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May 4, 2017 9:28:28 PM

How to review, redesign and refocus your digital commerce in one hour

Eero Martela

General Manager, Finland



Columbia Road Digital Commerce Canvas is your go-to tool for mapping the big picture of your digital sales and customer acquisition. It helps you to keep the big picture and holistic business understanding in mind when beginning improvement efforts. When moving forward, the canvas helps to prioritise and focus. We have found significant value in simply flagging the most crucial pain points and opportunities in each cell.

Still, first and foremost this canvas is a communications tool to be used internally and with key stakeholders. With one glimpse you’ll be able to visualise goals and bottlenecks.

What is Columbia Road Digital Commerce Canvas?

Our digital commerce canvas includes all aspects of your business that have an effect on your ability and success of selling products and services, and acquiring customers in digital channels. It is based on the know-how of all our experts who have numerous years of experience in digital business. On top of that, we constantly reflect and validate it in our digital commerce projects and update it based on latest findings.

This canvas is the top layer of our Digital Commerce Blueprint. In the blueprint, cells of the canvas have been divided into sub-items, many of which can be massive components of a company’s business. As a whole, the blueprint is a powerful tool and checklist for analyzing, planning and redesigning each single aspect related to the digital commerce of a company. We will introduce the Digital Commerce Blueprint in more detail at a later time.


Benefits of the canvas?

The canvas can be used for a quick holistic review of different aspects of a company’s digital commerce. It works best when you take a specific angle, something you have been working on recently. We have been using it for a quick review of:

  • Pain point and opportunity analysis
  • Target state planning
  • Mapping responsibilities
  • Holistic effects of a particular decision on digital commerce (e.g. technology, strategy, sales channel)
  • Identifying key aspects affecting customer experience

In very short, one or two hour workshops, we have been able to, for example, open our customers’ eyes to the complex cause-effect relationships of digital commerce and identify all the roles and responsibilities that are needed to run successful digital commerce. It is a very light way of kickstarting a more thorough process and making sure from the get-go that each single aspect of digital commerce is being taken into account.

Furthermore, it is a tool for communication: First, by making key stakeholders discuss each aspect of digital commerce on one go and, second, having a document that enables shifting focus from sub-optimization to the big picture of digital commerce with one glimpse.

How to use the canvas?

After choosing your angle, just print and hang the canvas on the wall and have a one or two hour workshop. During that workshop, go through each of the cells in the canvas and mark your findings in the respective cells.

For example, when analyzing the current state of your digital sales, mark the biggest challenges with red post-its in the cells that the challenge is related to and, respectively, the main strengths with green post-its. Or, alternatively, you can mark for each cell what are the roles you need for running them and, thereafter, fill those post-its with names.

Read part two of the blog post where we go into more detail and give you some advice on how to make most of the canvas.

Now that we have shared the Digital Commerce Canvas, you can do the exercise yourself by downloading the canvas from below and printing it.


Download free canvas

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