The Digital Commerce Revolution Ushers in a New Age

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Industry-changing technologies have established ecommerce as a viable channel for selling products and services over the last 20 years.

Now transactions are possible anywhere a customer has a WiFi connection. Commerce can happen via smartphone apps, mobile devices, social media ads, live stream videos, virtual and augmented reality (AR), and even a TV or fridge.

By 2026, the market it’s estimated to reach approximately $8.1 trillion in sales. The growth of ecommerce means connecting with customers throughout your buyer’s journey is essential. How adaptable your business is to industry trends will determine your potential for success.

A digital commerce plan can help you navigate changes as your business scales. Digital commerce expands the ecommerce business model for an integrated approach that tailors the user experience to their interests and preferences.

It’s the digital transaction between you and your customers, providing an end-to-end process for selling products through channels without human assistance.

Businesses that fail to adapt to the evolving digital commerce ecosystem are at risk of being left out of tomorrow’s online marketplace.

Discover how a digitally targeted approach gives you a competitive edge that can attract new customers, increase sales and lifetime value, and produce a more profitable journey.

Digital Commerce vs. Ecommerce: The big difference

Digital commerce and ecommerce are often used interchangeably but address different aspects of the buyer journey. Knowing the differences can help you better connect with customers at every touchpoint.


Ecommerce involves creating a website or store to sell products and services to customers. Then the process ends after the order shipment is complete.

However, the customer journey starts before they visit your store and continues even after order fulfillment. So ecommerce only covers a single aspect of the entire customer cycle.

Digital commerce.

When a customer views a social ad or discovers your brand from a Google search, digital commerce is happening. Digital commerce is the 2.0 version of ecommerce, a fully optimized successor.

If ecommerce is the method, digital commerce is the strategy for delivering a personalized user experience.

Digital commerce encompasses the full scope of processes and technologies in selling products and services online, from initial customer engagement and acquisition to retention and post-purchase activities.

Such as search engine optimization, market research, product descriptions, CRM, retargeted social advertisement, data analytics, payment software, supply chain management, and the logistics involved in efficiently shipping items from the warehouse to your customer.

Why digital commerce can help elevate business

Digital commerce’s adaptability lends your business various benefits. The approach has the potential to grow your store’s reach, differentiate your business from competitors, embrace emerging technologies, and create an immersive shopping experience that sustains your brand in a global market.

Lower overhead costs.

Digital commerce reduces the need for physical infrastructure and associated maintenance of brick-and-mortar stores, leading to cost savings.

The online self-service features, automated systems and efficient inventory management minimize errors and require fewer employees to manage operations, administrative tasks, and extensive customer service support.

Ability to scale quickly.

As business operations scale, digital commerce provides flexibility and agility to adapt quickly to market changes and customer demands. Attention to digital commerce will make it easy to introduce products or services, respond swiftly to market trends, capitalize on growth opportunities, access detailed customer data, and optimize your strategy.

Increased visibility.

Digital commerce allows you to go anywhere your customers are and provide a highly targeted user experience.

One way that it increases your store’s visibility is through effective SEO. Optimizing website content, meta tags, titles, and product descriptions with relevant keywords can improve your search engine ranking and make it easier for customers to find your storefront.

Other strategies that help new customers discover your products include paid advertising, social media marketing, email campaigns, and customer reviews.

Greater transparency in pricing and product info.

Digital commerce platforms empower customers with accurate and detailed product and pricing information, customer reviews, and tools to compare and evaluate products effectively. This transparency fosters trust, builds confidence, and improves the overall shopping experience.

Providing real-time stock availability information reduces the likelihood of ordering out-of-stock items and avoids potential frustrations or delays. This insight is particularly vital for large-scale retailers with a fluctuating inventory.

As 47 percent of online shoppers abandon their carts because of unforeseen charges like shipping and taxes, added price transparency ensures customers understand the total cost (base rate, discounts, promotions, shipping fees, or taxes) before purchasing the product.

With price comparison tools, Q&A sections, and live chat functionality, customers can make informed decisions based on their desired balance of price and value.

