A Digital Commerce Capability Maturity Model

In my last blog, Six Key Capabilities for Digital Commerce Success, I quoted this statistic:

80% of Digital Commerce Businesses fail

The six key capabilities to ensure success are customers, business models, channels, organization, innovation and technology.


But not every enterprise can suddenly become world leaders in all six capabilities. Indeed, not all companies will even want or need to be world leaders. To create a robust Digital Commerce Strategy, enterprises need to understand how mature their current capabilities are, and how much they want to improve them.


To help evaluate a company’s Digital Commerce Maturity, Cnetric has created a Digital Commerce Maturity Model, with 5 levels of maturity:

1.       Basic – this is where most digital businesses start out, with their first online storefronts, in a single market or geography. Implementations often suffer from poor customer experience and lack customer service. Executives are not as fully supportive of these initiatives as they need to be. Innovations such as Artificial Intelligence are unlikely to be used.

2.       Improvement – as businesses start to improve their capabilities, they may look to add multiple channels, automate marketing and improve customer experience. Executive sponsors  become more engaged and some early innovation trials take place.

3.       Maturity – mature businesses look to omni-channel commerce and sales across B2C, B2B and B2B2C markets. Through effective marketing, their brands become respected and they regularly perform analysis of their customers’ experience and behavior to ensure excellent customer service. They have strong executive sponsors and typically have a dedicated digital commerce department. From a technology standpoint, they may utilize a headless commerce architecture and leveraging microservices, Artificial Intelligence and run frequent, successful innovation trials.

4.       Leadership – those who rise above a general level of maturity to become true leaders often have a multi-geography business model and open their business up to others as a “business as a platform” (e.g. AirBnb). They create a leading brand and provide individualized marketing and customer experience. Through machine learning, they can predict what their customers’ behavior will be and they drive towards high customer lifetime value. They may have marketplaces, a strong business partner network and built internal centers for excellence and enablement. Artificial intelligence and other innovations are pervasive throughout their businesses and they have a repeatable, optimized innovation program.

5.       Continuous Leadership – here we see companies such as Amazon. Ever expanding and disrupting, these companies continuously look to improve their business models. They are globally recognized and regularly publish thought leadership papers and hold conferences. They optimize their customer’s lifetime value and continuously improve their channel optimization, executive sponsorship and technology platforms. They tend to have an large network of innovation partners with whom they work on to improve their businesses.

At Cnetric, helping our clients evaluate the maturity of their Digital Commerce Capabilities and planning their path to meet strategic goals is central to our Digital Commerce Strategy approach.


This is the second blog in the series Digital Commerce Strategy. Watch out for the next installments at Cnetric.

Ross Collins

Ross Collins

Trusted advisor from strategy through to implementation with significant Australian and global experience.30+ Years in IT, including 20 Years in Consulting with PwC and IBM.Ex-IBM GBS Partner and CTO for Natural Resources.Specialist in Big Data & Analytics, IoT & Cloud Computing.Queensland University of Technology alum .Open Group Certified Distinguished IT Architect

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