Winning at Social Commerce in the New Digital Economy

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By the end of 2019, retail ecommerce in Canada is expected to reach $64.56 billion (CAD). Although transactions happening offline will still represent more than 80% of estimated global retail sales, growth is shifting to e-commerce with a sales progression close to five times stronger than the rest of commerce.

  • According to eMarketer, Retail ecommerce will reach CA$64.56 billion this year, up 21.1% from last year and will represent 10.0% of all retail sales
  • 55% of total Canadian eCommerce sales will occur outside sites
  • 34% of Canadians purchase products online on a monthly basis and 11% of users purchase on a weekly basis

The line between social media and eCommerce is becoming increasingly blurry. Social platforms such as Facebook, Snap and Pinterest have acknowledged the shift in consumer behaviour and continue to make significant investments in features that bridge the gap between Social and Commerce, helping to facilitate the connection between consumers and products that are relevant to them. 

This trend is giving rise to a new breed of retailers: Direct-to-Consumer brands. What has worked for traditional retailers isn’t guaranteed to work in today’s rapidly evolving eCommerce landscape. 

“The retail landscape has drastically changed in the last 5 years and it’s fair to say that consumers are driving that change,” says Dan Kalinski, CEO, iProspect Canada. “eCommerce has been with us for a number of years but a change in consumer behaviour, combined with the disintermediation of established supply chains, traditionally dominated by the largest players in the sector, as well as the rise of Direct-to-Consumers brands that have created this momentum. The disruption of the retail sector has given way to “the iPhone moment” in retail. The war for consumer is not won by price but rather by utility and speed.” 

The new rules of commerce are proving to be challenging as more than 50 North American brands, including Radio Shack, Sears and Toys R Us, have folded traditional brick and mortar operations over the last 4 years. The singular retail experience has permanently changed to a variable experience, which in turn transforms all value-creation and extraction activities before, during, and after the sale.

Many traditional retailers have been slow to adapt to this trend. The drastic increase in the number of consumer touch points comes with a multitude of new challenges for established retailers trying to be everywhere and clinging onto the established, broadcast based strategies. Marketers need to identify critical levers across the digital landscape to accelerate an eCommerce strategy and drive business growth.

iProspect has developed the Commerce Success Framework (CSF) to help today’s marketers cut through the clutter and develop strategies designed to support short term transformation and long-term business growth.The object is to optimize consumer touchpoints across a range of channels - online, offline, or both - by mapping out four key dimensions every marketer should address through their commerce strategy:

  • Availability: Meeting consumers where they really are
  • Findability: Ensuring relevant visibility when it matters 
  • Buyability: Differentiating products from the competition
  • Repeatability: Building a relationship with the consumer beyond the first sale

The report also includes insightful case studies highlighting key learnings and successes across a range of industries.

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