Nearly half of retail companies say they’ve been going through digital commerce challenges for well over a year that have hindered sales, according to research published by commercetools.
The Munich-based company, which offers “headless” commerce applications that allow a company to decouple its e-commerce platform from its front-end user interface, surveyed 300 business leaders to produce its 2022 Commerce Innovation Report.
Seventy-four per cent of those surveyed said they recognize that failing to adopt emerging commerce-related technologies could hurt their business. Already, one third said they are struggling to deal with outdated, legacy commerce tools, and 41 per cent said the impact on customer experience (CX) was one of the areas of concern.
Economic challenges like the recession, however, may be delaying them from taking action: 52 per cent said they have chosen not to adopt commerce solutions due to budgetary constraints.
The research reflected the fact that commerce encompasses more than transactional systems, while pointing out other areas where brands are falling short. For instance, only a quarter of retailers said they offer same-day shipping, and just 21 per cent have a loyalty program in place.
“Concerns over the inability to adopt emerging commerce trends will only deepen
moving forward, as non-technical business decision-makers recognize the growing
distance between their aging solutions and younger shoppers,” the report’s authors wrote. “Decision-makers believe customers struggle when searching for products and services, interacting with customer service support teams and even finding basic product information.”
360 Magazine Insight
If nothing else, the commercetools report should comfort retailers who worry they’re not keeping up with the many brands that have talked up the importance of enhancing digital experiences. Given that much of the world was in lockdown less than three years ago — where e-commerce was the only way to buy almost anything — it’s surprising the research shows how little progress has been made.
I’ve written about headless commerce before, and commercetools no doubt pursued this research to ignite conversations about the possibilities its technology can offer. Besides a better online checkout, for instance, headless commerce paves the way for smart mirrors in retail dressing rooms, more sophisticated mobile apps and the use of specialized plugins and application programming interfaces (APIs).
These are some of the “commerce innovations” the report may be referring to, but many retailers are probably more focused on simply improving the speed, simplicity and integration between their e-commerce platform and their web site or online marketplaces.
Probably the most interesting parts of this report look beyond the statistics and explore internal personas such as “naysayers” who get in the way of enhancing commerce, vs. “yeasayers” who are prepared to move digital CX forward. It might be worth discussing this research within your team to see to what extent some of these different attitudes exist, and how to align around common CX objectives.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.