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Posted by Brian Walker on March 11, 2011
Multichannel commerce no longer makes sense. As consumers are increasingly connected through a wide array of Internet-connected devices, the traditional multichannel commerce experience is becoming obsolete. Customers no longer interact with companies from a “channel” perspective; instead, they interact through touchpoints. These touchpoints include channels such as stores, branches, call centers, and websites, but also emerging interactions such as apps, social media, mobile sites, SMS messages, and interactive advertising -- across a wide range of devices such as smartphones, tablets, Internet TVs, cars, and even appliances.
As a result, it is time for organizations to leave their channel-oriented ways behind and enter the era of agile commerce —optimizing their people, processes, and technology to serve today’s empowered, ever-connected customers across this rapidly evolving set of customer touchpoints. This is agile commerce.
Agile commerce is not just an incremental change; it’s a metamorphosis to a new form of operations and technology orientation. While the pieces and capabilities of an agile commerce operation may look similar to those focused for years on multichannel commerce, it’s how they come together and how the organization responds to the customer that represents the significant change. With the advent of agile commerce, organizations need to reconfigure resources and capabilities to stay ahead of the rate of change as consumer technology adoption and behaviors change. The customer is now at the center, and delivering relevant content, commerce, and service is the key to delivering on the new reality.
For months now we have been interviewing industry leading executives from a wide range of verticals, including retail, travel, financial services, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, media, and technology across North America and Europe. We have also spent time with many of the best from the vendor community who support those businesses with services and technology. What we found is contained in this report: Welcome To The Era Of Agile Commerce.
We hope you enjoy the report, and we look forward to sharing much more research on the transition to agile commerce throughout the year, including a great report from my colleague Alex Hesse: “Next-Generation Digital Financial Services.” Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the valuable contributions from many of my colleagues at Forrester Research who made this report what it is, including Carrie Johnson, Patti Freeman Evans, Benjamin Ensor, Zia Daniell Wigder, Beth Hoffman, Lily Varon, Drew Benson, Peter Sheldon, Henry Harteveldt, Sucharita Mulpuru, Diane Clarkson, Ellen Carney, Steven Noble, Alex Hesse, Bill Doyle, Brad Strothkamp, Emmitt Higdon, Charles Golvin, George Lawrie, and Andrew Stockwell.
Thanks, and please share your thoughts and comments, Brian