Exciting articles several times a month
20 March 2018
E-commerce has been the focal point of technology discussions in the business world for many years, but that is changing. The ubiquitous influence of technology today has caused e-commerce to morph into d-commerce – which refers to more than a transaction, but a way of doing business. So what are the crucial differences between the two? What are the potential benefits of d-commerce for businesses? We will try to answer these and other questions in this very article.
Digital commerce: new way to handle data
Let us define what d-commerce is. Contrary to what most might think, it is not just e-commerce. D-commerce (digital commerce) is a type of e-commerce used by an organization that delivers and sells products online. However, digital commerce goes well beyond a simple online transaction.
While e-commerce typically refers to the online buying and selling of physical goods or offline services, digital commerce is becoming the term of choice for businesses that deal exceptionally in digital products or services. It includes: e-books, webinars, online education, apps and other downloadable software, web hosting, software as a service (SaaS), paid membership communities, downloadable music or videos (e.g. iTunes), streaming services (e.g. Spotify, Netflix), on-demand radio (i.e. podcasts), digital currency (e.g. bitcoin).
In other words, in the transition from product-centric to customer-centric world, a company’s online presence takes center stage, becoming more than just a place to transact business (e-commerce) but a way of doing business (digital commerce) that includes branding, image, customer service, and transactions—in any way, from any place, at any time.
The pathway to digital commerce success
Here are four reasons why businesses should explore the potential benefits of digital commerce:
Discovery. If you want your business to be discovered by your customers, you have to be digital-ready. More and more consumers are searching online to find businesses when the need arrives. If your business cannot be found online, then you are losing out on a lot of opportunities.
Customer convenience. Most of consumers want to find what they are looking for at any time, from any place. Being digital-ready means that your customers will have access to your information at their convenience.
Conversion. Consumers want to know what you have to offer, be able to compare your services or products, and once they make up their mind, they should be able to transact with you easily. Without being digital-ready, you would not have been able to capture this new opportunity.
Attracting new customers. Once you are digital-ready, you can employ campaigns to up-sell and cross-sell your products or services to your current customers or grow via referrals.
Examples of digital commerce companies
Digital commerce has greatly developed over the last ten years thanks to high-speed Internet making the process quick and easy, and companies have been fast to utilize the power of offering their services. Let us go through a few examples of digital commerce-ready businesses.
Since its opening in 1971 in Seattle, Starbucks has grown into one of the world’s most recognized, specialty food brands. Today it is leading the way in creating digitally enhanced customer experiences both in-store and online. As part of the company’s turnaround in 2008, the company created Starbuck Digital Ventures, an internal, venture capital-style incubator for digital technology, and in 2012, named its first Chief Digital Officer.
Apart from engaging a substantial fan base on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, Starbuck has also enabled mobile transactions, digital loyalty programs, Starbucks Digital Network that offers in-store customers premium digital content to enjoy alongside their coffee, and a My Starbucks Idea site, which invites customers to submit ideas to improve Starbucks products, customer experience and corporate initiatives.
Founded in 1919, Tesco is not only the leading UK-based grocery retailer, but an internationally diversified retail company. The company leads the market with its digital grocery presence and is well-known for its rigorous usage of customer data across all aspects of its business. Using customers’ historical data, it offers a sophisticated membership scheme and individual product recommendations throughout the shopping process. Moreover, it is broadly active across a number of social media channels and provides options for user-generated content on its website. To further strengthen its offerings, it could provide a more detailed product review option that goes beyond product ratings.
Increasing competition and demands made by customers worldwide, the rapid pace of change in technology are forcing companies to review the way they do business. The scope of digital commerce is vast in various sectors and it is growing day by day. Anyway, it is safe to say that digital commerce helps reduce the trade cycle time in general and total cost of the businesses in particular.
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