the digital commerce service provides.
Having an excellent digital commerce website that runs well and looks good on both PC and mobile. In addition, a consistent user interface will assist the consumer in looking through the site and navigating quickly.
A cost-efficient way to do this is by employing a good web designer and having the website optimized for both mobile and PC.
Use of machine learning and AI
AI and ML are used in digital commerce services to help better the customer feel more personalized. The effective use of this can help the customer feel very welcome and might lead him to purchase the product.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Many digital commerce companies are flocking to virtual and augmented reality-related shopping experiences. In addition, many companies have started purchasing online real estate to highlight their products.
Rise of Voice Search
Voice assistants have become extremely popular now – from your phone to smart home devices- all use voice search. In India, where the literacy rate is less, people from rural areas who are not good at typing can also use this now. So, this is a significantly rising sector in digital commerce.
Additional Payment options
Digitization has been ridiculously massive, especially in India. However, suppose a digital commerce company is still reluctant to accept payments through online gateways and UPI. In that case, it will not sustain itself in the long term.
Focus shifting to sustainability
Currently, sustainability and renewability are essential. The world’s perception is changing amazingly fast, and people are now calling for sustainable and renewable products and goods. So, digital commerce companies have also started to adapt accordingly.
Digital Commerce, if done right, can help construct a beautiful digital experience by creating a platform and a solution to various problems the consumers face. As times are moving, the digital commerce industry is also to adapt accordingly not to be left behind. Therefore, analyzing previous trends, keeping up with the current trends, and predicting the next should be of utmost importance if a digital commerce company stays afloat and relevant.
A carefully considered digital commerce strategy is to be implemented and, if appropriately implemented, can hugely assist growth for the company.