Our very own Kim Williams- Czopek (General Manager, Commerce) sat down with Gary Schoch, (VP of Global GTM Software Leader Consumer Experience Portfolio at HCL Software) and other panelists at the HCL Commerce Global Summit 2022 to discuss customer experience, data, and omnichannel. You can watch the full conversation here.
Changes in Consumer Behavior and Its Effects on Omnichannel
Building a strong omnichannel strategy is a goal for all e-commerce businesses. The ability to provide the same inventory selections, pricing, and promotions across all channels (in-store, online, and mobile) is a good indication of an omnichannel strategy that works. However, consumer behavior and expectations, as they always do, are changing.
The biggest change that Kim Williams- Czopek has noticed in the past few years is that customers expect control. Czopek says that it is no longer a question of “can I?” But instead, a question of “why can’t I? And if I, can’t I’m gone.” This customer expectation expands to everything from where the customer shops, where they return, to where and when they get their stuff. Customers are not as patient as they once were, so that is why it is important to give all your customers a frictionless, consistent experience across all channels.
Do Not Be Afraid to Talk to Your Customers to Get Feedback
A lot of companies struggle to get direct customer input. The perception around research is that research is costly and time-consuming. There are a lot of tools available that can automate some of the feedback asynchronously. However, “nothing beats getting out in the field and talking to customers,” says Czopek. This could be in the form of a survey or a remote interview session, but this is where Czopek recommends starting. She states “it is important to first understand what your customers want, and how your operations are supporting that. Then you can figure out what to do with your technology and data to meet those needs.”
Helping Our Clients Get to Personalization at Scale
A lot of use cases that Perficient is currently focusing on are the ones that leverage data to deliver personalization and how to surface relevant and meaningful offers, communications, and self-service. We have a lot of clients making great headway in those areas. Learn more about how we will use journey science to help you give your customers the personalization that they have come to expect.
When Does Data Really Hold Value?
Czopek emphasizes that “it is not about the technology, it never is, it is about the people and process.” Having all of the data and technology is great, but if you are missing the people who can answer to the business and explain the insights within, then your data is useless. Czopek explains this through a back and forth she witnessed between a CEO and the head of analytics:
CEO: “Why did we beat our comp yesterday?”
Head of Analytics: “Well I sent you the dashboard”
CEO: “Yeah but why did we beat our comp?”
Head of analytics: “Look at the dashboard.”
As you can see through this example, data is useless unless someone on your team can clearly communicate what the data is saying.
Less Rigidity Will Improve your Agility
A lot of companies struggle with building agility in their teams. We all learned just how important agility is from the Covid-19 pandemic. At the drop of a hat, everything can change, and you must adapt.
To build better agility in your teams it must come from the top down. Investing in training is also important, it might not be a scrum methodology specifically, but expand the notion of what agile means.
Importantly do what is best for the customer and start building processes and training programs around that. Less rigidity will help improve your agility because most people want to do the right thing and are smart, so if you give them the right tools and guidance, they will do it.
The Future of First-Party Data
Czopek “would love if first-party data was the end-all-be-all but right now it is not.” Right now, there just simply not enough interactions to validate all of the first-party data. With that being said, helping our clients move to first-party data is one of our top three outcome-driven objectives that we are working with. So, the question at hand here is how much data you need for your first-party data to be valid?
Reach out to one of our many experts to learn more about CX, Omnichannel, and data! Like what you heard from Kim Williams Czopek? Well, you can hear more from her on Perficient’s What If? So What? Podcast, where Kim Williams- Czopek and co-host Jim Hertzfeld discover what’s possible with digital and figure out how to make it real in your business.