The Matrix Commerce Post Pandemic Playbook #COVID19

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Over the past seven weeks, Constellation Research, Inc. has fielded hundreds of calls from CXO’s about what to consider in the business and technology response to the coronavirus and Covid-19 fall out.

The conversations with clients and the analysis from the research team have resulted in a Post Pandemic Playbook that considers the context of public health and economic health with (see Figure 1):

  • People and process
  • Technology
  • Business models and economy
  • Politics and legislation

Figure 1. The Post Pandemic Playbook

Source: Constellation Research, Inc.

Building off of Constellation’s PESTEL frameworks, the result is an actionable playbook of what’s required for success for executives seeking guidance in Constellation’s business themes (see Figure 2)

Figure 2. Constellation’s Business Themes

Source: Constellation Research, Inc.

AI, Digital, and Cloud Drive Matrix Commerce Pandemic Playbook

Matrix Commerce analyzes the disruptive pressures influencing the commerce paradigm. Commerce faces rapidly changing business models and new payment options that are often misunderstood and poorly integrated.

Matrix commerce (TM) means the fusing of demand signals and supply chains in an increasingly complex world where buyers seek frictionless buying experiences. Friction in this new world originates from new regulatory requirements such as sustainability, taxation, and privacy.

As commerce continues to evolve around buyer preferences, channels, demand signals, supply chains, payment options, enablers, and big data will converge to create Matrix Commerce. Matrix Commerce spans across disciplines as people, process, and technologies continue to transform today’s commerce models.

Conversations with matrix commerce business and technology leaders have led to 12 key trends in the post pandemic world:

  1. Diversify supply chains.  The norm was a global supply chain with outsourced operations and heavy concentration in regions such as China. International relations and security concerns have shifted priorities to diversifying production and distribution.  Business continuity risk management has many organizations moving to a near shore model and also ensuring domestic availability.
  2. Double down on demand planning.  Sales and operations planning (S&OP) have never been hotter.  Demand planning is a business process that forecasts demand for a product or service.  The result is a more efficient production and delivery to stake holders.
  3. Focus on top 20% of SKU’s.  Leaders have identified their highest volume SKU’s as well as their most profitable SKU’s to determine which products to double down on.  Prioritization and focus have enabled organizations to ensure supply meets demand while some operations are furloughed or shut down.
  4. Digitize channels.  The shift to mobile , voice assistant enabled, and online ordering has never been more important.  Digitization enables contactless commerce and frees up FTE’s to focus on core operations.
  5. Build subscription business models.  Organizations with subscription business models have fared the best with minimal cancellations. Identify where a product, service, experience, or outcome can be brought down to bite size chunks in a subscription model.
  6. Move to direct to consumer.  From B2B organizations to organizations that have never sold direct, the shift to D2C is very real.  Shifting from selling bulk to smaller packaging sizes will be the toughest challenge for B2B organizations used to high volume, large quantity orders.
  7. Optimize pricing.  Now’s the time to invest in pricing optimization solutions.  Understand the factors to pricing elasticity and understand how to optimize pricing models by channel, region, industry, economic trend, and supply.
  8. Drive up automation.  Decentralized work environments have sped up the need for automation.  With scarce labor on hand and the need to make more rapid decisions, investments in both AI and automation have increased.
  9. Build dynamic feedback loops for personalization.  Learn how to use attribution, context, dynamic choices, A/B testing to identify long term patterns to create digital feedback loops.  Determine how to apply AI to improve personalization.
  10. Move to event driven architectures/ micro services. Upgrade your architecture to support the latest approach. EDAs promote the creation, production, detection, consumption of, and reaction to events.  These events can be mined for improved AI and orchestration of personalized journeys
  11. Accelerate payments.  Improve your payments infrastructure to support contactless commerce.  Upgrade your security systems with better payment gateways and advanced billing capabilities. Invest in billing platforms that enable subscription capabilities and accurate revenue recognition.
  12. Deliver contactless commerce.  From buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) to buy online pickup at curb (BOPAC), to other means for prepayment and delivery, the rush to contactless commerce has never been so great.  Buyers expect zero tampering and contamination of their products during delivery. Organizations must support contactless commerce variants as conditions change.

Over the course of the next few weeks, the research team will provide specific details for each business theme.   The need to create a response and playbook have never been greater.  Learn from the current best practices and share your thoughts.  Enclosed is the high level overview for guidance in creating your post pandemic playbook.

(Cross-posted @ A Software Insider’s Point of View)

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