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Abandon the Register

June 30, 2011

Rethinking Your Go to Market Strategy In the Age of eCommerce

image of an old registerWe’re in a new era of eCommerce. The barrier between the online and the offline world has crumbled.

 Just about every consumer has a smartphone in her pocket. Many stores have tablets available for use in store by either consumers or sales people. Concepts that used to be restricted to online, such as product lookup, live-chat, and even self checkout are now perfectly viable in a physical location.

Are you ready?

In the same way that enterprise systems have changed the back of the house (here comes the alphabet soup of EMM, SCM, ERP, CRM), it’s now time to rethink your go to market strategy in light of an entirely new set of technologies.

With a limited set of resources, where should you place your bets to drive your brand’s point of difference?

This isn’t the kind of thing that you can figure out from a vendor selection exercise or check the box on the device of the month. If you’re that deep in the weeds, you’re pursuing what I like to call a bovine strategy. That means that you’re looking at all the other cows and following them.

There’s one more wrinkle that makes this particularly challenging for the C suite of multi-channel organizations.  The usual suspects aren’t particularly well equipped to actually get this done because it requires a daunting set of skill sets and real in-market validation.

In other words, you can’t just outsource this to McKinsey or BCG and think that an insightful presentation will do it for you.

You have to actually assess, innovate, prototype, test, and learn. Rethinking your go to market strategy to leverage eCommerce takes time and actual learning.

The transformation of the back of the house was focused on best practices – literally copying what other smart companies do.

However the application of new eCommerce technologies is intertwined with how you go to market and should be applied in a unique way that supports your brand. You can’t just check out what the other cows are doing.

This will no doubt be a painful process but is decidedly within reach of visionary organizations who are ready to step out from behind the cash register.

In the next few blog posts, I’ll share our approach for helping companies do just that.