What is an ecommerce strategy?

An ecommerce strategy is describing the ambition and key decisions or principles to realise the ambition. It is not describing in detail what you need to do on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis, but sometimes it is good to define some stepping stones your organization needs to achieve in order to reach the ambition level.


For some organizations the ecommerce strategy is the company strategy (eg your organization is an online retailer) for other organizations the ecommerce strategy is part of a larger strategy (eg for a physical retailer opening up an online sales channel or a consumer goods company interested in exploring new go-to-market channels).


An ecommerce strategy can cover many topics, but typically covers three main themes:


1. What is our ambition in ecommerce?


In order to set your ambition it is important to fully understand the role you play (or want to play in case of new market entry) in the market. This includes collecting data and insights about your current performance online (in comparison with physical channels if relevant), what the key competitors are doing, how the overall market is developing (in general and specifically in your product and customer segments) and what you could therefore expect as the growth of your own online activities - or even better, set as expectation by following or beating the market developments.


2. How can we achieve that ambition?


When the ambition level is set, it is important to evaluate the key elements to put in place to achieve your goals. The most important elements are the products or services (and its pricing), partnership models required to achieve the ambition and the desired customer journey / customer experience. The partnerships could require an extensive cooperation in a heavily outsourced business model. You could need well-informed specialists; in that case most of the omnichannel capabilities are to be developed in-house. The desired customer experience is more and more important with an ever increasing demand from your customers to operate in an omnichannel way - which also requires to have a frequent review of your strategy.


3. Which capabilities do we need to step up?


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