Become a catalyst for product adoption

The high cost of inaction: Why staying on your current eCommerce platform is holding you back (and how catalysts can help you break free)

Diya Bag
Senior Content Writer, commercetools
Published 13 March 2023

The world of technology moves at a breakneck pace. New products, platforms and tools are constantly being developed, each promising to revolutionize the way we work and play. But despite their potential, many of these innovations never quite live up to their promise. They get bogged down by adoption barriers, the inertia of users and the inherent difficulty of change. In order to overcome these obstacles and drive product adoption, entrepreneurs and innovators need to become catalysts.

Become a catalyst for product adoption

According to an article in First Round Review, catalysts are individuals who are able to overcome the barriers to adoption by pulling users towards a product or platform, rather than pushing them. This approach requires a deep understanding of users' needs, preferences and pain points, as well as the ability to communicate effectively and build trust. But what happens when users refuse to budge? What if they're so entrenched in a particular platform that they refuse to try anything else? Here are some tips to become a catalyst for change and how to effectively change the minds of those stuck in their ways.

Defining what a catalyst for change is

A catalyst is someone who can drive change within an organization. They are people who have a strong vision for the future and the ability to inspire and motivate others, and are able to see the big picture and understand how each individual piece fits together to achieve a larger goal.

Catalysts have several key traits that make them effective agents of change:

Empathy: Catalysts have the ability to understand the needs and motivations of others. They are able to put themselves in other people's shoes and see things from their perspective.

Curiosity: Catalysts are naturally curious and always seek to learn and explore new ideas. They are open to new perspectives and willing to challenge their own assumptions.

Persistence: Catalysts are tenacious and committed to their vision. They are willing to put in the hard work and overcome obstacles to achieve their goals.

Influence: Catalysts have the ability to influence others and bring them along on the journey. They are able to communicate their vision and inspire others to take action.

How to be a catalyst

Applying the principles of catalysts to product adoption

Now that we understand what a catalyst is and the key traits that make them effective agents of change, let's explore how we can apply these principles to drive product adoption.

  1. Start with why: Try to understand the larger purpose behind what you are trying to achieve and communicate that purpose to others. For example, in the case of migrating to a composable commerce solution, the “why” might be increased flexibility, scalability and control over the business's technology stack.

  2. Create a compelling vision: Create an idea that inspires others to take action. The vision should be clear, concise and easy to understand. It should also be backed up by data and evidence to support its feasibility.

  3. Identify early adopters: Pinpoint those who are willing to take a chance on something new. These early adopters can provide valuable feedback and help refine the solution before it's rolled out to the wider organization.

  4. Build a coalition of supporters: Find people who are passionate about the vision and committed to driving change. This coalition should include individuals from all levels of the organization and should be diverse in terms of backgrounds and perspectives.

  5. Overcome barriers to adoption: These barriers might include fear of change, lack of understanding or resistance from key stakeholders. Use your empathy and influence to address these barriers and bring people along on the journey.

Show people what they are losing by not doing something, and help them realize that even if the moment-to-moment costs are harder to create change, even over a short period of time, the cost of inaction is higher than the cost of action.
First Round Review

Inspire new product adoption

How to drive change when it comes to eCommerce

So, what does inaction on being on a monolithic platform really cost? Staying on a monolithic platform can cost businesses and organizations in various ways, including limited potential for growth, increased risk of stagnation and obsolescence. Plus, one of the most significant costs of staying on a monolithic platform is the limited potential for growth. Monolithic platforms are often designed to be all-in-one solutions that cater to a wide range of needs. While this can be convenient, it can also limit businesses and organizations to the features and functionalities that are relevant to create unique customer experiences. This can be a major disadvantage in a rapidly changing business environment, where agility and flexibility are increasingly important.

In contrast, migrating to a composable commerce solution can offer businesses greater agility and flexibility. A composable solution is designed to be modular, with individual components that can be easily added, removed or replaced as needed. This allows organizations to customize their technology stack to meet their specific needs and adapt quickly to changing business requirements.

Yet, resistance to change is a common phenomenon among companies and their employees. One of the reasons for this resistance is that people tend to get comfortable with what they know and change often means stepping out of their comfort zones. Additionally, people may fear that they will lose control or that they will not be able to adapt to new technologies or processes. However, change is inevitable in today's fast-paced business environment, and companies that resist change risk falling behind their competitors. And this cost of inaction is high, as companies that fail to adapt to changing market conditions may lose market share, customers and revenue.

So, how can you become a catalyst for change and drive the adoption of a new eCommerce solution that's based on composable commerce? Here are a few tips:

Understand your audience: In order to convince your business peers to try something new, you need to understand their needs, preferences and pain points. What are they looking for in a digital commerce solution? What do they find frustrating about their current setup? By taking the time to understand your audience, you can tailor your messaging and approach to meet their expectations.

Communicate effectively: As a catalyst, you need to be able to communicate the benefits of a new eCommerce solution in a way that resonates with your audience. This requires effective messaging and storytelling. Rather than focusing on features and functionality, focus on the outcomes that users can achieve with the new platform or tool.

Build trust: Your audience will be more likely to try something new if they trust the person recommending it. This requires building a strong relationship with your audience, demonstrating your expertise and credibility, and being transparent and honest about the benefits and drawbacks of the new eCommerce solution you are recommending.

In the end, staying on a monolithic platform may seem like the safe and easy option, but it can limit your company's potential for growth, lead to stagnation and put your eCommerce system at risk of obsolescence. By becoming a catalyst for change, you can drive the adoption of new digital commerce solutions to stay ahead of the curve — and your business will reap the benefits of doing so.

Want to know more about composable commerce and the benefits it can bring to your business? Download our white paper How to Compose Your Commerce in 2023 now.

Diya Bag
Senior Content Writer, commercetools

Diya Bag is a Senior Content Writer at commercetools. Previously, she has worked as a Copywriter in advertising for a wide range of brands, as well as an Editorial Manager in publishing for magazines and both fiction and nonfiction books.

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