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Why Post-Digital Ecommerce is the Future of Ecommerce

by Rico Andrade
March 2, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how companies approach ecommerce forever.

The accelerated digital transformation toward ecommerce channels is unprecedented: In countries such as the UK, the United States, and India, ecommerce grew 2 to 5 times faster than before the pandemic. According to the EY Future Consumer Index, 37% of consumers believe their shopping habits will change over the long-term and 39% say they will shop more online for things they used to buy in stores.

Amid record-breaking growth in online shopping, enterprises have had to decide how to support these rapid changes in consumer behavior at scale.

The most innovative companies embraced the sudden shift by accelerating their digital transformation efforts or completing these initiatives all at once:

  • 67% of companies increased their digital transformation investments in relation to all other IT spend.
  • 42% plan to automate large numbers of their manual processes.
  • 36% are transforming and reimagining their digital business strategies going forward.

Under more normal circumstances, it would have taken several months or even years to roll out new sales channels or implement new technologies and processes with employee buy-in. Instead, these pandemic-driven changes required mere weeks or days.

With so many companies embracing digital channels, there’s more competition than ever in ecommerce markets. Enterprises now need to find fresh, innovative ways to stay ahead of the competition. To do so, these ecommerce companies will have to make the next leap beyond digital transformation.

From Digital Transformation to Post-Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is defined as “the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.” By this definition, companies are in a perpetual state of digital transformation.

With the acceleration of digital transformation efforts driven by the pandemic, we find it useful to break this period into two distinct eras:

  1. The Digital Transformation Era, which first saw a critical mass of companies adopting basic ecommerce technologies and processes to respond to the changing market conditions.
  2. The Post-Digital Era, in which companies that have rolled out their ecommerce channels and completed the first phase of their digital transformation now need to focus on how to best serve their customers, remain competitive, and automate at scale.

As we enter year 3 since the start of the pandemic, ecommerce will continue to grow with online retail expecting to surpass $1 trillion this year. In a post-pandemic world – or the next normal – ecommerce enterprises will need to implement post-digital ecommerce initiatives.

While digital transformation has provided organizations with new tools and systems to survive, post-digital ecommerce requires innovation to ensure these updated technologies and processes enable them to compete and scale. Robust automation strategies play a critical role in success during this new era, future-proofing businesses to thrive.

“Automation is necessary to be agile, especially in these volatile times with ongoing supply chain issues and shipping delays,” said Celigo VP of Strategy Mark Simon in a recent Retail Today article. “A proper automation strategy can help you grow and scale operations, efficiently kick off new online sales channels, eliminate any human errors that impact your customers’ experience, ensure items are in stock through timely inventory updates, and fulfill orders faster.”

The Future of Ecommerce Starts Here

We’re in the middle of an unprecedented time for ecommerce. Competing and gaining market share nowadays requires fresh approaches, including automated processes that are agile and able to pivot based on new data and insights.

That’s why we invite you to attend Celigo’s inaugural Post-Digital Ecommerce Summit. Leading ecommerce experts will share actionable insights and takeaways you can immediately start using to drive successful, scalable operations going forward.

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