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Understanding the relationship between long-term strategy and success for ecommerce



What is a good strategy

How to approach a digital transformation

Here’s my opinion on how to approach a digital transformation as part of that long term strategy to achieve success:

1. Start with ‘why?’

Sure, you’ve heard that you should consider changing your approach to lots of different moving parts of your digital operation but establishing why you do what you do and whether you genuinely need to change is a far more important consideration. After all, if you’re not bought into the idea that this is going to significantly change your results for the better, or a digital transformation doesn’t resonate with your ‘why?’ you’re going to become frustrated pretty quickly with the project. Not to mention that there’s not an agency or partner on earth that could fill the inevitable void that crops up when you’re not quite sure why things just aren’t moving in the way you’d like.

2. Influencers can be good…and bad

OK, so I don’t literally mean the TikTokkers of today that are getting us all to do some bizarre dance to music of questionable taste. I’m referring to your immediate influencers i.e. your network of people in your industry, family, friends, etc.

Don’t be swayed by what social media or other business owners say – again to reiterate the point from earlier, this has to be unique to you so even if someone has a success story in the same industry, that doesn’t necessarily make it right for you.

To use an analogy I recently read – you’re having a coffee with lots of successful business owners and you ask for advice on what you should do next to grow your business. One business owner says that you should start selling Oreo biscuits because she’s seen her turnover triple as a result. Another says you should start selling homemade chocolate cake because it’s increased her customer advocacy. Finally, the last business owner says you should start selling celery because it’s a great source of antioxidants.

Now, all these examples are a complete truth and make complete sense to the individuals selling them. But, say your brand is a healthy living one that promotes eating whole, good, nutritious foods – there’s really only one example from your business friends that applies to you despite them all experiencing various forms of success: the celery idea wins hands down.

It’s the same with your website. Just because onsite personalization has worked for someone else and they’re shouting rather loudly about it on LinkedIn, it doesn’t make it right for your company. Just because someone’s just spent over £1m bringing in a new ERP and has seen their internal efficiencies increase tenfold, it doesn’t make it right for you.

3. Sift through the noise

How? Well, reach out to a partner that is able to help you ask the right questions. I talk to lots of different types of people on a day-to-day basis as you can imagine and our process as an agency is to always recommend a discovery phase before ANYTHING.

Why? Well because discovery is much more than just a mere scope of work that an agency can build from, it’s time that enables everyone to take a back step and really thrash out exactly why and what needs to be done. A premium agency should always be asking provocative questions based on their previous experience of enabling success for their clients. If they don’t or you don’t want your chosen agency/partner to, you’re looking for a ‘yes’ agency – an agency that just says yes to whatever you ask from them.

Trust should always be a key component of any agency relationship and the only way to establish it is to prove your value and ultimately prompt your client to think and rethink everything that is being proposed. Think about the people in your life that you trust the most – I’ll bet that the majority of these people will give you the truth regardless of whether it’s perceived as positive or negative. I’ll also bet that you take these truths on board and give them proper thought – a working relationship is still a relationship between people. There shouldn’t be a difference.

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