Voice of the Industry

James Gagliardi, Digital River: "Innovation is shaping the store of the future"

Friday 6 June 2014 10:32 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Voice of the industry

When people think of innovation, some imagine a widget that changes everything

If you’re developing a product and ecommerce strategy to position your business for success in the future, you’ve probably thought about trends, opportunities and the challenges you’ll face. What will the store of the future look like? We can assume it will be innovative, but in what way?

. Still, innovation doesn’t have to be a revolutionary widget. It can be a new way of thinking, a shift that changes cultural expectations of how we buy, consume or experience a product or service.

For example, Google Docs has disrupted a market by adding online collaboration capabilities to existing productivity software concepts. And Netflix has gained market share by introducing a new delivery model to existing services and products.

While you think about ways to innovate your ecommerce business, remember that adding a new feature doesn’t always make a site, app or product better. Consumers simply want easier and faster ways to access and enjoy products. Today’s on-demand generation expects flexibility in the way they access and pay for products and services. Netflix recognized this early on and took an innovative path that positioned them for success.

When looking at ways to innovate through ecommerce, think about how you can empower customers to interact with you on their terms, whether online, through social media or in a virtual store. Think about fresh ways to develop and manage relationships.

As you consider ecommerce innovation, there’s one trend that’s steady and clear: online activities are becoming highly personalized. Imagine, if you will, a gadget integrated with software that tracks actual product usage and rewards customers for that usage through a loyalty program. Customers expect you to remember them and provide a variety of personalized options based on past activities such as personalized recommendations so unique that we will call it ME-commerce rather than E-commerce.

In the store of the future, shopping venues might change dramatically, fusing shopping and entertainment to create a space where consumers can buy products while watching their favorite shows or playing a popular video game in a “shoppertainment” model. With shoppertainment, customers will browse a store, experience products and interact with store clerks without ever leaving their sofas. And, if customers go to the physical store, they will be automatically recognized based on their online profile. These exciting scenarios hold incredible implications for how businesses will monetize their products in the future.

No individual can accurately predict what form the store of the future will take, but ecommerce leaders are already thinking of new ways to innovate. Some may invent products and services that are truly unimaginable today, but it’s likely that many more will succeed by disrupting an existing process and, hence, improving a payment model, delivering a more enjoyable experience or connecting the customer with the purchase more quickly.

About the author

James Gagliardi is vice president of product and innovation for Digital River. He leads the company’s global product managers and ensures that the company’s SaaS commerce, payments and marketing products and solutions exceed the needs of Digital River’s clients. James scouts new ways to optimize direct-to-buyer commerce and anticipates what’s next in ecommerce.

About the company

With 20 years of ecommerce experience, Digital River is a leading global provider of Commerce-as-a-Service solutions. Digital products companies and branded manufacturers use Digital River’s multi-tenant SaaS commerce services to manage and grow their online businesses. In 2013, Digital River processed more than USD 30 billion in online transactions. Learn more: www.digitalriver.com.

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Keywords: innovation, ecommerce, customer, virtual store, SaaS commerce, online payments, direct to buyer commerce, social media
Countries: World

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