17 January 2023
A Guide to Digital Commerce: Definitions, Tips & Trends for 2024
The scope of online retail has increased significantly in the past few years, and the numbers are set to increase further in the years to come. This increase will be followed by eCommerce trends and digital developments that require a focus on consumer expectations.
If you are interested in the future of this industry, it is essential to understand it in its current form. Here is our expert overview of every aspect of digital commerce.
What Is Digital Commerce?
Everything from shopping on different websites to social media platforms and live-stream shopping is involved in digital commerce. Digging deeper into digital commerce 360, we find that it is far more than simply buying and selling online; it is about delivering a personalized experience for every customer. Providing a personalized process to customers enhances their journey and buying experience, which helps achieve the following goals:
- To increase sales
- To keep customers loyal
- To acquire new customers
Thus, it helps your business to remain competitive in the market.
Digital Commerce vs. eCommerce: What’s the Difference?
From the definition of digital commerce, it seems quite similar to eCommerce. However, eCommerce is the simple act of selling goods online with a transaction completed on a website. On the other hand, digital commerce involves technologies and processes that move customers down the marketing funnel.
It includes things that expand the customer journey as they buy a product, including the following:
- Search engine optimization and retargeted advertising
- Customer-friendly payment technology
- Faster and more reliable shipping
- Real-time digital assistants and AR experience while shopping
In the digital commerce vs. eCommerce comparison, the former includes everything in eCommerce, while the latter is just one component of digital commerce.
The Importance of Digital Commerce in Modern Marketing
Digital commerce is a so-called catalyzer for modern marketing that allows businesses to efficiently attract and retain customers through digital channels, such as social media, widgets, email, and websites. Here are two main benefits companies may reap:
- Improved online presence to meet modern customer demands: clients can communicate with brands anywhere, anytime. By providing quality customer service, customer satisfaction increases, and so do sales.
- Reduced marketing and customer acquisition costs. Digital commerce has data and analytics at its core to allow for a better understanding of customer behavior and preferences and to tailor marketing efforts to specific audiences. Personalization improves the chances of successful communication, which leads to lower costs.
As a result, companies of all scales can promote efficient marketing initiatives, which opens up new horizons for small and medium-sized businesses. At the same time, they can ensure tailored audience communication, deliver improved user satisfaction, and have higher chances of implementing successful marketing campaigns.
What Is a Digital Commerce Platform?
It is a software solution that offers customers an engaging, self-service, and interactive experience when buying products or services. The software solution allows clients to have a meaningful experience and relationship with your brand rather than just following a simple online purchase process.
Thus, a digital commerce solution may include every component of eCommerce alongside other, more important capabilities to ensure a better customer experience. These include:
- Promotional campaigns and content for omnichannel marketing
- Customizable dashboards
- Advanced analytics
- UX mapping and customer journey orchestration
- Product descriptions designed to interlink within different categories
- Supply chain management
When businesses design a digital commerce solution, they consider every touchpoint of a customer’s journey, resulting in improved customer acquisition and loyalty.
8 Top Digital Commerce Trends for 2024
Digital eCommerce trends are changing at lightning speed. Below are eight anticipated digital commerce trends for the coming year.
1. Digital-First Approach
Having a digital-first approach in your business strategy is essential. It means you incorporate every feature, capability, and interaction into your digital strategy that your customer expects from your brand.
With a digital-first approach, you can make all employees in your organization, including warehouse management and sales and marketing teams, work with their focus on digital marketing channels. With over half of sales expected to go digital by 2023, this is the key digital commerce trend that your business must follow.
2. Omnichannel Marketing
With increasing digital influence, consistently improving brand awareness across all platforms is essential. With omnichannel content and eCommerce, your business will experience a seamless transition across different channels.
This helps deliver the right message to customers at the right time resulting in improved brand awareness. Through omnichannel marketing, you can maintain the same experience for a customer regardless of whether they are approaching via the app, social networks, or in person.
Personalization involves using data to offer customers a relevant and contextual experience instead of a generic eCommerce process. It makes shopping easier for customers. Personalization allows providing anonymous and known customers with a much better user experience:
- Personalized messages
- Site layouts
- Site recommendations
- Real-time data usage
With all these capabilities, a customer’s journey with your brand becomes more engaging and interesting at every point of interaction. This is because landing pages, site searches, recommendations, and browsing data all work together.
4. Customer Data Management
Use customer data analytics to get an in-depth understanding of customer expectations and behaviors. This way, your business’s ability to analyze data and adapt to changes will improve. Making informed decisions through customer data makes every interaction with your platform more attractive to customers, which in turn keeps them returning.
5. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence improves digital commerce with advanced analytics, machine learning, automated choices, and login-based methods. You can incorporate artificial intelligence into your commerce solution for site optimization, product recommendations, and a personalized user experience.
With the lowest chance of errors, your eCommerce solution will perform the right actions for every touchpoint in a customer’s journey.
Make personalized offers with AI
6. Enterprise Marketplaces
Businesses must provide products and services conveniently and at the best prices, but that’s not all. After detailed data analysis, these must be applied to every customer to understand their priorities and preferences using the enterprise marketplace business model. It is a perfect way to offer additional value for B2B and B2C customers.
In this fast-paced environment, data analytics help marketplaces offer an enterprise-grade experience to every customer by fine-tuning their services using data to value their digital commerce.
7. Headless eCommerce
For eCommerce solutions that are not growing with business, headless eCommerce is the right solution. This is where the front- and backend of your website are separated. An API is used for communication between these two.
Thus, your business can improve the front end (presentation layer) with continuous updates without affecting the backend layer. It does not cause any downtime, keeping your website’s content continually available to all customers.
8. Interactive Products
Augmented Reality is becoming common, especially in the online commerce industry. It simplifies the buying experience for customers by resolving lots of confusion. There are digital commerce examples that use AR technology to make their products and buying experiences interactive, including Apple and Sephora.
Using AR, your business can mimic real sounds, feelings, and images to offer a virtual experience of using that product. With AR incorporated into your digital commerce, there will be a decreased need to maintain a physical inventory, which may save both cost and time.
6 Actionable Ways to Improve Your Digital Commerce Strategy
Almost every business has a digital marketing and commerce strategy. But only a few are excelling in the competition because their digital commerce solutions and strategies are up to the mark. So, here are the six key methods to improve your digital commerce strategy.
1. Offer Customer-Friendly Payment Options
To improve your digital commerce strategy, try to meet all customer expectations. Today, every customer wants to pay in their preferred way. Additionally, with worldwide access to digital commerce, customers from different parts of the world can access different payment options.
Providing multiple and flexible payment options will be key to a better experience. From popular payment partners to offering monthly financing options, your digital commerce strategy must include everything to make purchasing products easier for your customers. Some examples of digital commerce payment options to include are:
- Multiple credit and debit cards
- Accepting online payments
- Crypto payments
- Flexible monthly installments
2. Respond to Customer Requests in Real-Time
Make the best use of a customer data platform that is designed for the marketing. You can collect and unify customer data from multiple sources to get a better insight into the expectations of every customer.
Using that data, you can design personalized marketing campaigns and make informed decisions with CDP helping you respond to every customer request in real-time. It significantly enriches the customer experience and enhances their loyalty.
3. Focus on Mobile Users
More than 50% of the traffic on websites comes from mobile devices. To improve your digital commerce strategy, you must focus on enhancing the customer experience on mobile devices. For example, invest in a mobile application to optimize the website for mobiles to ensure everyone accessing your business on mobile gets the best experience.
4. Use a Data-Backed Marketing Strategy
Implement marketing strategies that have proven results with data-driven insights. Such a strategy can create an optimized selling experience. An interactive experience with conversational content will be much more effective than sending conventional ads.
Thus, implementing these can improve sales. AI-backed personalization helps you understand customer expectations and design a data-backed marketing strategy for improved sales in both digital and physical marketplaces.
5. Use Analytics to Measure Progress
Measuring progress is essential for identifying room for improvement. Your business can do it by defining KPIs that inform you about every visitor’s behavior on your website. For example, you may get data about:
- Total visits
- Visits of a customer before purchasing
- Types of channels a customer uses
- Time a customer spends on the website
- Product categories they are interested in
These analytics give a deeper insight into how your content and marketing strategy is performing and what improvements can be made.
6. Choose Digital Partners Wisely
Improving your digital commerce may involve choosing digital partners. For example, you may need a CDP partner, and picking the right one can translate into another advantage digital commerce can provide. Otherwise, your online presence may not grow with the business, and the platform may fail to scale.
So, choose a digital partner that can make the most out of their techniques for digital commerce, meaning they use multiple channels for marketing, make data-backed informed decisions, and improve your overall efficiency through optimization.
Implementing the right technological solutions for your business can ensure that it scales with time and that you stay ahead of the competition. The future of online industries belongs to digital commerce, meaning that keeping your strategies up to the mark with changing customer expectations and market requirements is essential.
At Yespo, we help businesses improve their digital strategies with our expertise. Whether you are a beginner, a small startup, or a well-established medium size business, our team can help you with data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and testing combined to create a much better strategy. Reach out and start optimizing your online strategy today.