Running hybrid commerce is challenging.

First, the interplay takes place at completely distant channels – retail and online. Maneuvering both and keeping it synchronous has many businesses in over their heads.

Moreover, being a 21st-century-commerce means you’re in against fierce competition. Chances are global players are already picking the biggest shares in your market. With their deep budgets and broad product offerings, they are known to easily top small commerces and win. Needless to say, even your small, niche competitors are also making their moves to stay relevant. So, how do you move ahead of the vast competition?

Well, the key is to know where you stand and how to progress from there.

#1 Assess your business state of the art

If they could go back in time and change things, many business owners would probably never point fingers at their product or service. They would most likely change their market strategy, reposition, and spend more time planning.

Why? Because they understand that it would save tons of resources, nerves, and costs. Reflecting back, businesses can usually detect the flaws thanks to how things are standing right now – or where their competitors took a better turn.

Your business is not a hit-and-run act. It’s a living and ever-changing matter that demands constant strategic thinking. That’s why you need to assess your business and outline steps to achieve strategic goals. Asking the following questions can help you make sense of your business state-of-art. Plus, it should help you avoid your business getting complacent and home blinded:

  • What is your business advantage and disadvantage compared to competitors?
  • How does each business unit contribute to the organization’s competitive strengths?
  • What are the business’s big weaknesses?
  • What challenges does your business face with you in a leadership position?
  • What are the most significant recent or projected changes in the organization and/or its workforce?

Revising your strategy is not as easy as ABC – hence why answering a few questions probably won’t be enough. At Net Group we offer free evaluation calls to help you assess your organization’s state of the art and make notable strategic improvements. We’d be delighted to help with things that really matter to your business.

#2 Adapt to big players

Profits are essential for long-term success. Common sense, right?

In today’s competitive marketplace, giant eCommerce brands (think Amazon) are looking for ways to “passively” increase revenues. One of the most effective ways to do so is by partnering with, well… you and other small commerce businesses. In turn, they allow you to promote and sell products on their marketplace. The blueprint is simple – if you win, they win. Profit for profit.

Exposure, lower advertising costs, warehouse rental, or order fulfillment services – you get all of it if you sell through big platforms. And it’s not just Amazon – there’s Zalando, Coolblue, Bol, and more. If you’re rethinking diversifying your risks, partnering with a big eCommerce business is an easy and lucrative way of moving ahead of your direct competitors.

In one of our recent pieces, we take a deep dive into how to win on big platforms. If you’re considering taking this route it’s a good place to start your research.

#3 Embrace new technologies

The pandemic made sure we realize technology is switching things up in the eCommerce landscape. 5G, remote management, customers switching online, process automation – game changers. Basically, the need for better business intelligence shifted gears rapidly. Yes, even now when a lot of shoppers are turning back to retail shopping (especially now).

Digitizing your brick-and-mortar is just a piece of the puzzle. Looking at eCommerce analytics… the same story. Having everything in one place – your retail and online data alike – responsive, up-to-date, and actionable… That’s an opportunity worth leveraging.

For a company looking to better manage the supply chain, BI could help understand where delays are occurring. A smart dashboard could help supply chain managers audit an entire process – from transportation means to the effects of product packaging on product delays. Moreover, sales & marketing analysts could use business intelligence to quickly make sense of complex information and adapt in real-time – discount insights, campaign performance, conversion rates, etc.

Moving past data silos that just allow you to observe one channel cut off from a complete picture is a must. It has the potential to connect those dots and give your business an upper hand in a competitive race.

#4 Leave it to professionals

Outsourcing is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of knowing your core focus and sticking to it. And that focus – at least for most Benelux companies – is usually not marketing or digitization.

Let us give you a couple of reasons why you should always consider delegating work:

  • Your company cannot do it better. If you can, maybe it’s time you pivot your business or find a better partner…
  • Doing everything is distracting. What’s worse, your core business slowly begins to suffer due to far-stretched efforts.
  • Your team will thank you. They’ll find their workload reduced and in turn feel motivated after witnessing improvements.
  • Streamlined decision-making. Once you stop managing secondary business segments, you’ll find decisions run much smoother.

Tutoring another company about your business and processes is not a walk in the park. A common impediment to outsourcing is the learning curve you and your new partners have to bear. Not to mention project management, collaboration, and embracing new tool stacks… It all adds up to cause a mild headache.

However, over time, your involvement usually decreases and headaches turn into well-needed clarity. You can finally focus on what matters – selling goods, negotiating deals, and looking for higher profits!

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