Last Updated on January 21, 2022

Today, Digital Commerce seems to be different than it was a few years ago. It has a new face with many more considerations and steps to offer and will readily explain it.

The ongoing pandemic situation has made digital commerce expand flawlessly. Besides, it has also become a basis for B2C and B2B buyers, making half of the shoppers buy online who haven’t shopped online before.

Today, we are here with every related information of Digital Commerce, its statistics, needs, importance, challenges, and many more. So, let’s start with the definition of Digital Commerce.

What Is Digital Commerce?

Digital CommerceDigital commerce is the process of purchasing and selling goods and services that use digital channels, like mobile networks, the internet, and commerce infrastructure.

Digital Commerce facilitates the customers to buy goods and services all through a self-service and interactive experience. Besides, it includes the processes, people, and technologies that assist in executing analytics, development content, product descriptions, customer experience, customer acquisition and retention, and pricing at every touchpoint all through the customer purchasing journey.

There was a time when digital commerce meant static storefronts and shopping carts. Today, digital commerce spans an integrated set of personalized digital experiences, from customer acquisition through retention, which is often owned and managed by marketing.

By – Gartner Digital Commerce Technologies Primer

Digital Commerce – Statistics to Know

As per a recent report, the following are some interesting Digital Commerce predictions that will soon emerge by 2023.

  • About 80% of the companies use AI as a component of their digital commerce strategies. Soon, they will witness approximately 25% and more improvement in key performance indicators, like revenue, customer satisfaction, or cost reduction.
  • About 15% of big digital commerce brands will launch their marketplaces.
  • Digital commerce vendors are likely to rule the market by providing extensive Application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaaS) innovations, faster feature releases, and vast ecosystems.
  • US B2B is likely to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023.
  • In a B2B purchase process, 89% of buyers search online.
  • By 2040, eCommerce will facilitate approx 95% of purchases.

Classification Of Digital Commerce

The classification of Digital commerce is as below:

Active Digital Commerce

Businesses that sell products and services actively and accept payment online can be a part of active digital commerce.

Passive Digital Commerce

Businesses that market their products and services online but accept payments offline can be a part of passive digital commerce.

Why Is Digital Commerce Important?

With the increasing impact of digitization in B2B and B2C, we witness extreme changes in customer expectations and behaviors in the way they research products or services, complete a purchase, or show their loyalty to a brand.

As per a report, around half of the buyers (56% of B2B customers and 40% of consumers) would like to pay for an enhanced experience, and if their experience were not good, they would not buy from the same brand again.

There was a time when marketing and selling were two distinct disciplines. In many cases, digital merges these two into a single, continuous activity from initial awareness through engagement, conversion, transaction, and repeat purchase. Marketers can now tie spending to revenue. In fact, it’s becoming a mandate,

says Jake Sorofman, vice president of research at Gartner.

Today, digital commerce is more in use as compared to a sales channel.

For example – according to a study, 65% of consumers research an item online before going to a physical store.

That’s why digital commerce is necessary and is the demand of time, business, and customers. Let’s check out the points that will show the importance of Digital Commerce in this world.

Offer A Better Customer Experience

The days are gone when people research online and then buy from a physical store. Today, people prefer shopping online.

As per a study, the global retail sale that was only 7.4% in 2015 is likely to reach 22% in 2023.

Digital Commerce assists in offering a better customer experience:

  • Customers can relax at their homes and shop online
  • They don’t need to deal with salespersons who try to upsell.
  • Now, returns and exchanges are easy.
  • Customers get the ease of browsing, searching, and ordering products.
  • Live chats are available 24*7 to resolve customer issues.

Easy Expansion

While brick-and-mortar businesses are limited to location, the case is not the same for companies that have expanded into digital eCommerce and commerce.

Many facets of expression, such as picking a location or hiring in-premises personnel, may need a lot of money, time, and energy for a brick-and-mortar business. On the contrary, when it’s about digital commerce, business expansion can be comparatively more straightforward.

For service-based businesses, business expansion can be possible using digital commerce.

Easy Customer Data Insights

Digital commerce makes customer data collection and storage easy. You learn about them automatically when they browse or buy from your store.

