4 ways ecommerce executives can maximize digital dollars

The US economy may be getting better, but brands’ budgets are still tight. Here are four pieces of advice to help retailers leverage their ecommerce dollars more efficiently and effectively.

1. Prioritize ruthlessly

“It all comes back to knowing exactly who your customer is and what your brand is and what you’re trying to accomplish,” said Kacey Sharrett, vice president of D2C at GoPro, during last month’s CommerceNext event in New York City. “We’re always going to be fighting for dollars, but it comes down to prioritizing what’s important.”

Along with prioritization, Sharrett stressed the importance of efficiency, one place where AI can make a huge difference.

“AI has the propensity to help accelerate and make teams more efficient,” she said, noting that the technology will become “transformative” for ecommerce in the near future.

2. Get everyone on the same page

Instead of having every department fighting over whose projects are the most important, Abercrombie & Fitch has adopted an objectives and key results framework, which sets defined objectives for the entire organization.

“Prioritization and alignment comes from being really clear on what the objectives and outcomes are,” said Samir Desai, Abercrombie’s executive vice president and chief digital and technology officer. “So [now] the work we are doing, with the resources we have, are yielding the same outcomes across all the functions of the company.”

Abercrombie & Fitch has five set objectives for the entire company that cascade to individual teams. “So now when someone comes to you with an ask, you can see how it ties back to that key result,” said Desai. “And if it doesn’t, you probably shouldn’t work on it.”

3. Use digital to amplify physical

“One thing we’ve learned through the pandemic is that our access to data became really informative,” said Jenna Flateman Posner, chief digital officer at Snipes. “When a customer [visits a store] and there’s no compelling reason for them to identify themselves, the next time the store speaks to them [is dependent on] the next time they walk in.”

Instead, retailers can use digital channels to boost in-store performance, leading to better outcomes all around and justifying digital spending across the organization.

“You tend to get more buy-in, more cross-channel collaboration, and more access to cash,” she said.

4. Have analytics to back you up

Sometimes, it’s as simple as putting the numbers to work for you, said Anisa Kumar, chief customer officer at customer experience platform Narvar.

“You need to fight for [your] dollars,” she said. “And you do that not by leading with [your] gut, but by leading with analytics.”

Ecommerce teams have all the data they need at their fingertips—they just have to organize it in a way that shows their value.

“You’re the ecommerce leader, you’ve got the numbers,” said Kumar. “Put the customer at the center of your business cases, have the analytics that show [your success], and then prioritize accordingly.”


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