Experience will become a matter of ‘life or death’

By Boris Lokschin, CEO and Co-founder, Spryker

In recent years, we’ve seen customer expectations for exceptional digital commerce experiences rising. 2022 has seen the emergence of new shopping modes like social commerce, live shopping, Q-commerce, and checkoutless – driven by a demand for novel, engaging, and innovative buying experiences. This year at Spryker, one of our most significant projects was our work with multinational grocery chain Aldi to open checkoutless stores in the UK, transforming the in-store experience.

In 2023, we’re likely to see these trends continue to take the market by storm. By 2025, 60% of consumers expect more than half of the retail space to be focused on experience rather than product. Whether via social media, apps, or with hybrid in-store shopping, businesses must provide exceptional and seamless digital experiences.

However, many businesses are still struggling to meet this demand because they are limited by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ monolithic approach to their digital infrastructure. This leaves them without the option to customize their storefront, introduce new integrations, or explore innovative experiences like embedding VR and AR. These businesses will struggle in 2023, as experience becomes a matter of ‘life or death’. As customers’ budgets shrink, they will become even more selective about where they spend their cash. Businesses that can offer something new and exciting will flourish, while competitors hamstrung by legacy tech will fall by the wayside.

Smart businesses will become recession resilient

As talks of a recession echo around all sectors, commerce will be no exception. To become recession resilient, businesses don’t need to reinvent the wheel – they need to make existing processes more efficient. This means becoming more agile. In times of economic uncertainty, businesses can’t afford months of downtime as they wait for new features and services to go live. With a modern composable commerce approach, businesses can swiftly develop and integrate new functionalities. This agility allows them to quickly adopt packaged business components – from inventory management to payment providers – to outpace competitors.

Savvy digital commerce businesses will also make use of smart software solutions to optimize business processes, including contract management, warehouse and resource planning, and logistics. Businesses can also address the age-old problem of delivery costs by using software to make fulfillment more efficient, via smart routing and sharing delivery vehicle space with other companies, and streamlined click-and-collect and “locker” options. But these services can’t simply be tacked onto an out-of-date architecture – to make the best use of software and see real business results, businesses need to embrace a composable approach to digital commerce.

We are moving into an era where EXPERIENCE becomes a matter of ‘life or death’. By 2025, 60% of consumers expect more than half of the retail space to be focused on experience rather than product.

The rise of the marketplace

We’ve recently seen a growing number of digital commerce businesses investing in the marketplace model, which is a trend set to continue in 2023. It’s not hard to see why. Marketplaces allow businesses to gain repeat customers and a wider customer base without the burden of inventory risk. Another reason for the interest is the role of the marketplace model in improving sustainability, which is increasingly important to both retailers and customers. Marketplaces give digital commerce businesses the opportunity to branch out into second-hand goods, ‘re-commerce’, and the circular economy.

By investing in the right set of capabilities, businesses have the potential to carve out their own lucrative niche – but they can only do this when backed with the best technology. Composable commerce is key. A composable approach that lets businesses choose best-of-breed functionalities to manage all elements of the commerce ecosystem and embrace new models like marketplaces, stands to gain a wider customer base and weather the peaks and troughs of the year ahead.


JAN 2023