Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, your birthday or even a non-holiday, most people like to be made to feel special. Many times this satisfaction comes from a simple and thoughtful gesture, when someone else knows exactly what will make you smile.
In our always-on-the-go daily lives, how do you feel when your favorite brand or store goes out of the way to make your life easier or delivers an offer at just the right time? It’s funny to think about it this way, but a positive experience can leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
When it comes to eCommerce, we arrive on a site with certain expectations about the experience. Mainly that it’s as frictionless as possible – think Amazon.com.
Personalization within the online shopping experience matters too. Basic personalization like shipping options (free or 2-day delivery), automatically populating zip code or payment info, product recommendations, and coupons.
43% of shoppers prefer to see personalized shipping information on commerce sites
33% of consumers want personalized product/service information – Episerver
However, most of us are conditioned to expect this as part of the ‘standard’ eCommerce experience. What happens when a brand takes it to the next level, delivering a unified commerce journey – one that spans online and off-line channels?
One example – when a top consumer goods retailer has enough information to send personalized offers through regular emails and its mobile app. This experience delighted me as a customer and certainly earned my loyalty to continue shopping at this store.
While marketers know that well-executed multichannel (or omni-channel) commerce experiences will set them apart from the competition, they face a whole new set of challenges to get there.
So how do you get from point A to point B? This article provides some excellent points that I’ll summarize here:
1. Find the root of the problem – Inconsistent experiences typically lie with broken transaction systems, for example, point-of-sale systems not talking to eCommerce platforms nor being connected to customer profiles.
When you connect transactional systems with customer profiles, you’ll be able to analyze past purchases to deliver truly personalized offers as referenced in the earlier example.
2. Define the omni-channel journey as your customer views it – Creating this unified journey has been a tall order for both ‘pure-play’ and ‘click-and-mortar’ commerce businesses because most are too busy solving current technology or CX challenges.
Objectively mapping a unified journey isn’t easy, and you may want to consider outside help from an implementation partner.
3. Consider integration to create a well-oiled machine – The multichannel journey may include a swath of different technologies – mobile app, commerce platform, barcode readers, website, CRM, content management, and more.
However, there’s not one vendor out there with a single solution that does all of these things well.
Customer experience and commerce systems that satisfy, and sometimes redefine consumer expectations, will be multi-vendor, based on best of breed solutions. – CMS Wire
4. Build a multichannel commerce journey supported by flexible, API-based platforms – By 2020, annual spending on API management is estimated to quadruple where it is today – up to $660 million. Investing in APIs and rest services will create “headless commerce,” where sophisticated content creation and management will drive online marketing and eCommerce sales.
The flexibility of an API-based commerce platform will allow you to merge existing and future systems so you can continue optimizing the customer journey, and do so in a way that your customer values.
From mapping a unified commerce journey to evaluating and choosing best of breed commerce and digital experience platform solutions, we have the breadth and depth of experience to help you build experiences that will surprise and delight your customers.
Take a look at some of our recent commerce successes:
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