What is eCommerce today?
Harvard Business Review states that the traditional definition for eCommerce has become obsolete. Before the difference between commerce in stores and online were clear cut: either you sell products in a store or online. When decoupling eCommerce from the back-end business processes behind it we see that eCommerce is just a way to engage customers. If your company tries to sell products online in some way you are in eCommerce business. The diversity and developing service models of eCommerve make the traditional eCommerce model outdated. What's the competition about in online stores today?
eCommerce model today is much more complex than in the past years as more and more retailers are taking their products and services online. Today you can, for example, order food supply to your door, rent a van with a driver, rent a movie over network and watch it on your TV, or order a product to a pick-up store. Reaching the consumer at the point-of-purchase is no longer a battle for shelf space, but a war to connect meaningfully across wide range of digital platforms and delivery mechanisms.
But how to gain competetive advantage on eCommerce markets? In stores purchasing processes are traditionally driven through campaings, bundling, and calculated product placement. In eCommerce it is possible to record every customer transaction and track consumer behavior and even sentiment. This brings a possibility to reach the consumers shopping carts and become part of their repeated purchasing cycles.
eCommerce marketing should be looked at from a new view-point, and apply consumer knowledge into new digital possibilities. Partly this requires combining digital deep into the business.
The companies that will succeed will be the ones that seize the opportunity and exploit the services available.