Need to Know

  • Our tagline, "commerce is our north star," reflects our focus on growth through the digital transformation process.
  • "Commerce" as our north star looks different in DTC & retail than it does in B2B or institutions, but the objective of growth is similar for all.
  • After more than a year of merging two agencies into one, we've re-aligned our teams, processes, and solutions to meet new consumer behaviours.
  • Our process embraces rapid innovation and an iterative approach toward digital maturity to maximize ROI.
  • We've redesigned our digital experience and visual identity, reflecting our current brand positioning while employing the same partner technology platforms we leverage for our clients.

Why Commerce is Our North Star

Commerce creates customers, whether they're consumers, clients, students, patients, or constituents. Regardless of the industry, all organizations share common growth objectives - growth in customers, revenue, funding, efficiency, productivity, or other goals intrinsic to their purpose. Evaluating digital transformation decisions based on metrics that align with business objectives keeps us focused on what's most significant to organizations.

The pandemic introduced market disruptions that few could anticipate. Organizations further along in digital transformation were more adept at adjusting as the market changed. Digital transformation is now prominent in every industry. Customers expect it. Competition is driving it. Employees need it and are disadvantaged without it.

What does "commerce" look like for retail?

Retailers have seen the most dramatic changes in digital innovation resulting from the pandemic. Market disruptors have expedited innovation, increasing shoppers' expectations while capturing additional market share. The tools that once seemed cutting-edge have become table stakes. It's become more challenging to stand out in the digital market as more companies enter. And switching costs are minimal for online shoppers, resulting in close to fifty percent of consumers switching brands or retailers recently.

In retail, "commerce as our north star" is typically threefold:

  1. Helping brands win new customers;
  2. Earning them more revenue per customer, and;
  3. Helping them retain customers through more rewarding experiences.

We look for opportunities to achieve these goals through the entire shopping experience - seeking short-term wins (like improving advertising performance) and long-term improvements (like designing personalized, omnichannel shopping experiences through platform upgrades and integrations).

What does "commerce" look like for B2B?

The COVID-19 pandemic widened the gap between digital leaders and laggards, with leaders achieving five times more revenue growth. Digitally invested before the pandemic, B2B leaders are well-positioned to disrupt traditional channels, including going direct-to-customer. Traditionally, B2B businesses (typically lacking physical storefronts) relied on tradeshows and sales reps to get close to customers. Now, prompted by the pandemic, B2B leaders utilize immersive digital platforms to build customer relationships.

In B2B, "commerce as our north star" means helping brands increase market share by being more customer-centric and differentiating through immersive customer experiences. We use digital experience and B2B commerce platforms to help brands leverage dynamic pricing, personalization, CRM & ERP integration and more - ultimately building stronger relationships by showing more value.

What does "commerce" look like for institutions?

COVID-19 exposed cracks in institutions' operations, particularly with the (sometimes frantic) shift to digital services. The burden of sunken costs from hefty infrastructure investments left many with ineffective legacy systems. In addition, the decentralized nature of institutions led to islands of innovation and departmental independence, resulting in disparate systems and disjointed customer pathways.

In institutions, "commerce as our north star" means helping organizations link performance and funding to delivering customer experience and value. Centres of Excellence (CoE), created through digital experience platforms and intelligent systems integrations, provide centralized information for more accurate and rapid decision-making across multiple departments. The results are personalized, streamlined and flexible engagements - benefiting students, faculty, patients, providers, and constituents.

 

Northern Commerce, new brand positioning

Restructuring our Solutions to Meet the New Market Demand

It's been more than a year since we acquired Digital Echidna, and we continue to grow, tripling in size. In that time, the purchase journey of the modern customer has become increasingly more omnichannel and difficult to isolate. The pandemic forced consumers to adapt their purchase behaviour, changing how they interact with brands. Recognizing this, we have aligned our teams, processes, and solutions to support and enhance this new customer journey.  By combining and integrating our teams, we have developed a more fulsome offering. Through targeted consumer engagement, nurturing customer experiences, and frictionless commerce, we provide integrated solutions for brands navigating digital transformation.

More about our solution pillars

Our solution pillars, designed to optimize your buyer's digital journey, maximize performance at every touchpoint.

  • Engagement solutions are the marketing activities that connect with customers, drawing them into your digital ecosystem.
  • Experience solutions leverage content management systems and user experience to guide them through their journey, like a compass, helping them navigate.
  • Commerce solutions enable brands to transact, fulfill and optimize. It's the North Star, leading customers to purchase and repeat purchases.

Embracing Rapid Innovation for Increased ROI

COVID-19 transformed business innovation, accelerating change through incremental and experimental progress for quicker payback and lower risk. There are very few examples of digital transformation thoroughly planned now. That's not to say that digital transformation needs no planning. On the contrary, the planning must evolve through agile design and development. Accordingly, we've designed our process to leverage rapid innovation while continuing to map long-term client growth, project by project, toward commerce-led digital maturity. So we can help you innovate fast while never taking our eye off the long game.

More about our process

While some organizations have a clear sense of how they'd like to pursue digital transformation, others need help in their approach. We understand both situations. To use an analogy, Mount Everest cannot be climbed in a day. We help you get from one summit to the next, intentionally pausing between projects to analyze the path we took, the obstacles we faced and carve a route to the next peak. It's a consistent approach that instills predictability and confidence. 

Through each journey, we develop knowledge, further integration and learnings. The foundation builds gradually, but each project brings us closer to the final destination of digital maturity and transformation.

Assess Your Digital Commerce Maturity

Our clients come to us at different stages of their digital maturity. Some need help upgrading their eCommerce platform to address growing pains, and some require a modern digital experience platform to pull together disparate websites and disjointed customer experiences. Others need help engaging shoppers in multiple channels outside of their digital ecosystem. However, regardless of their primary pain point, the one thing that unites them is the need for strategic guidance in their pursuit of digital transformation and commerce growth.

As part of our brand transformation, we've developed a Commerce Readiness Assessment to help brands determine their level of digital maturity and develop a roadmap to:

  • Modernize core processes
  • Optimize customer journeys
  • Gain access to disruptive digital commerce channels
  • Extend traditional business models through digitalization 

 

Request a Readiness Assessment