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Ecommerce IS commerce

By Dave Howard

In the following extract from Brand View’s Ecommerce Excellence Study USA: CE & GM 2016, Ed Hecht, VP/Publisher, TWICE, discusses the growth and impact of ecommerce and mcommerce.

Ecommerce is recognized for its ability to allow businesses to communicate and to form transactions anytime and any place. Whether an individual is in the US or overseas, business can be conducted through the Internet. The power of ecommerce allows geophysical barriers to disappear, making all consumers and businesses, globally, potential customers and suppliers.

To be successful today, a retailer must embrace ecommerce not as a stand-alone part of its business, but it must be woven into the very being of that retailer’s existence. Ecommerce needs to be part of the total selling experience, which means to seamlessly integrate it with the in-store experience for the customer.ED-HECHT

In many ways, ecommerce offers a more informative shopping experience than bricks and mortar. There is no limit to the amount of product information the Internet can offer and retailers need to realize that there is no such thing as information overload when it comes to big-ticket purchases. Vendors who produce the products are happy to share product-related content with retailers, but it is essential that information is presented in a simple, easy-to-read informative format.

The new reality is: there is very little difference between ecommerce and commerce.  The walls between bricks and mortar and online shopping have crumbled and if  you consider your business a bricks and mortar store or an online-only store, you are eliminating a significant portion of your potential customers.

Look at Best Buy for example. When addressing the issues surrounding “Showrooming” (looking in-store and purchasing elsewhere online) it’s CEO, Hubert Joly, told the press, “the strategy is very simple . . . we believe that price-competitiveness is table stakes. The way we want to win is around the advice, convenience and service.”

In retail speak, Joly was essentially saying that to survive, Best Buy had to beat Amazon and Walmart in customer engagement. He realized the importance of information and part of his initiative was a total rehaul of Bestbuy.com. More product specs were included with listings, as were more photos. Links to vendor-produced videos began being included. Consumer product reviews were moved to a more prominent position.

The power of ecommerce allows geophysical barriers to disappear, making all consumers and businesses, globally, potential customers and suppliers.

Just as it took two decades to change the habits of shoppers and how they shop, we are now faced with the same paradigm in how we pay. The importance of the smartphone in people’s lives is obvious. We have become adept at communicating online, searching for things online, researching reviews online, almost entirely with a click or two. But spending money online has been clunky at best.

Despite the rapid growth of ecommerce, there is still a significant percentage of the population, estimated to be between one-third to one-half of all shoppers, according to various research groups, who are uncomfortable entering payment information on the Internet, or, just don’t want to bother with the hassle of entering their information.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise as the news is dominated by data breaches, hackers stealing personal info and fraud. Identity protection has become a multi-billion dollar business. If there is one obstacle to the rest of the population accepting ecommerce as its primary shopping method, it’s the payment dilemma.

And now along comes mcommerce.

Mobile payment technology is the next step in the growth of ecommerce. While Apple Pay and Android Pay have been slow to catch on at bricks and mortar stores, primarily because smaller retailers have been reluctant to upgrade their payment capturing equipment, etailers are primed to benefit. Mcommerce offers a higher degree of security than using a physical credit/debit card, and the time is right for retailers to embrace the technology. Online use of payment systems adds a layer of encryption that can foil all but the most advanced hackers. And the convenience of tapping a screen to send a payment rather than typing out credit/debit card numbers and expiration dates is an obvious benefit to the consumer.

Ecommerce IS commerce.

Happy shopping!

Ecommerce Excellence Study USA: CE & GM 2016

The objective of the qualitative study has been to research and benchmark how retailers and manufacturers view each other in the most important areas of the manufacturer-retailer relationship and to understand what others can learn from best-in-class businesses.

The study has identified those retailers who set the standard of performance as ranked by their trading partners. This has provided benchmarks across all trade channels.

The specific goals of the research are to:

  • Identify the best manufacturers and retailers, as evaluated by their trading partners.
  • Provide insight into what makes them ‘the best’.
  • Define the importance of key metrics between trading partners.
  • Highlight areas for improvement for the industry as a whole.
  • Improve collaboration in the marketplace.

Study participants include Presidents, Global Directors and Heads of Ecommerce from Best Buy, Target, Reckitt Benckiser, Dyson, Samsung, Electrolux, Whirlpool, Sennheiser and WellPet.

Download your copy of the Ecommerce Excellence Study today!