This kind of success takes a clear vision, strategic process and earned trust. It is not about experimenting haphazardly without direction, shared input or a shared sense of the desired outcomes. Getting results and making informed decisions on how to act on them requires moving through several key milestones:

1. Set clear goals

Ensure that manufacturers and partners agree on what they want to achieve together and set measurable targets for the overall business as well as for each experiment.

2. Get smart fast

Deep dive into a discovery process to get insights into past performance and the current challenges to validate and prioritize problems.

3. Know the landscape

Understand the breadth and depth of both the brand’s and the retail partner’s digital offerings and capabilities.

4. Develop hypotheses

Use all the insights gathered to develop a set of priority hypotheses to be tested. Make sure there is a strong connection to the agreed upon goals and validated problems.

5. Experiment and measure

Determine the optimal solutions by conducting statistical tests (A/B, multi-variate, etc.) on high-priority experience areas and commit to a measurement plan.

6. Scale what works

Maximize the impact by rolling out winners to everyone and creating a roadmap for how to plan investments, including iterations on the most successful experiments.

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The final destination

With a foundation of trust, the relationship can progress toward the ultimate goal. This is manufacturers having continuous and direct control of their brand and product experiences across their partner ecosystems—all the way to the digital shelf.

Think of it as the digital equivalent to taking ownership over the full supply chain. Going beyond content syndication, what’s needed is to transform the relationship with retail partners. Inspired by Direct Store Delivery (DSD) with the benefit of 21st century digital experience platforms, a new model—Direct Experience Delivery (DXD)—is the final destination. Giving manufacturers direct control to optimize their brand and product experiences within a retailer site also frees up the retailer’s resources to focus on differentiating and optimizing their digital shopping experiences, which is needed to successfully compete. Again, everyone wins from the performance improvements that come from constant testing and learning.

Because nothing is static in digital commerce

Making the most of digital experiences takes an ongoing commitment to testing and learning. Brands need to know if the right content, messaging and advertising is resonating with consumers.

The best way to find out is by experimenting together. Beloved brands with high-demand products have the leverage and influence to get retailers on board. And progressive, digital savvy retailers are likely to be the strongest partners.

But manufacturers must be good partners too. They have to be visionary. The goal has to be more than operational excellence. It must be an aspiration to transform the dynamics of how manufacturers and retailers relate, evolving from a supplier relationship to a true partnership.

Dan Cardamone

Global Lead – Marketplace Optimization, Accenture Interactive


Jeriad Zoghby

Global Lead – Consumer Goods & Services, Accenture Interactive​

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