Marketing’s digital commerce priority aligns to CEOs’ goals,” says Jennifer Polk, VP Analyst, Gartner.

Even with digital commerce, you can monitor customer interactions and their buying frequency.

Every item that customers view and don’t buy can also assist you in gaining actionable insights related to every customer that can help you organize your whole customer experience.

Keep Up With The Evolving Competition

If you have no plan for your customer journey, you need to start with that. Your competitors might already be having this in their schedule.

However, you can start understanding what makes a customer recommend your brand experience to his family, friends, neighbor, and more when you start targeting the moments of customer interaction that keep up your brand loyalty.

Reasonably-Priced Advertising & Marketing

There are various approaches to advertising and marketing when digital commerce is a significant concern.

The visual channels are the most significant way of marketing for eCommerce marketplaces. Many advertising tools assist in making products more attractive by adding aesthetically pleasing and good quality images, video, infographics, revealing all the details a customer needs. Developing customized coupons, deals, and sponsored ads can also be a practical option.

In the 2018 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, 62% of respondents reported that they have a management initiative or transformation program to make their business more digital. Facilitating digital commerce transactions with the right tools and capabilities is central to organizations’ success.

One more form of advertising and marketing channel that you can use is email marketing and content marketing. Such marketing can be an effective and inexpensive way to tell the stories relevant to the brand and distinguish yourself from your competitors.

Better Targeting and More Personalization

The more customer insights you get, the better you become at targeting and personalization.

Digital commerce assists in tracking the purchasing habits of every customer and hence helps you gain insights on how to use your promotional campaigns.

When it comes to eCommerce, targeting gender, location, cart abandonment rates becomes easy.

Online upselling and cross-selling don’t make the customer uncomfortable or upset as you only offer suggestions for add-ons while purchasing a particular item.

Rapid Buying Process

In this rapidly-growing world, everyone is just catching up with the pace. The same is applicable when it’s all about buying. Customers browse on the internet, search for a product they want, get rapid results, check out the reviews and the product description, add the product to their cart, and purchase it swiftly.

These steps don’t demand much time, and in the end, customers feel happy because of easy and fast order placement without any hassle they face while purchasing offline.

Save On Rent & Staff

With digital commerce, we can automate various business processes and lower the cost of human resources. Different eCommerce businesses hire staff members who work from home or do a part-time job, which is the best way to reduce costs.

When you hire a small staff to complete your project, you don’t need ample space for setting up your office, which also saves your rent amount. Moreover, you can save the amount you usually spend on the upkeep of your store as your primary target is making your eCommerce store more attractive and products shipping correctly.

To Reach Customers Where They Shop

When you want a specific item, you go online, search for that product, check its reviews and description. What if you get that item online and at the same price you are expecting? You would buy it for sure, right?

The same happens with shoppers also. They don’t just research the item they want, and they even buy it online. By adopting Digital Commerce, you can reach those customers where they are and ease their purchasing job.

Reach New Customers

Well, a physical store owner can reach a certain number of buyers. Besides, they may kick start home deliveries also, but their reach would stay relatively low.

On the contrary, Digital Commerce allows you to reach new customers from all over the world and at a somewhat lower cost. Furthermore, you may get new demographics and browse distinct target markets and segments.

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Challenges Of Digital Commerce

While all the benefits mentioned above give rise to new opportunities, here come some digital commerce challenges.

While it’s essential to integrate specific habits of digital commerce into your routine business operations, the constantly changing technological world and customer behavior may give birth to some issues. It may be tough to inspect various touchpoints all over the customer journey, from when your consumer starts enjoying until they feel annoyed.

So, make yourself all set by predicting the following potential issues linked with digital commerce:

Delivery Compatible Customer Experiences

As customer experiences are constantly changing, retailers need to follow a strategic approach to track customer data to easily target the areas performing well and those that need improvement. The more you get to know about your customer behavior, the more you will become capable of personalizing every experience.

This time, technology will help you a lot. By analyzing algorithms, you can customize your digital commerce platform to ensure that consistency exists across every corner of the c experience, comprising search options, shipping preferences, and the variety of items you exhibit in front of them.

