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Top 5 Challenges for Ecommerce Leaders

Ananda Chakravarty
Director, Retail Omnichannel Strategy

Gartner reports that worldwide spending on digital commerce platform technology is projected to reach $8.544B by 2020 with 14 percent annual growth. Current conditions support the mounting pressures for ecommerce leaders to strengthen their digital commerce strategy:

  • Ecommerce is the primary retail growth engine expected to reach 17 percent of retail by 20221
  • 81 percent of retail shoppers start their buying journey with online research2
  • 71 percent of consumers report a fast, responsive online experience is important to their shopping experience3


Today’s ecommerce leaders are faced with these five top challenges:

  1. Ecommerce IS Retail: Digital has become one with the physical retail environment and omnichannel is the driver merging these environments. Consumers are looking for convenience when buying a product, regardless of channel. Many retail executives are faced with the task of integrating their ecommerce units with their store units and treating ecommerce as part of the retail environment rather than a separate channel, or even a separate store. This means integration of services, capabilities, inventories, and data.
  2. Capitalizing on Data: Speaking of data, the next challenge ecommerce is facing comes from the expansion of the ecommerce function to be part of a holistic brand solution rather than an autonomous side business. Leading retailers are working to build in efficiencies from ship from store, omnichannel solutions like BOPIS, and new KPIs beyond conversion rates and AOV. The retailer needs to capture and measure data in new ways – including in-store shopping data, loyalty data, etc. This means new data visualization, targeting, cross-digital/physical impact, and using this data to improve monetization in local stores.
  3. Personalization at Scale: Without a doubt, personalization has been a key factor for retailers for several years. Developing the 1:1 relationship with the customer has been the holy grail for retailers. The Ecommerce VP continues to strengthen their tools and capabilities to reach this goal. Opportunities are opening where additional customer data can now be used to better understand the individual customer and personalize the customer experience through automated, smart algorithms. This means added commerce tools, new machine learning, and cross-application data sharing.
  4. Worldwide Expansion: Over 1.8 billion users purchased products online in 2017.4 Countries like China, India, Indonesia, and Mexico continue to grow ecommerce faster than the US and the UK.5 For the ecommerce leader, this translates into localization of everything on the site, payments, and delivery. The laundry list is long for internationalization. This means addressing issues like taxes, currencies, cross-border transactions, talent, cross-border fulfillment, onsite language translation, local customs, privacy, and government regulations.
  5. Mobile Influence: Mobile commerce transactions volume will eclipse desktop transactions this year.6 More important is the fact that the personal nature of the smartphone enables the consumer to pull out their phones while they’re shopping in the store engaging with products, pulling product information, and comparing prices or styles. New in-store capabilities such as self-checkout on mobile phones, mobile loyalty information, and mobile payment options like ApplePay are increasingly impacting sales. The retail digital manager has more on their plate to worry about than simply conversions. This means integration of back-end systems in real time, endless aisle capabilities, new payment gateways, and building and maintaining loyalty app functionality for potentially large customer bases.

Optimize Your Digital Commerce Strategy

Ecommerce sales are on course to deliver double-digit growth for years to come, reaching 17 percent of retail sales by 2022.7 But even more important is the pivotal role that every ecommerce experience plays in determining a customer’s next purchase, inclination to visit stores, and long-term loyalty to the brand. A future-proof digital commerce strategy that addresses today’s top challenges and meets retailers’ business goals is a must.

Delivering modern shopping experiences with yesterday's technology doesn’t work. Leverage Oracle’s breadth and depth in retail to put control in your hands to simplify your technology footprint, innovate faster, and deliver AI-driven experiences that drive engagement and loyalty wherever your shoppers are.

Oracle Commerce Cloud (OCC) empowers retail executives like you to:

Operate as a Modern Omnichannel Retailer

  • Develop digital and physical capabilities and data sharing across systems
  • Facilitate specific built-in front-end omnichannel experiences such as Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store
  • Pre-integrated order broker solution for data sharing and saving the sale

Turn Data into Insights, Knowledge, & Market Leadership

  • Discover new customer insights with deep demographic, geography, & interest profiles powered by Bluekai & Oracle Data Cloud
  • Target new in market customers with automatic lookalike audience creation via integration with Bluekai
  • Make better decisions with interactive dashboards & data visualizations from Oracle Business Intelligence

Inspire Shoppers, Drive Loyalty with Personalization at Scale

  • Seize micromoments with AI-driven search, offers, & recommendations for hypertargeting
  • Boost & constrain results & offers with supervisory controls & dynamic curation
  • Speak to every customer with drag & drop, audience-specific content & promotions
  • Experiment & optimize with built-in A/B testing and lift analysis

Support Brand, Business Model, & International Expansion

  • Direct to consumer & wholesale with one platform
  • Deploy multiple brand & country sites with one platform
  • Support for over 35 global languages & 60 currencies
  • Open frameworks for pricing, promotions, payments, tax, & shipping

Capitalize on the Continued Rise of Mobile & Smart Devices

  • Speed time-to-market with 60+ mobile-first storefront widgets
  • Optimize experiences on any device with responsive & adaptive layouts
  • Streamline checkout with mobile payments framework for Apple Pay
  • Sell everywhere with API-first commerce-as-a-service to connect smart devices in headless & microservices architectures

Smart digital retail execs can address challenges with the right set of tools. Strong digital leadership in retail begins with knowing your destination and follows with having the right resources to take you there.

Learn more about Oracle Commerce Cloud:



1,7E-Commerce will make up 17% of all US retail sales by 2022 – and one company is the main reason

218 Statistics Retail Marketers Need to Know for 2019

3The New Topography of Retail


5The fastest growing global e-commerce markets

6451 Research’s Global Unified Commerce Forecast Uncovers Dramatic Shifts In Consumer Spending Patterns

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