Starting from the top left quadrant, a highly customized interactive strategy suggests a focus on excelling in e-commerce channel, relative to your Canadian competition on- line. The implications for your target customers’ shopping experience will likely include an efficient and easy-to-navigate website, with best-in-class features and functionality that encourages repeat and frequent shopping. The financial implications for this quad- rant include the cost of developing a customized, best-in-class website and back-end operations.
Additionally, sufficient marketing resources are required in order to quickly build a large database and drive traffic through primarily interactive media. Confidence in the size of the financial opportunity is key in order to justify the capital expenditure and ongoing expenses of this option.
The top-right quadrant, the highly customized integrated strategy, suggests integration with stores or other sales channels (e.g., catalog or mobile channels). For the customer, their shopping experience should be relatively seamless as you encourage them to move from your website to your store and vice versa. Savvy shoppers are increasingly demanding of their favorite brands’ cross-channel capabilities. This requires close monitoring of their expectations and level of satisfaction.
Financially, this option is likely the most costly, as cross-channel capabilities (e.g., buy online, pickup in store, order online while in-store, etc.) are dependent on the technol- ogy that underlies these processes. And soft costs such as staff training to ensure your entire organization understands the cross-channel strategy have often been cited by advanced cross-channel retailers as the key to success. All of these plus other costs are in addition to most of the same costs incurred in the top left quadrant, as the need to develop a customized website still exists in this cross-channel strategy.
The bottom-right quadrant, web-to-store priorities, suggests the e-commerce market potential is low, and the opportunity to leverage your website to drive store traffic is deemed most critical to success. For your customers’ shopping experience, you will need to provide the motivation for them to visit the website and the store. The latter can be achieved through promotions, product selection, and customer service capabilities that are tailored to a cross-channel strategy.
The financial implications include the need for most of the same investment required for cross-channel capabilities as in the top-right quadrant, with less investment in the web- site itself. The measures of success for this strategy rely upon understanding the effect of a customer, who shops both the web and store, and identifying and measuring their resulting buying behavior in-store. Cross-channel measures such as this are closely tied to your “visibility” to the customer through your data and analytical capabilities. In some cases, traditional market research techniques may be used to enhance your analytics. Regardless of the technique used to measure success, the ability to track the cross-channel business model is critical for buy-in across your organization (including store managers).
Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers
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