Generating Adequate Traffic

The days are gone when retailers depend on a single source of the traffic to their eCommerce site. Today, successful digital commerce leaders are using PPC, SEO, social ads, email ads, retargeting, display ads, shopping engines, mobile, and affiliates as a perfect way of bringing target traffic to their web-hosted store.

Securing influencer collaborations, creating Instagram galleries, optimizing the product images for Google, hosting social media prize giveaways are only a few ways to generate traffic for your online business via digital channels. Above all, the best way is to invest in a software solution that may help merge all the crucial elements of digital commerce.

Fulfilling New Technology Expectations

With the emergence of various digital marketing trends in this digital age, fulfilling customer expectations can be daunting. Today, as devices upgrade constantly, you also need to regularly modernize your digital commerce campaigns to serve your techie customers.

Don’t forget that customers are likely to explore various digital platforms before purchasing while searching for the right brand. However, it’s tough to predict customer behaviors in this rapidly-moving era of marketing technology. So, you can offer smooth buying experiences by staying well-informed about digital commerce trends, embracing conversational marketing, artificial intelligence, video marketing, personalization, shoppable posts, and visual search.

Converting & Retaining Customer

Various B2B marketers prefer marketing automation when it comes to generating and converting leads.

As per the statistics, about 75% of brands/marketers are already using at least one type of marketing automation tool.

But, if you don’t target keeping your customers engaged, it may lead to a total loss of the resources and efforts you spent in converting customers.

Well, a loyal customer will be with your brand until the last, so pay extra attention to them. You should reap the strength of customer retention and re-engage your existing customers by using digital commerce tools, like live educational seminars, feedback surveys, and automation.

Business Expansion With Technology

Have you ever realized your technology is limiting you? While you will get to know this, the tools you are using right now may pull you back. Retailers who want to attain consistent and constant growth with digital commerce should develop a brand for their technological achievements. There are various points to consider including shopping cart solutions, analytics, CRM systems, email software, and inventory management software.

Be precise while investing in the right approach to technology for your business. Don’t forget, the first and the best way to deal with and beat potential pitfalls is to know what your customers are feeling and thinking.

Key Digital Commerce Trends

key eCommerce TrendsAs per research, all over the world, digital ad spend is likely to reach $375 Billion and ahead by 2021.

The market research company predicts that

digital will continue to exhibit robust growth, expanding from 39.1% of total media ad spend in 2017 to 49.6% by 2021.

Keeping this in mind, we should choose which digital commerce approach you should spend time on. Even marketers and ecommerce specialists with tremendous experience struggle to stay well-informed of the innovations of the digital commerce world. But with technological advancement, our eCommerce strategies should also upgrade.

Today, the brands depend on the below digital trends to stay well-informed of the fast changes.

Omnichannel Content & Commerce

What is OmniChannel eCommerceBy combining content and commerce, the media brands can cash in their target audiences without depending only on basic ads. After going through highlights of the product, the customers can tick on the affiliate link or jump directly onto the client’s website to buy products.

Developing and revealing the right content at the right time and place can enhance brand awareness and build a consistent customer experience all across the channels. Besides, it also increases the customer understanding that we can collect from cross-channel analytics.

Your content should educate and inspire your users to attain success with content commerce. If you achieve this, the users may share your content, and your brand’s visibility will expand.

Personalization

The process that builds a related, individualized interaction to optimize the user experience is known as personalization.

Personalization is the process that creates a relevant, individualized interaction to optimize the experience of the user. You should develop it into the core of user experience and influence each point of interaction.

All the interaction points, such as product recommendations, browsing data, landing pages, site search, and more, should perform together to develop a comprehensive picture of every visitor all across their journey.

Well, you can make your target audience feel special and make them know that your brand has a personal connection with them by using ads based on their online activity.

Moreover, you should conduct research on your target customers and emerge with their buying patterns, find what makes them click, and write your content surrounding it. Here, CRM also comes into play to collect visitors’ data.

API-Based Commerce

API Based CommerceInflexible commerce and content solutions hold the brands back from developing unique experiences and overgrowing.

Here API-based commerce (also known as headless commerce) helps avoid such issues by using the API to interface with the different business systems. A lightweight regulates the data transmission between systems, like products, content, financials, customer information, and other techniques that stay in various scenarios and are free from code that restricts frontend development.

