Why the pressure to innovate is rising in e-commerce

Amazon Prime Air
Photo: Amazon Prime Air

Some trend topics and innovative services, like drone delivery, currently sound more like a PR gag than like real possibilities. Whether or not such innovations will establish themselves often hangs in the balance. There just aren’t any laws for such scenarios to follow.
But if the past few years have shown one thing, then it is the enormous speed with which hype can turn into expectation. At the very latest, everyone starts panicking when the competition has successfully implemented a new technology. The spiral of expectations goes on and on. On top of this come new technologies and innovative, agile startups threatening to overtake traders.

Out of the comfort zone

How can companies react to the challenges of the digital transformation? Test with courage. With the first small projects and services you gradually get a feeling for what works for your own business and customers.

Speed is characteristic of the business world in the digital age. The (theoretically) easy exchange of data raises the tempo. At the same time, this data allows you to observe trends in detail. But this unproblematic ideal is generally to be found only on the drawing board, and even reliable trend observation does not guarantee skilful implementation. Despite all this data, creating an advantage for yourself is still difficult.

But you have to keep reacting faster and faster. Well-networked customers and the competition don’t allow for anything else. The only answer? Plough ahead and test, test, test.

This is why strategies, like the extension of the business model, range, and target group should definitely be on the agenda for traders and manufacturers. For instance, a B2C trader could become more strongly involved in B2B. Stationary traders could experiment with multichannel concepts, and pure players could start stationary initiatives, just to mention some of the most obvious options.

In addition to this, there are new approaches to the topic consume (key word: sharing economy) and digital sales channels for dummies through to exclusive goods, and fully digitalised existing business models.

There is a tradition of having hands in multiple pies among digital companies

It is worth having a look at how digital companies manage to remain innovative: experimentation and the constant extension of business models have a long tradition there. For instance, Google’s zeal used to be viewed with suspicion and now it is increasingly normal for digitally positioned companies to push into different business areas.

Example: Amazon

Amazon is much more than traders and a marketplace: logistics, publishing, the production of games and series, mobile end devices und entertainment electronics are just a few of their numerous fields of business.

Example: Facebook

Facebook is threatening to lose its teenagers, the average age is rising significantly and the platform is becoming increasingly unattractive because of this. They simply keep buying-up popular platforms, like Instagram and Whats-App, to keep the age-group teenager on the platform.

What now?

What companies should be worrying about: none of the players mentioned will stop with their current ambitions. Experiments with drones and digital services are just the beginning.

This is what companies with >>digital DNA<< do – what are the others doing?

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