Customer Analytics

What’s the next big innovation in online commerce?

After reviewing the recent Cyber Monday and Black Friday results from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, I had a weird thought – What will be the next big innovation to have significant impact for online commerce?

In approximately three short years the mobile innovation has made a huge impact, accounting for over 30% of all Cyber Monday online traffic. The ”innovative tablet”, first introduced in 2010, was the driver of the highest value mobile sales this year. So what is next?

Is it a mobile app that senses the items in my cart and auto pays allowing me to bypass the check out line. Or how about my personal dream – the desire for a voice activated virtual sales associate/assistant to perform in depth research and product analysis and present back the analysis to me in an interactive manner, so that I can make a product decision. For example, you ask your phone/tablet what is the best power washer for me? Or what is the best ski helmet sound system for under $100? Rather than me doing all the searching and reading – the virtual assistant would gather my requirements, do the research and present back the pertinent details. Sort of like a Watson for shopping.

Crazy you say! Well what is Smarter Commerce supposed to do, anyway? Make it easier and smarter for us to purchase what we want and or need. Though you may think these kinds of ideas are sort of out there and you may be right, but one thing this and past years IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark has shown is that change is and will continue to come.

Leading analysts and IBM’s IBV studies have shown that while most companies recognize that effective innovation – from ideation to delivery – is critical to their competitive advantage, many are not effective at executing. As we have seen in the mobile space, top technology trends are impacting how organizations compete; those that can take advantage are leading while others follow. Guess based on this years result I would not want to be a commerce site without a mobile strategy! Success in this rapidly changing world requires establishing an enterprise wide capability to accelerate innovation delivery and not just wish or hope about it.

So a deeper question is how will your organization and commerce operations react and absorb these future changes? Is your commerce operation unyielding, stubborn and loath to change? Does your organization have an operational framework that drives innovation? This may require new skills; expand capabilities; improved collaboration with the business; potentially new partners, but most important is an effective operational model that does not handcuff the organization from investment in and execution of new developments and innovations.

I believe those businesses that can identify the innovation tends most relevant to their success and subsequently move beyond recognition to execution will be best positioned for success in tomorrows even faster paced digital world. An important way to identify innovations is to evaluate your position relative to your peers. The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark; the same tool used to capture the IBM Black Friday and Cyber Monday reports, along with IBM’s Forevergreen Services for Smarter Commerce AMS are an integrated and proven way to start.

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Abhi Roy

Yes a big innovation is awaited in e-commerce area. What will be the impact of this update.

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