It's often seen that companies planning a digital commerce strategy launch their projects in haste, typically due to competition and peer pressure without doing a proper dry run. Doing so is like riding a wild horse to reach someplace without knowing how to play the jockey. If you're lucky you might ride it well without tumbling down the pitched path. But if you find it challenging to hold the reins for long, it might cost you dearly on a longer run.
Digital commerce is more a journey than a destination. Ever-changing market conditions and customer choices usually can catch companies off guard when they are unprepared to respond accordingly.
So how can IT leaders and business stakeholders be sure of their success on the journey along the path of digital commerce. There are many ways. Here we bring five steps that can be of much help in the process of developing, refining or launching digital commerce strategies / projects.
- Design and define the customer journey
What we mean by design and define is mapping the customer journey to define the key processes. This is the first and foremost step for IT leaders. Designing the customer experience is a key step in the strategy planning process that impacts the success of your digital commerce service. IT leaders should first start by defining their target customers by further refining the target by defining their personas.This will help you define the customer experience for key processes specific to your business that impact digital commerce customer experience.
- Set clear objectives for your digital commerce projects
Second most important step is to set clear achievable digital commerce objectives. To do this, it's always good to envision the type of digital commerce service you want to offer. Staying with the purpose for which the company is looking at rolling out digital commerce services and defining the key performance indicators for these business goals will definitely lead you to your desired outcome.
- Establish a core strategy team
Business functions such as marketing, sales, finance, supply chain and operations have a substantial role to play in digital commerce strategy. The cross-functional nature of digital commerce projects means you would need many recourses at enterprise level. Involving them right from the beginning of the process is imperative to establish a core strategy team. This will facilitate on-going support from various teams as the project grows and evolves.
- Tactical decisions to implement the digital commerce platform
This step is crucial in defining the functional requirements of digital commerce platform which is the heart of the project. This step is important as it helps you choose the right digital commerce vendor. Once the functional requirements are clear, it's easier to select the deployment model to implement the platform and plan the future trajectory when business grows or objectives evolve.
- Track performance and refine strategy
Tracking the performance of the platform is a crucial step to align the digital commerce strategy to respond to changes in business and customer preferences. Leverage analytics to continuously look at the site's performance and overall service to identify the gaps in site performance and customer experience. Once done take note of these gaps while conducting the future upgrades.
Following these steps will strengthen your strategy and foolproof your execution and expansion as your business grows.