Your Journey to Modern Commerce, Part 2: The Very Real Risks of the Status Quo

In our personal lives and at work, we all suffer from something called the status quo bias. In a nutshell, the status quo bias makes us prefer to keep things the same, either by doing nothing or by sticking with a decision that we already made. It’s a persuasive little critter. The risks of the new seem infinitely worse because they are often unknown or unquantified. The devil we know, on the other hand, may not be perfect but at least we get how it works.

The status quo bias is understandable (and scientifically proven.) It’s also untenable in business today.

Nowhere is this more true that in the realm of technology. Technology, and therefore business, currently move too fast for anyone to stand still and expect to keep up. But while this feels true, while we know it’s true in our guts, that status quo bias is hard to overcome.

That’s where numbers come in. When we commissioned Forrester Consulting on new research to support the study, Accelerate Your Journey to Modern Commerce, [1] we deliberately focused not only on the benefits of a modern commerce approach, but also the risks of NOT adopting a new strategy. The findings definitively show that ignoring modern commerce is a dangerous game indeed.

Consider: failure to move toward a modern commerce approach demonstrably increases your risk of these negative business outcomes:

  • 53% greater risk of losing deals to competitors
  • 48% lower customer satisfaction
  • 43% increased channel conflict
  • 49% decrease in customer loyalty
  • 46% decrease in partner loyalty

These statistics prove that the status quo bias isn’t an innocent personality trait. It’s something that we all must battle individually and organizationally. Sticking with the status quo – in this case, with traditional commerce methods – has very serious implications.

Of course, like most things worth doing, combatting the status quo is easier said than done. Our research with Forrester also revealed the biggest challenges that companies face when moving to a modern commerce strategy. These include:

  • Excessive touchpoints in the sales process
  • Different processes across channels
  • Disjointed solutions
  • Offering personalized pricing and offers
  • Making the buying process frictionless

These challenges, like the status quo bias, are very real and can feel daunting. But they’re also capable of being overcome. In fact, 45% of companies have already embraced modern commerce, and 54% of companies plan to embrace it within the next year.

The data is clear: you can’t afford to stay the course. When it comes to modern commerce, the status quo equates to losing your customers and partners. But knowing the risks is half the battle. Get all the stats in our Accelerate Your Journey to Modern Commerce infographic, read the full study, or get in touch to learn how we can help you say goodbye to your status quo bias.

[1] Accelerate Your Journey To Modern Commerce, an April 2017 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PROS

About the Author

Craig Zawada

Craig Zawada joined PROS in 2010 and serves as its Chief Visionary Officer. He is responsible for creating and articulating the vision for how PROS uses the latest technology to help companies drive incremental sales growth and profit improvement. Prior to joining PROS, he was a partner and leader in the Marketing & Sales Practice at McKinsey & Company. Zawada is a widely published author, with articles that have appeared in many high-profile publications, including Harvard Business Review,, Mergers and Acquisitions, and the McKinsey Quarterly. Zawada co-authored both the first and second editions of “The Price Advantage,” which has been recognized as one of the most pragmatic books available on pricing strategy.

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