Building Resilience in your Business in the Midst of Economic Uncertainty

By Meghan Stabler, Senior Vice President, BigCommerce 

Ecommerce soared during the pandemic. Retailers were forced to sell more via online. Consumers responded by expanding the marketplaces and channels in which they shopped. B2B businesses adopted B2C experiences for their online buyers. And ecommerce became a part of the retail fabric.

Now, with the undeniable presence of economic headwinds, there is a new sense of urgency for the retail industry to assess their ecommerce business models and take stock in their digital technology stacks in order to future-proof and optimize their investments.

Retailers must be forward-thinkers who envision and plan for smart tech investments that are agile, functional and flexible with the ability to quickly change and adapt. Modern enterprises need to invest in technology that enables, not hinders, delivering cutting-edge shopping experiences. Without a flexible commerce solution it’s next to impossible to drive growth especially during economic downturns.

Composable Commerce, for example, is a modular approach that allows merchants to customize their tech stacks by choosing interchangeable solutions to suit their unique business requirement. In other words, merchants have the freedom to mix, match and combine best-in-breed tech vendors to create a customized and robust stack that responds to unexpected change.

While a monolithic, one-size-fits-all approach was sufficient a decade or even just a few years ago, it is now antiquated and won’t sustain retail business innovation and growth for the long term. Regardless of macroeconomics, if you have the investment ability then now is the time to plan for, and carry through, the digital investments that will provide a solid competitive footing for when the economy rebounds.

Unpredictable Economy: Time for smart tech investments

There is a new sense of urgency for the retail industry to assess their ecommerce business models and take stock in their digital technology stacks in order to future-proof and optimize their investments.

Inflation: Consumers cautious about their purchases

Creating certainty in uncertainty

Because the cost of goods continues to rise, consumers are shopping smarter and want the convenience of shopping where they want, when they want and how they want. With numerous factors including inflation influencing the ways consumers buy online, brands will need to keep pace with current consumer behavior trends in order to remain relevant in a competitive landscape. As research shows, 73% of consumers expect companies to understand their individual needs and expectations.

Consumers will prioritize necessities over luxuries which could impact B2C merchants, but B2B will be less affected. Yet without a doubt, personalization drives customer loyalty. BigCommerce merchant Mango Bikes, a UK-based custom bike brand, is a perfect example of personalization in action. The brand’s website offers a Bike Customizer, where customers can build their ideal bike, personalizing everything from the bike’s model and color to its wheels and handlebars. Each of these personalization tactics is a new opportunity not only for Mango Bikes to increase conversions and drive sales, but also for the customer to receive the ultimate shopping experience.

Alternative payment methods and digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Amazon Pay and Venmo will continue to surge as budgets thin. During Cyber Week our merchants saw a 25% increase in buy now, pay later (BNPL) usage compared to Cyber Week 2021. To remain competitive, retailers will need to embrace flexible payment solutions for their budget-conscious customers, meeting their expectations of convenience.

As you evaluate your ecommerce strategies and technologies against a macroeconomics backdrop, consider what modern ecommerce looks like to you. It is imperative that it is future fit and composable for the next era of ecommerce. Retailers with modern ecommerce platforms that have the innovation, flexibility and agility can build business resilience through economic headwinds and beyond.


JAN 2023