E-Commerce is Changing: Reducing Friction and Increasing Agility are the Key

3 April, 2023

As Insider Intelligence’s global retail e-commerce forecast suggests, it is more important than ever for retailers and brands to find ways to be more agile and flexible in how they get products into consumers’ hands—and to do so while offering a positive experience with minimal friction. Combined with an uncertain economic outlook, retail margins continue to be under pressure due to intense competition, higher fulfilment costs, and higher return rates. Additionally, retailers and brands are trying to keep up as consumer demand evolves and their preferences change every day. In order to increase their agility and address an unpredictable macro environment, many brands and retailers are leaning even further into their digital strategy and focusing on e-commerce innovation to better use data for real-time decision-making. In fact, recent Forrester research indicates that the majority of businesses plan to maintain or increase investment in digital business initiatives.

Businesses that are thriving today understand the growing importance of strengthening their e-commerce capabilities, especially in areas like unowned inventory models that can drive growth with limited investment. A digital strategy that leverages new approaches and data-driven insights to flexibly meet consumer needs through unowned inventory and enhanced delivery and fulfilment can help retailers adapt and succeed despite the pressures they face. And brands can access new demand channels and expand the reach of their products.

Retailers can find success by expanding product assortment based on intelligently predicted consumer demand, desired customer experience, and operational resources that are aligned to meet growth objectives.
As a result, consumers get a better product selection that is more attuned to what they want right when they want it, while retailers improve profitability and avoid over-committing in a resource-constrained environment.

With the proliferation of online shopping channels that offer consumers more options for when, where, and how they shop, it is now even more important for retailers and brands to reach consumers wherever they might be at any given moment, along with the right message to convert them into customers. For brands, capabilities like effective marketplace management, shoppable media, digital marketing, and brand analytics are must have components of an effective e-commerce strategy.

In the future, the world of commerce will look fundamentally different.

  • Point products and homegrown IT systems will be replaced with comprehensive solutions that enable retailers and brands to grow their e-commerce businesses with agility, flexibility, and profitability.
  • Brands will have unfettered access to every channel in the world that can provide them with demand.
  • Fulfilment providers will gain efficiency by leveraging an extensive commerce network for insight, and retailers and brands will benefit by getting better, faster, and less expensive service.

Together, CommerceHub and ChannelAdvisor—a CommerceHub company—offer one of the world’s largest commerce networks and solutions connecting supply, demand, and delivery for retailers and brands globally. Contact us today to learn more about how ChannelAdvisor and CommerceHub are working every day to create the future of e-commerce with tens of thousands of businesses in our network.

And be sure to download a complimentary copy of eMarketer’s new Global Retail E-Commerce Forecast report for the outlook through 2026 and expert analysis to help you plan ahead for this year and beyond. This analyst report looks at:

  • The top 10 e-commerce markets, and which countries are in a growth slump
  • Trends driving the narrowing gap between e-commerce and overall retail sales
  • Tips to fine-tune expectations and identify unexpected growth hotspots

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