Leadership

Embracing Rapid Change in E-Commerce - You Don’t Have Much Choice

December 6, 2018
If you are in e-commerce, then you already know how important it is to manage change. Developing a culture that can adjust quickly to shifting customer sentiment, the latest market trends, and advances in technology is a prerequisite for remaining relevant. 
 
Just consider the fate of businesses that failed to exercise flexibility and agility. Blockbuster, Mervyns, Toys R Us, Circuit City, Sears, are prime examples that resting on your laurels is no longer an option.
 
Amazon -- A Culture That Embraces Change
 
GuidanceTechnology is having a dramatic impact on how people go about shopping. And few companies understand how to respond to the fast-shifting e-commerce landscape better than Amazon, which has harnessed a culture of testing that gives them an edge in recognizing and seizing opportunities. Here are some eye-catching stats that show how successful they’ve been when it comes to navigating the rapid change in the digital environment:
 
  • Amazon has cornered nearly 50% of the e-commerce market.
  • The online giant expects 30% growth in 2018.
 
If you want to compete or even emulate Amazon’s success, then you should study how they’ve created a culture that embraces the velocity of technical change. With that in mind, here are a few lessons that can help you manage the transformations taking place.
 
Tips For Managing Change
 
  1. Commit to Digital Commerce. If you are a retailer operating a business without a digital presence, then you might as well be trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe.  If you’re not already committed to digital commerce, then you are already falling behind.

    But here’s some good news. Many of your peers (particularly in the B2B realm) are in the same boat (they’ve been slow to adopt digital commerce too). If you invest now, then your chances of success are much greater because tremendous advantages often accrue to the first mover.
     
  2. If You Fail, Then Fail Fast. Moving swiftly and being a first-mover certainly has its advantages but can be risky. Making quick decisions and adjusting on-the-fly (which is imperative these days) means you will make mistakes. The important thing is to be able to fail fast, but learn from those missteps and adjust accordingly. This is the key to innovation.

    And innovation is how you’re going to win. Amazon is a company that does this on a massive scale, and they’re incredibly successful as a result. In so many respects, it comes down to having a culture of testing, which means that you are constantly trying different things and improving the way you harness and deploy various e-commerce technologies.
     
  3. Invest in Expertise. It’s not enough to just buy technology. You need to leverage the talent, resources, and expertise that can enable the cutting-edge technologies to work for your business. You could try acquiring expertise in bulk by hiring talent. But it’s far more efficient and cost-effective to partner with a digital commerce service provider that lives and breathes e-commerce day in and day out.

    GuidanceOutsourcing expertise helps you move more agilely and in today's very competitive environment. This is very important.  Having the ability to be agile and move fast is really important. Many companies waste precious resources trying to do everything in-house or by themselves to try and save money but in more times than not, you will be far better off leveraging the wisdom, experience, and expertise of partners that are in the business of navigating uncertainty.
Takeaway
 
If you are a manufacturer, brand, retailer, or distributor and are not investing in leading, innovative technologies, then you are already behind and are at risk of becoming irrelevant.   
 
However, for those companies that are prioritizing e-commerce, then you need to be very agile and move as fast as you can with respect to the technology that supports your business. Change is inevitable but success is not. It happens when you develop a culture that can sense emergent opportunities and respond to them adroitly.