It wasn’t about saying, ‘We are going to go headless’ – it was about looking at the requirements and finding the right solutions out there to help us achieve our goals,

says Jamie Danby, Head of Business Transformation at Steinhoff UK.

Retailers can reap the benefits of proper omnichannel design by building custom layouts in very little time. For this, you need to scale a coupled system to attain the same achievement. It facilitates the delivery of the related, contextual, and constant product and content experiences to your consumers across the websites, apps, and other touchpoints with which they interact.

Artificial Intelligence

integrate artificial intelligence in ecommerce mobile appsWhen we integrate AI into Digital Commerce, it analyzes data from users to send specific sales material to the customers.

AI is increasing; as per statistics, AI in eCommerce will likely reach $7.3 billion every year by 2022.

Artificial Intelligence applies advanced analysis and logic-based techniques, embracing ML to interpret support, events, and automate decisions, and also take actions.

Augmented Reality

augmented reality product navigator ecommerceA type of technology that superimposes the images onto the person’s view by stimulating the senses is augmented reality (AR). AR may use the effects that simulate real feelings, sounds, photos, and smell also in some cases. The target is to craft an emotional link that triggers the consumer’s need to purchase a specific product.

A unique aspect of introducing AR into a D-Commerce strategy may lower the requirement for physical inventory items, thus saving resources, time, and money. A perfect way to boost the brand value via computer screen or phone, AR diminishes the customer’s need to interact with the products directly before even buying them.

Subscription Commerce

The subscription commerce model offers a wide range of benefits to merchants. Sellers get a constant and recurring revenue stream that provides a simple way to predict budget and cash flows, reduce administrative costs, and drive higher business valuations.

On the contrary, buyers get recurring and constant costs that ease them to plan and budget better for the solutions they want to lower the cost of new apps.

With the anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global automotive subscription services market through 2022 at 71%, I would be surprised if enterprise decided not to jump into this hot market,

the CEO & Publisher of Subscription Insider, Kathy Greenler Sexton, said during an interview with ConsumerAffairs.

Subscription commerce is a perfect way to repeat business. It has become a top priority in varied industries, including beauty, food and drink, fitness, health and wellness, and more.

Customer Analytics

The analytics helps in understanding the customer behavior for making informed, data-driven decisions.

The companies use analytics to be well-organized in their marketing efforts and improve their demand from the target customers. Customer analytics can help businesses understand the changing behavior of modern customers. Keeping a check on algorithms with analytics software can also help companies optimize social media marketing strategies for an enhanced ROI.

Enterprise Marketplace

A new business model, the enterprise marketplace in which brands alter their method of performing business, develop broader ecosystems, new capabilities, and generate a unique origin of revenue.

Today, besides expecting better prices and convenience, people look for varied options that hold their preferences and tastes.

As per Gartner,

By 2023, 15% of medium- to high-gross-merchandise-value digital commerce organizations will have deployed their marketplaces, thereby creating an entirely new digital ecosystem.

It means service providers and vendors should use analytics and customer data to regulate their services and stand uniquely in a fast-moving industry.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

pwa for ecommercePWA merges new technologies with well-established best practices for developing accessible, reliable, and engaging experiences. Such apps offer users native-like expertise with a user-friendly opt-in installation flow.

PWA is responsive, reliable, engaging, and secure.

When you develop apps for internal use, the cost of their development, testing, and maintenance for various platforms are not reasonable. That’s why today, companies are abandoning their native mobile apps and developing PWAs that are known to be a viable alternative to them.

Wrapping Up

By understanding what influences your target audience, you will make sure that you hold the caliber to focus on success with digital commerce. Fulfilling the demands of modern age digital consumers will benefit you when you push analytics solutions to perform.

From search patterns and web behavior to recognizing the best and worst-performing items, the right digital software will ensure that you get customer preferences and assess their activity across distinct touchpoints. Your digital commerce journey will succeed when such elements merge with modern personalization techniques, budget optimization, and AI.

If you have an idea that could help you gain a market share of digital commerce industry then we can help you find an experienced ecommerce consultant.

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!