Pattern Australia director Sean Walsh details what retailers need to consider when assessing or reassessing their technology ecosystem.
There should be no surprise that the eCommerce boom of 2020 certainly changed the ways in which businesses leverage their technology ecosystem.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was almost as if every business needed to find a way to conduct commerce digitally to survive.
Thanks to this boom, many businesses have been forced to focus and prioritise the technologies that help them manage their business on the web.
When assessing your technology ecosystem, there are a few key considerations to be aware of.
Consider the Business Phase
Firstly, you need to establish where your business is, in its growth journey and what your more immediate ambitions are. This is a key driver for what the technology needs to deliver now and in the future.
For example, a retailer with a mature digital presence domestically that is looking to acquire new customers in another market will likely require significantly less technology change and investment than a B2B brand with no digital offering that will be looking at delivering a digital commerce experience from the ground up.
Investment in technology, like most business strategies includes an investment and associated payback, and these should be commensurate in nature.
Steer clear of the Ferrari if you don’t need it!
Consider the Technology Model
Headless, service driven vs. traditional, monolithic (all-in-one) commerce options.
There is a continued evolution and debate in the industry around which type of technology model is right for businesses.
The answer isn’t always a simple one nor is it a one size fits all. Some businesses will have significant success and growth when moving to a service driven or headless model.
Equally, others may decide to move to the more flexible headless or service driven direction only to find it’s not right for them, and rollback these changes at a significant cost.
The enhanced freedom that comes with the service driven cannot be understated; it’s extremely exciting for the digital experience, and ultimately the consumer.
The key piece is ensuring your business is clear on both the advantages and tradeoffs that come with the different models, and how this maps against your strategic ambitions.
The Race to Zero… Party Data
There is a continued momentum shift to a more ‘privacy-friendly web’ and therefore data collection opportunity on the back of announced changes from digital heavyweights Apple and Google.
What this means for businesses is that they need to have robust strategy around how they capture, store, and use the data that provides the biggest opportunity to engage with their consumer base on a personalised level.
A key enabler to this is the technology leveraged to make the most of this data, with the evolution away from this data being stored in an ERP, CRM, ESP to a more holistic, powerful customer data platform (CDP).
Technology isn’t the silver bullet here, both the strategy and technology need to work hand-in-hand; without this alignment, businesses may fall into the trap of investing in a very expensive address book that drives no incremental value.
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