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E-commerce: the search for total digital solution = wrong target

“E-commerce is where the growth is, it is all that matters today”, is a popular mantra, but it misses what customers want and how customers - both business and consumers - behave. The recent Mckinsey&Co report - More than digital plus traditional: A truly omnichannel customer experience by Raffaella Bianchi, Michal Cermak, and Ondrej Dusek - shows how to combine yesterday and tomorrow.

Impressive rush to digital

Two recent announcements show suppliers are striving to provide complete digital solutions:

  • Basware released its cloud e-procurement solution suite using the recently acquired Verian solution suite which, according to the company, empowers users to more fully communicate with each other and engage in the buying process. The new solution’s expanded capabilities include: receiver and buyer enhancements, one-click capabilities extended to email approvals, account coding enhancements and mobile application enhancements, including the ability to approve expense reports remotely.
  • Deutsche Post DHL Group are enhancing their commitment to international sales by adding eight new distribution centres to support cross-border e-commerce.

The level of commitment to local and international e-commerce is impressive, but according to McKinsey&Company report it misses the point.

Cost-effective e-commerce development

The report concludes that

  1. companies need to recognise that, although customers are demanding digital, it is not to the exclusion of other channels, which remain critically important
  2. mapping out the journeys customers follow among the channels reveals the most important opportunities for channels to cooperate
  3. companies can avoid pitfalls by understanding customer pain points and making gradual changes.

Kye charts in the McKinsey&Company report showed:

  • the impact of adopting a sensitive mnichannel approach:
  • how the mapping of customer flows highlights important pain points:

CTMfile take: Corporate treasury departments tend to be involved in choosing the payments systems for e-commerce, however, they also have a responsibility to improve the overall efficiency of the business where the balance between traditonal and digital is critical. Report is worth skimming at least.

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