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Innovating and Adding Value to Businesses Through Co-creation and Collaboration

10 min read

 Marketing and innovation have and will continue to be two of the strongest drivers of margin and revenue growth. The concept of customer value is central to both of them. Paul Polman, CEO Unilever

Business owners know the importance of paying attention to their customers. The majority of companies agree that this is a fundamental aspect of research and development and marketing. And it is even better to incorporate customers into the process. Hence, the general idea that value creation and having the customer in mind is a vital requirement for success in today’s business world.

In addition, chances are that the business community or sphere may be lacking development because of its current or existing relationships. Therefore, collaboration is incredibly important, because it makes it easier and quicker to address issues. Developing relationships across disciplines, areas of study, and sectors may produce greater returns in the end, though they may also require some upfront investment.

You can bolster your innovative capability and consequently add value to your business through co-creation and collaboration. Applying this knowledge to your business efforts, especially in the world of ecommerce, through Ecwid’s widget and its contribution to the business’s success, is the main argument of this article.

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Overview of Adding Value Through Collaboration and Co-creation

Collaboration and co-creation are becoming increasingly critical to customer value creation. The terms are so intertwined that many people already think of them as a singular concept. Businesses with open innovation-thinking that requires collaboration with customers, distributors, and suppliers to co-create value unique to the company tend to do better in the industry. They are also bound to have plenty of competitive advantages.

The collaborative model, based on co-creation, is fast replacing the conventional way where innovation was seen as some proprietary activity and marketing as more of a static move. In context, co-creation is a business strategy where customer-related ideas are taken beyond the common methods like Six Sigma. It helps boost the chances of achieving success by bringing customers into the process and system. In other words, value creation with customers means involving the consumer in the entirety of the process.

Before now, the conventional approach was to decide to poll the customer via focus groups, feedback processes, or surveys. Customers voice opinions and these can be used to create a product. The feedback gives a two-way road to communication but is less flexible than co-creation. It could even go further by asking customers for opinions, which are consequently adopted to modify the product. Meanwhile, the downside to this approach is that it is highly likely that the development team misinterprets customer feedback.

On the other hand, a co-creation model involves customers throughout the process, including all stakeholders. Its ability to provide real-time feedback during development minimizes unnecessary misunderstandings. It also assures that there is a richer value proposition. In the long run, it is beneficial to the product, the organization, the consumers, and the bottom line.

Innovation and Adding Value Through Creation and Co-creation

Giving customers a seat at the design table and a say in the decision-making process is a great way to win their loyalty. This process, otherwise called co-creation, has helped companies innovate and added value to their businesses in enormous ways. In a survey carried out on some groups of senior executives and directors in different sectors across Europe, the goal of the research was to understand co-creation and its effect on social innovation.

The results showed that 57% of the total respondents confirmed that co-creation has been crucial to their approach to innovation. About 50% of them say that with the integration of a co-creative approach, they minimized the business’s cost of production. 51% also reported that they have enjoyed the leverage of financial performance improvement.

Your company or brand can decide the type or category of customers you wish to select to participate in some co-creation programs. That is, you want to define the customers you collaborate with. Therefore, you want to look out for how these can add value to you, having seen your brand passion. You can select these customers based on segment demographics or another way you find appealing.

In actuality, there are loads of advantages embedded in adding value to a business via co-creation. Among these are:

  • It fosters customer loyalty
  • Encourages creation of meaningful products and services
  • It reduces development costs and risks

Innovation and Adding Value Through Collaboration

You can also unleash value creation through collaboration, but you must understand blurred boundaries existent in today’s business. These days, many value creations have gone more digital because of data flowing through processes. With the nature of the numerous collaborative networks in existence today, major business and government entities are now investing heavily in similar value-creation ecosystems.

In essence, creating a perfect product, offering great service, and setting a reasonable price aren’t enough. Customers have tons of great options, and that is why they seek extra value when choosing who to do business with. There is no value creation without collaboration, and leaving customers out of your brand- especially in its communication, may deny you the underlying benefits.

More so, customers are willing to collaborate with businesses. But what type of customers should the business collaborate with or integrate into its co-creation models? There are two options: first, you can collaborate with end-users who have the passion, enthusiasm, and ideas but lack the formal training in undertaking the co-creation task. Second, you can collaborate with specialists and professionals. That is people with formal training like engineers, scientists, and computer specialists.

Innovation and Adding Value in Ecommerce

Innovation follows the process of collaborating, ideating, implementing, and creating value.  Collaboration is a core part of innovation and value creation in a business organization. One of the ways to get things done effectively is through teamwork. In the world today, the challenges are, however, becoming more complex.

Hence, one of the prerequisites of success in today’s business world is to involve more diverse minds. Besides, conflict and competition among groups have dominated the business landscape. Therefore, it is indeed a good time to re-think collaboration. Doing this means you have to follow the aspects of relationships, processes, and outcomes. In other words, collaboration entails working together (in relationships) toward (taking and following a process) a common thing (result or outcome).

Success can be more easily attainable when you collaborate with customers and other stakeholders with aligned interests. You have to realize this, especially given the emergence of diverse challenges to business owners. Many organizations are adopting collaboration and it is considered a typical feature of any kind of business.

One of the reasons for the changing state of the collaboration conversation boils down to the need to have newer innovative kinds of ideas that transcend focus on individual topics.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, there is no such thing as innovation if your ideas are not actually creating value for your customers. Therefore, the onus lies on you to implement ideas considered as most effective in providing value to customers and interested potential customers you might encounter along the way.

The bottom line of innovation is to create value. And depending on your line of work, you can also consider seeking value creation to adapt to the rapidly changing market in which your survival, ability to thrive, and compete depends.

Numerous business owners and intending ones are taking the route of integrating their business concepts into a tested and trusted platform like Ecwid. That is bearing in mind that this would help them collaborate actively and take full advantage of their innovative ideas to add value to their businesses and customers.

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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