SUPPLY chain and property firm TMX says the businesses need to have an effective e-commerce and omnichannel strategies so they can stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.

Jan Becker, e-commerce executive director at TMX said, “While the past century has been about optimising supply chains, offshoring productions and space productivity, retailers have been forced to address changing consumer demands.

“Despite this, many are still lagging.”

He suggests there are common themes that successful e-commerce companies are rapidly adopting:

1. Data is the backbone for decision making: Successful companies invest in systems that allow them to systematically capture and integrate data from multiple sources such as marketing, sales and warehouse management into one place.

2. Building analytical capabilities: While data is the key ingredient, companies need to focus on analytical capabilities in order to process data and better understand how to improve customer experience.

3. Being clear about digital ambitions and understanding the input factors: Whilst turning a profit is crucial, it’s considered to be an output. Companies who struggle to understand, manage and track the right input factors are the ones who usually fail.

4. Molding the proposition: Companies need to adjust their value proposition for today’s digital consumer, taking into consideration what the right assortment and price point is, including the right omnichannel experience, product delivery and customer loyalty.

5. Solving Go-2-Market: A strategy is worth nothing unless it’s put into execution.

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“E-commerce is no longer the side-hustle of a company; it has become an integral part of consumer life and thus of every business,” Mr Becker said.

“Companies that don’t get ready now will struggle in the future.”

He believes companies can better understand their customers more holistically by mapping and tracking user journeys across apps, websites, blogs, vlogs and social platforms, and eventually physical stores.

“That’s why businesses need to move away from traditional ways of seeing their customers as either online or offline regulars and instead treat them as one,” Mr Becker said.

“With the expectation that ecommerce penetration over the next three years will sit somewhere between 30 to 35% of global sales, it’s time for companies to break down the mental barriers between the physical and digital world and rethink their digital strategies,” he said.

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