We Need to Talk: Critical Commerce Conversations to Have Today With Your C-Suite



Consumer technology, and in particular mobile, has tipped the scales of power in the favor of consumers. Researchers are now calling this trend the “Age of the Consumer”. This has resulted in more and more organizations looking to implement “experience-driven commerce”. But as with all major corporate initiatives, getting leaders onboard is paramount. The C-Suite needs to understand the potential of experience-driven commerce for your organization. The question is: how do you go about starting the conversation?

Different executives will have varying levels of understanding regarding what the strategy should consist of. Each will have their own set of driving forces to harness and myths to challenge. In this post, we discuss some of their perceptions, goals, and concerns that you may encounter, and how to address them.


CEOs are confronting the need to transform while still growing annually and they are facing an era of unprecedented change. Disruptive technologies have blind-sided whole industries and continue to do so.

Their main concern is to identify technologies that have the potential to sideline the business and understand how they can use them to their advantage – before getting wiped out.

When discussing commerce strategy with the CEO, make these points:

  • Customers expect a uniform experience across the brand.
  • Customers are expecting great digital experiences in step with their other digital experiences.
  • Ask the CEO to champion an omnichannel strategy.


Of all of the people in an organization, the marketing decision maker or CMO will likely best understand an omnichannel strategy, because they are already contending with multi-channel communications.

They also probably already have some kind of content management system that might span multiple touchpoints, for example across their web site, Facebook and mobile application.

CMOs are concerned with brand image and speed to market. CMOs know that there is a window that might close if your organization can’t rapidly shift to omnichannel commerce.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when chatting with the CMO:

  • We can start with a showcase project to demonstrate success.
  • There are technologies available that will accelerate the process.
  • Ask them where they think the biggest “wins” would be.


Your organization’s CIO has spent years building systems to support multiple business processes. Or, they have inherited them. Either way, the new imperative for multiple customer touchpoints has thrown a monkey wrench into these heavily orchestrated legacy systems. A lot of money has been spent trying to get them to talk to other systems.

If you find yourself speaking directly with the CIO, make these points:

  • Omnichannel commerce is a reality that we need to move toward quickly.
  • APIs can help us get there. And integrate seamlessly with what we already have running in the backend, preserving existing IT investments.
  • Ask them to help make an omnichannel strategy possible.

What’s stopping your organization from achieving omnichannel, experience-driven commerce? You can get there. Use the tips in this post to help frame your conversations with the C-Suite, and they’ll help you to progress on experience- driven commerce maturity faster.

This post is an except from the new ebook “The Future of Commerce: Critical Conversations To Have Today With Your C-Suite.” There’s more great material available in the free ebook. Download a copy at here 


Reprinted by permission.
Image credit: CC by Valeri Kenski

About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

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