Agile process management is success-critical

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A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Amazon Webstore

The Agility Imperative
Embracing Software-As-A-Service To Drive Customer Intimacy In A Fast-Changing World April 2013

Forrester Consulting

The Agility Imperative

Table Of Contents
Executive Summary .............................................................................................................................................................. 2 Firms Must Embrace Agility To Serve Today’s Complex Consumers ............................................................................... 3 Retailers And Manufacturers Are Adopting Different, But Complex, Strategies ............................................................... 5 For Many Firms, SaaS Is Now An Attractive Option To Deliver Agility At Scale .......................................................... 10 Key Recommendations ....................................................................................................................................................... 13 Appendix A: Methodology ................................................................................................................................................. 14

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About Forrester Consulting
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Forrester Consulting

The Agility Imperative

Executive Summary
Online retail is changing. It is no longer enough to take a “build it and they will come” approach to creating eCommerce websites. Customers are more demanding, and the competitive environment is tougher than ever before. In response, retailers and manufacturers are embracing a range of tactics to drive customer intimacy in order to create long-term customer value with their online shoppers. But as customer behavior is so volatile and changeable, firms need both agility and focus in order to keep pace: the agility to constantly modify their online strategies and the focus to concentrate on building differentiated customer experiences, rather than be distracted by low-value tasks. In January 2013, Amazon Webstore commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate how leading retail and manufacturing brands are driving their online growth. To further explore this trend, Forrester developed a hypothesis that tested the assertion that retailers and manufacturers are increasingly searching for ways to drive customer intimacy by better targeting specific segments and that software-as-a-service (SaaS) commerce solutions can provide firms with the level of flexibility and adaptability they need to create tailored customer experiences. By conducting an in-depth survey of 161 leading North American, UK, and German retailers and manufacturers as well as interviewing six eBusiness professionals, Forrester found that while delivering value and convenience to their shoppers will always be a primary driver of online growth, firms are seeking the flexibility to launch: • Seasonal flash sales to clear old inventory.

• Specialty brand sites to better focus on target customer segments. • Branded outlet stores to increase margins on stock disposals. • Curated stores...
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