How to build, roll out and sustain global commerce strategies during a time of change

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Heather Donaldson, Commerce Services Lead, ACS Professional Services, gives advice to brands looking to conquer their global commerce strategies.

The COVID-19 pandemic reiterated that customers see one brand and one brand experience only: regardless of whether they’re shopping online or in-store. Prior to this, most companies had an ambition to move towards an omnichannel model and provide their customers with connected experiences but most still operated online and offline separately. In February 2020 Gartner research showed that through 2022, 50% of large organisations will fail to unify engagement channels, resulting in a disjointed and siloed customer experience that lacks context.

At Adobe Professional Services, we’ve been able to watch and work with thousands of customers as they handle these changes day in, day out. We’ve taken the learnings from the best (and worst…) cases, and we’re in a prime position to help brands roll-out and maintain a scalable and customer centric commerce architecture and strategy.

Therefore, after a couple of years of accelerated change, how do brands form a commerce strategy that can stand the test of time, no matter what the world throws at them?

Start with identifying the core

First and foremost, a good global commerce strategy is one that’s scalable for the organisation and is built with the right foundations.

Whether a brand working across multiple regions or an organisation running multiple brands under its umbrella, the strategy needs to work across geography and proposition.

It also needs to be built with growth in mind – we are now more aware than ever that the future cannot always be predicted, so the foundations that are built must provide the agility to react to unexpected events, changing business priorities and new innovations in a timely, cost-effective way.

This is what we call a Global Reference Architecture (GRA) . There are a few misconceptions about what constitutes for a GRA, and its benefits. It is not simply an implementation approach but also a process and governance model that allows your organisation and not just your technology to scale and adjust as business needs change.

Given the maturity of digital commerce is constantly evolving and often responsibility for the channel is spread across multiple functions (IT, Marketing, Sales), we have observed that customers who have scaled without the right foundations in place now find themselves managing overly complex, expensive ecosystems. The good news is that it is still possible for these organisations to move to a more scalable model and the Adobe Professional Services team have extensive experience in helping clients achieve this, either when they are first starting out or later in the journey.

Always put customers first

Brands need to outline the customers' wants, needs, and desires, to inform how they get the relevant products or offers in front of them, in the quickest, most personalised way.

Every touch-point across the e-commerce journey needs to be personalised to remain competitive, to get attention, and to increase share of wallet per customer. Our recent Adobe Trust research discovered that three quarters (70%) of consumers in EMEA say their trust falls in a brand when personalisation is poor. While over half (53%) will stop purchasing from a brand that fails to provide personal experiences they value.

But we know it’s a noisy landscape and consumer expectations are still changing rapidly. Brands that have not fully mapped out personas and journeys, or where this information is outdated will struggle to gain the insight needed to deliver a commerce experience that aligns to customer needs, expectations, and drives loyalty.

Brands only have a finite budget – so it’s imperative they’re investing in what will deliver real customer and business impact and that their digital commerce strategy aligns both to customer expectations and clearly mapped business goals. Commerce strategies that miss these crucial steps can result in failed projects and lack of internal support / investment.

Make sure you have the right talent

Do you currently have the right organisational operating model in place for commerce? Do you know what people and skills you need to ensure your strategy stands the test of time and is sustainable?

Quite often companies don’t plan for the talent they need to bring a commerce strategy to fruition. Brands need to ensure they are hiring from the right spaces and nurturing talent long-term by offering training, mentoring and opportunities to upskill. The skills market is challenging so retaining this talent is vital.

If you don’t have that internally, don’t be afraid to ask the experts – that’s what we’re here for.

Why Adobe Professional Services?

At Adobe, we have a great advantage: we’re CX focused, which means we see things through the lens of the consumer – as well as what our clients have done.

Our Professional Services organisation has unmatched experience in the world of Adobe Experience Cloud including Adobe Commerce. These are our products; we know the capabilities, features, and roadmaps better than anyone else on the market. Our team is dedicated to helping you succeed and get the most out of Adobe technology and through our close relationships with the Adobe customer base, product teams and partner ecosystem, we can help clients see around corners and plan for the future.

Learn more about how Adobe Professional Services is helping customers build strategies that will stand the test of time.