E-commerce Channel Optimization (ECO) is the practice of using machine learning, analytics and automation to optimize the e-commerce channel to win at the moment of purchase and drive profitable market share growth.
In the brick-and-mortar world of retail, winning at the moment of purchase is controlled by relationships between consumer brands and retailers. These relationships were carefully managed as they allowed brands to control the limited amount of physical shelf space available, making it difficult for upstart competitors to enter a category.
In the world of e-commerce led by Amazon, winning at the moment of purchase is determined not by people and relationships, but by algorithms. Physical constraints on shelf space are gone and consumer behavior controls the shelf, with constantly changing algorithms now managing what products are available to buy. Winning in e-commerce means beating competitors for digital shelf space and exposure, and that can only happen when consumer brands make these algorithms work to their advantage.
The ECO journey consists of three iterative phases: insight, action, and collaboration.