Customer-led e-commerce?

James Hammersley, CEO & Co-Founder Good Growth

For many well-established businesses, investment has needed to compete across multiple channels and whilst growth is most often online, it’s from a pretty low base. Maximising the value from investment in technology is therefore as much of an issue as keeping abreast of the latest developments. What’s clear from a number of recent high-profile misfortunes is that if you’re being told you need a new website to make more money - alarm bells should start ringing.

One of the criticisms often made of e-commerce teams is that they are too technology-focused and not commercial enough. The reverse, however, could be said of many business leaders who, instead of developing their own expertise, have relied heavily on the reassurance of experts who promise that additional investment in new or existing technology is a ‘must have’ in order to compete on equal terms.

At times, the pressure for change can feel relentless and without the familiarity of having grown up in a digital ‘business as usual’ environment, business leaders can find themselves faced with challenging investment decisions. These can present a significant dilemma where leaders can find themselves being faced with significant investment requests from e-commerce teams that promise growth in the future, yet these same teams have a track record of constant failure of previous investments in technology to make the advertised returns.

James Hammersley, CEO and Co-Founder of Good Growth, suggests that leaders need to re-establish control and impose an approach he calls ‘Digital Unplugged’.

In other words, re-frame the issue of growth and define it as more of a people or customer issue, rather than one of technology.

It removes technology as the driver of change and re-asserts the primacy of the customer. If a business isn’t clear on the customers’ agenda and particularly why they fail to engage with its proposition, then it won’t fully invest in order to maximise growth.

Good Growth has developed an operational methodology that can help businesses to transform the performance of their technology without significant, additional capital investment.

Good Growth extract valuable data for a range of clients, including: The Economist, Regus, ODEON, Virgin Active, O2 and M&Co.

Arguably, there are certainly times when technology has needed to change. However, effective business ‘operating models’ are based on identifying improvements to digital channels continuously to keep driving growth, and as a result, significant change should be something that happens occasionally rather than regularly. Continuous improvement offers a step-by-step change in performance, rather than a monumental catch-up in order to bring the business up-to-date. This is an operating model that puts people first, and the most important people are customers.

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