eCommerce is a huge prize. It is the biggest growth business in all of marketing, now at $1 trillion globally and growing at 17%. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, more is spent on eCommerce than on all other digital channels combined. But it is not an easy game for marketers to play and win.
As consumers everywhere become empowered and digitally enabled, they expect more from marketers. They demand commerce experiences that are seamless. They want fast, rewarding, personalized, and they want it all at once. They want marketers who will engage with them on their own terms and deliver superbly over and over again.
Most eCommerce solutions don’t answer consumers’ needs. They only solve part of the problem. Some involve robust technological solutions but offer awesome customer and brand experiences. Some offer beautiful imagery and storytelling but fail to deliver a reliable and scalable technology infrastructure. Most commerce solutions are uni channel, when in fact over 80% of consumers’ purchase journeys involve at least two channels.
Many fail because they begin and end at the transaction, embracing only part of the full commerce relationship with the customer—a relationship which begins well before the sale and continues well after the first transaction. In many eCommerce relationships, the first transaction is not profitable; all the money is in the lifetime customer relationship.
We believe there is a better approach. At Ogilvy, we call it Continuous Commerce™. It is omni-channel, relationship focused, and centered on the brand and customer experience. As part of the promise implicit in that name, we’ve asked our most expert colleagues to consider the changing world of commerce and share their thoughts.
Because my colleagues and I believe that every serious marketer needs to understand and appreciate the power of eCommerce. It is an intense learning environment, a microcosm of all business. Where else in business can you find all the key elements of business in a single place? Brand experience, pricing, product marketing, supply chain, data and analytics, P&L. I, for one, believe that anyone who aspires to a career in marketing should spend at least two years in eCommerce.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran of eCommerce, a newcomer to marketing or a marketer looking to expand your business and career opportunities, I hope you enjoy our collective perspective on Continuous Commerce™.