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Digital commerce challenges to keep in mind

New technologies and multiple access points to customers provide more engagement opportunities but can create unique challenges. Being aware of potential pitfalls can help you spot areas of concern and take action early to deter customer frustration.

Converting customers online.

With so much attention and resources focused on capturing new customers, retention is sometimes overlooked.

You’ve already done the hard work of convincing customers to buy your product or service and delivered on your promise, so it’s much easier to re-engage them for future purchases. It can cost five to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to nurture a previous shopper.

Use surveys and product reviews to gauge customer satisfaction and changing interests. Retarget users through marketing automation to offer promotions and incentives.

Distinguishing your business from competitors.

Technology decreases operational costs and buying time, but the dark side of a humanless process is impersonal experiences that do not distinguish your brand from the competition.

Remember that customers are more than numbers. Review your digital commerce strategy and employ social listening to identify what consumers want, think, and feel.

Implementing effective website security.

Multiple touchpoints and third-party technologies — payment processing platforms, content management systems, and increased access controls — can put your store at risk of a security breach.

Regularly updating software, employing encryption for data transitions, training team members in best practices and conducting routine security audits can assess vulnerabilities and implement multi-step authentication that protects customer data and maintains trust in your brand.

Meeting new technology expectations.

Customer expectations can change overnight. The digital commerce approach that works today could be yesterday’s news. Technologies constantly evolve and each year brings new features.

You must update your strategy regularly to stay current. Integrating emerging trends like artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, voice commerce, and augmented reality will position your brand as an industry leader.

The final word

We’re in a new age of commerce. The modern customer may seem demanding, but they know what they want, and it’s your job to know as well.

With digital commerce, you can assess user interests and behaviors throughout your channel landscape to provide a tailored, cohesive customer experience.

Utilizing analytics, trending technology, and customer feedback, you can deliver a process intuitive to users changing behavior and growing product demand.

When considering digital commerce platforms, look for a tool that unifies your interactions and provides a straightforward path for navigating the process.

FAQs about digital commerce

What are the different types of digital commerce?

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce.

Business-to-Consumer (B2B) digital commerce refers to the online transactions and interactions between two businesses.

In this model, companies sell products or services to other businesses. The order volume is generally larger at less frequency, so a subscription service with automatic renewal can engage customers for future purchases.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) digital commerce is the exchange of transactions between businesses and individual consumers.

Companies directly sell to end consumers for personal consumption through various digital channels, such as websites, mobile apps, or online marketplaces.

Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) ecommerce.

The Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) model of ecommerce enables individuals to buy and sell products or services through online platforms. Individuals act as buyers and sellers, creating a nexus for trade.

C2C platforms provide a virtual marketplace where sellers can list items and connect with potential buyers. These platforms offer features like product listings, messaging systems, and secure payment options.

For example, eBay and Amazon automate the entire buying journey from checkout to product delivery. C2C platforms are only there to facilitate transactions but have no other role in the process.

How does digital commerce impact the retail industry?

The expansive list of ecommerce platforms, commerce capabilities, marketplaces, and user-friendly technologies have removed barriers to selling products online. Setting up an ecommerce store can be as easy as 1-2-3.

The chicken and the egg effect of emerging ecommerce stores and customer demand has transformed the retail landscape.

Customers have higher expectations and more options. Consequently, selling products is no longer the top concern for retailers. Modern digital commerce pushes retail into an omnichannel approach for delivering a memorable buying experience that builds loyalty.

Brands must provide timely, uniform commerce solutions through automation, inventory, marketing and operations to distinguish their value and convert customers.

What role does social media play in digital commerce?

Social media is a powerful digital marketing tool for connecting with your target audience, showcasing products and driving engagement and sales. It enhances brand visibility, facilitates customer interactions, and provides opportunities for direct purchasing, making it an integral part of digital commerce.

Most ecommerce platforms and social channels have an algorithm that constantly analyzes customer behavior. Every purchase, like and post share informs what they see next. This information helps better position product ads and website placements.

Leveraging algorithms and analytics software can help your team optimize your social media marketing strategies to respond to “micro-moments” across your customer funnel, ultimately improving your return on investment.

Social media also increases the importance of a seamless digital experience compatible with apps and the mobile version of your website.


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