What does the e really stand for in eCommerce?

Many organisations now define the e in eCommerce as “everywhere” commerce, highlighting the omni-channel opportunity it facilitates. Today’s shoppers expect access to everything, at anytime, anywhere…using the most convenient device, delivered through the most convenient channel. Businesses hoping to stay on top face increased competitive pressure, elevated shopper expectations and rapidly evolving technology.

Leading CPG companies recognise that in order to maintain scale and growth now and in an increasingly eCommerce-led environment, seizing the online opportunity is a critical step. Yet, many are still struggling to effectively organise around eCommerce and establish robust ways of working. Below we explore the capabilities for mastering the new eCommerce environment.

The ones who’ll deliver real growth will be those who develop core eCommerce capabilities and establish market leading eCommerce practices today. For example, businesses who rank highly on Amazon now with strong sales, great ratings and optimised for search will be ‘top-of-mind’ for Amazon’s algorithm when consumers embrace voice purchasing. They will grow faster and significantly outperform peers who maintain a “business-as-usual” approach.


Companies with leading eCommerce practices typically:

  • Define and communicate a clear digitally-enabled omni-channel strategy so that everyone in the organisation understands their involvement in delivery and the role it plays
  • Create teams of high-performance, dedicated specialists with the right accountabilities and reporting lines
  • Create and deploy the tools, technologies and capabilities that enable eCommerce excellence

Who should eCommerce teams report to?

We find for the majority of the leading CPG clients we work with, eCommerce typically reports into the Sales team, with the remainder reporting into Marketing. If the company’s priority is to generate sales, market share, and drive eCommerce profitability, then Sales is the logical reporting line. Focus is given to commercial decisions about distribution, price, promotion and supply chain.

If the priority is alignment across the customer experience, driving awareness and building brand equity, then Marketing may be the more logical home. This facilitates alignment with other marketing activities such as digital display advertising, search optimisation and content marketing.

However, irrespective to where eCommerce reports into within an organisation, the ability of any team to operate cross functionally and leverage the full power of the organisation in a joined-up manner will set them apart from their competitors. Indeed, due to the cross functional nature of the areas, we have seen many examples of companies lifting eCommerce out of sales and marketing completely, giving it a direct reporting line into the Chief Growth Officer.

Achieving eCommerce mastery:

Through our extensive knowledge of marketing, sales and digital capabilities we believe, that with the right support, there are a number of ways organisations can achieve eCommerce mastery…

  • e-Strategy - evaluate your company’s eCommerce capabilities and benchmark them against the industry to define a truly effective, integrated eCommerce strategy and roadmap
  • e-Customer Manager - develop and embed effective e-KAM plans with both multi-channel and ‘pureplay’ eCommerce retailers supported with the latest toolkits to engage target customers
  • e-CatMan - devise and implement a digital shelf/store activation approach that is aligned to both your broader commercial plans and customer expectations
  • e-Shopper Marketing - sharpen your organisational structure and capabilities to identify and prioritise the right messages, delivered at the right time throughout the shopper journey
  • e-Skills - build and embed eCommerce skills in your teams with bespoke blended learning interventions designed to be ‘just enough, just in time, just for me’

To find out more about how to build category development capabilities that meet the increasingly demanding consumer expectations, go here.

And if you’d like to hear more about how our Sales specialists make a real impact on the performance of people, teams and organisations in these areas, please get in touch.

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