February 2nd, 2022 | 4 MIN READ

Gartner Predicts 2022: Total Ownership Wins the Day

Written by author_profile_images Emily Kathi

Emily Kathi is a Senior Content Marketing Writer at Elastic Path. She writes about product, trends, and all things related to digital commerce.

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In the wake of massive disruption to the eCommerce industry begins a new year of challenges and changes. Each year Gartner makes market predictions based on trends and research. We’ve covered two predictions in the series regarding unified commerce and the B2B customer experience, and now a third prediction with core responsibilities and roles within digital commerce org strategy.

Here’s what Gartner predicts:

By 2025, organizations with distributed responsibilities for digital commerce  will outperform those without by 25% in revenue growth.”

From IT-Only to All Hands-on Deck

Digital commerce strategy and implementation has traditionally been treated as an IT project. Simply build a website, and they will come - a purely transactional relationship. As digital commerce exponentially grew in recent years, most notably within the last two years of pandemic affect, an omnichannel experience is mission critical. The requirements became more sophisticated, and ownership expanded beyond a special project status managed by a handful of developers or a CIO.

To create the seamless experience customers now demand, (and will happily go elsewhere to find), digital commerce evolved into a multi-disciplinary enabled transformation; the roster had to expand, and fast. Everyone from marketing, sales, IT, finance, customer support, and logistics is integral to the success of an organization’s eCommerce strategy.

Gartner supports this shift with findings from their 2021 Digital Commerce State of the Union Survey: 84% of respondents indicated there can be more than 12 primary leaders of a digital commerce initiative. The remaining respondents cited no primary lead for a digital commerce strategy. Similar questions posed in a 2019 survey produced the same results. A shift has occurred towards a digital commerce approach of total ownership distributed across the organization.

Bottom line: a siloed environment is the death of CX. When fostering innovation and a truly friction-free customer journey a vertical organizational structure may seem more efficient, but it creates barriers to growth; more often than not the structure results in perceived boundaries among teams stifling forward motion and worse yet, adversely affecting your customer’s experience as they move through each stage. A frustrated customer will soon no longer be your customer.

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Provide the Path of Least Resistance

Frictionless, low barrier access to you and your products or services is key to the customer experience. The easier you make it for your customer, the better performance and metrics will be. According to Gartner’s findings here’s where to focus:

  • Establish a coordinated technology vision across the organization with multiple business leaders, with emphasis on integrating sales into the digital commerce motion
  • Identify points of business interaction within the vision and ensure representation to meet those needs cross functionally
  • Establish goals and KPIs to support the entire CX journey, requiring multiple teams and collaboration

The results from a coordinated vision and integrated digital commerce strategy, according to Gartner, include better performance as mentioned, and increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Stemming from increased customer confidence, organizations should also see a decrease in customer acquisition cost.

Distributed teams and the Composable Commerce Approach

The Composable Commerce approach towards digital commerce supports distributed teams/coordinated vision strategy.

From its foundational principles in modularity, flexibility, an open ecosystem, and a business-forward mindset, leading with a distributed team supports bringing together the business and tech leaders for the greater good of digital commerce, ultimately creating differentiated customer experiences quickly and cost effectively.

When we look at the partner ecosystem within the Composable Commerce approach, there are parallels as you develop and scale your digital commerce platform - you are free to engage with vendor and tech partners without being locked into a particular service or partner. You use what resources you need to accomplish your unique business goals.

A second parallel comes from the beginning of your replatforming journey as you’re considering what to do or where to go next. A key action is to get all the players in the room to determine where you are now and map out your digital commerce vision. That team roster may look different from company to company, but it should involve a diverse representation. As Gartner points out marketing, sales, customer service, supply chain, IT, and finance all should have a seat at the table.

Read a full list of Gartner’s 2022 Predictions  and stay tuned for more highlights from their extensive research and survey findings.

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