Radha R, EVP and head of retail, consumer produce and manufacturing at Mindtree, on the innovators and game-changers in e-commerce
The timeline of technological advances in the history of commerce is marked by occasional major game-changers followed by incremental, yet significant, improvements. For instance, the modern credit card was born in 1950, a breakthrough that gave consumers the ability to make cash-less transactions across multiple retailers. From there, incremental improvements included the switch from carbon-copy “charge plate” receipts, to printed receipts generated by data on magnetic strips, and eventually do-it-yourself card payments at gas station pumps and elsewhere.
But the advent of e-commerce in the 1990s is perhaps the most significant technological breakthrough in commerce, ever. It opened up the world economy to everyone, and the numbers since then have been staggering. On a global level, e-commerce is expected to account for $1.5 trillion in sales worldwide in 2014, a 20% increase over 2013.
As a global leader in IT solutions for these industries, Mindtree decided to create a new award programme with IGD, a membership organisation for the retail and consumer goods industries with 800 members worldwide. The award aims to recognise important innovations in e-commerce that make significant improvements to companies’ profits and growth while also enhancing the shopping experience for customers.
And the winner Is…
We were thrilled that the strong response kept us busy and made for some tough decisions, with lots of submissions from premier retail and CPG companies. In the end, our panel of expert judges chose Constant Commerce, formerly known as Foodity. It built a platform that allows brands and media organisations to easily create engaging (and shoppable) digital content, apps and ads about food, health/fitness, parenting, and beauty and personal care.
The platform really has the ability to drive change in e-commerce. It’s developed based on strong shopper and customer insight, and its execution is graceful and stylish. With its straightforward interface, transferable content and first-class technology, Constant Commerce creates a smooth experience all around for shoppers, retailers and manufacturers. In fact, we believe the platform could easily be rolled out to other industries.
Our three other finalists of course had noteworthy entries as well.
Kellogg’s three-tiered strategy to grow its business “by making it easier for shoppers to See, Find and Buy Kellogg’s products online” stood out because the “Buy” tier has delivered consistent category growth for its retail partners while also adding to Kellogg’s own sustainable growth.
Mars Chocolate made a convincing case for the use of conversion analysis, search insights and sales data to find new growth opportunities. Its insights helped Tesco improve its confectionary category taxonomy and increase category conversion by 77%.
And Waitrose’s new web and mobile grocery shopping initiatives stood out as well. The project was led by customer insight and followed a customer-centric approach to design, testing and development. The result was a new shopping experience that has translated into increased visitor numbers, more frequent purchases with higher spend-points, and even higher customer satisfaction.
What will next year bring? Only time will tell, but are certain that new innovations are sure to come.