Digital by any other name.
Companies have a lot of options and responsibility when it comes to establishing their omni-channel experience. As we witnessed earlier, companies not only have to participate on multiple channels but connect those channels together into an integrated, seamless experience for the consumer. Below, we will review the different types of properties that go into a companies digital ecosystem and the role each could play. We’ll explore owned properties, ecommerce properties, the evolution of marketplaces and finally the trends of mcommerce and social commerce. Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses, but together, they help companies build and grow their brands.
Role of Owned Properties
A company’s owned properties, including things like their website and mobile app, have a lot of responsibility for an organization. They are usually used as a source of product and company information, a place to purchase products and services and a place to contact customer service. Not to mention, the entire experience has to create an engaging brand experience for the visitor. With so much responsibility, many business leaders are implementing strategies to provide customer profiles and data collection to personalize the experience to automatically provide the most relevant action and information for the visitor. As we’ll see, more and more consumer action is being done off a company’s owned platforms, but there is still a major role the owned platforms play in a brand’s omnichannel experience.
Role of e-commerce
It may seem as though e-commerce has hit the scene in fantastic fashion over the last couple years. But the fact is that it’s been building for over a decade - only now it’s hitting mainstream. In fact, ecommerce sales have recently surpassed physical store sales in the US (only by a slight margin). The growth of e-commerce is creating new consumer behaviors and expectations as well as new product categories coming online. I mean, who would have thought you could buy mattresses and cars online? Business leaders are embracing ecommerce on their own properties as well as third party properties as a strategic source of sales for their business and a way to increase the value of their brand experience.
Role of marketplace
Building off the ecommerce boom has been explosion of marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Overstock and eBay. Now, these companies have been around for years, but the growth of these platforms are hitting an amazing level of scale. In fact, of all the ecommerce sales in the US, over 50% of them happen on Amazon alone. These marketplaces open up a can of worms for brands as individuals and consumers can resell products on these platforms, taking some control away from the brand to the end consumer. Which is why companies like Nike are building strategic partnerships with these marketplaces to combat fraud and protect their brand.
Role of mcommerce
When I think about e-commerce, I immediately think of all devices, desktop, tablet or mobile. But I want to call out the importance of mobile commerce, or m-commerce. While many consumers have powerful computers in their pockets, they are adopting an always on shopping and buying behavior that is hard to predict. The growth of shopping and buying on a mobile device has been drastically growing over the last 5 years. In fact, over 1/3 of all purchases on Black Friday in 2018 were done through a mobile device.
Role of social commerce
Another trend in the e-commerce space worth pointing out, is social commerce - or the ability to purchase products from social platforms. While these technologies haven’t hit scale yet, platforms like Instagram have announced commerce products to allow users to buy products directly from brand images and accounts. If history has taught us anything, commerce at the point of inspiration is always successful. This is definitely an area to pay attention to.
So what does all of this mean for you. The omnichannel experience goes well beyond a companies owned digital platforms and physical retail store. It now circulates around third party ecommerce, marketplaces, and mobile and social commerce. Business leaders are developing omnichannel strategies that encompasses all channels to ensure a consistent and powerful brand experience with their consumers - while being active at any point of purchase.
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