The New Customer Journey: A Convergence of Content, Context, Channels and Commerce
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How can brands compete and adopt frameworks for continuous innovation with the customer in mind? First, brands need to adopt a methodical approach to innovation. Brands should carve up their approach to innovation into these phases:
1 – Continuous Analysis. Brands need to adopt tools and methods to measure and act on changes in consumer needs and market forces.
2 – Define problems. Know what you’re trying to solve. Business challenges are complex, so writing down your business challenges will help you stay focused and on target.
3 – Ideate. Develop points of view and hypotheses for your ideas.
4 – Prototype. Brands must embrace software tools to create designs and customer-facing solutions.
5 – Test. Develop scenarios for testing ideas and designs using real-world environments and data.
6 – Evaluate and refine. By analysing results of their efforts, brands can visualize the advantages of ideas and determine their validity before iterating.
7 – Pivot if necessary. In the Age of the Consumer, change is the norm. Be prepared to move quickly and pivot on the fly.
In this webinar we covered how brands can adopt themselves to the needs of their customers by continuous innovation. Brands need to adopt methodological approach to innovation and integrate contextual data in their commerce strategies.
The online platform such as blogs and social media has grown and developed over the years, from simple information platforms to provide richer user experience. If you look at major brands such as Amazon, Twitter and Walmart, you will see that they have come a long way in terms of innovation: new technology, new ways of doing things, rich media content. Technological innovation is the order of the day.
What is experience driven commerce?
Experience driven commerce is leveraging your data; from big data to small data, structured data to unstructured date in order to increase customer experience. Ecommerce sites can establish several customer experience touch points known as Omnichannels. Every single touch point you can get can be used to enhance customer experience. This is known as 360 degree view of the customer. In other words, all different touch points like social media, email, mobile, blog, Pinterest etc are relevant to the marketer.
How to create experience driven commerce
There are four main ways to create experience driven commerce:
- Data, data everywhere:
- The mobile explosion
- Using content and commerce
- Merchandizing beyond the storefront
Data, data everywhere: Data in context
Data in context is important in several reasons:
- Connects online interactions to offline conversions and vice versa
- Gives you more complete segmentation of data
- Improves personalization
- Enables better analytics/investment decisions
- Gives better customer experiences
Mobile commerce has really exploded in the recent times. Taking into consideration how people are using mobile phones today, ecommerce businesses can take a cue on how to design their mobile ecommerce stores. For instance, one can use swipe experience to help customers navigate and browse product catalogue with ease. The emergence of mobile applications has made it easy for ecommerce to further respond to customers’ needs. Emerging features like voice search, being able to bookmark a deal for future and image search is certainly a big step towards future ecommerce stores.
When designing an online store with mobile in mind, take care of things like:
- Device type: you don’t want to be showing images or content that cannot be viewed on the user’s mobile devices
- Geolocation: this allows you to know when the customer is approaching the site or where the customer is based in terms of geological location.
- Orientation: when talking about orientation, think portrait and landscape. The webpage should be dynamic, based on how the customer wants to view your product.
- Referral source: in mobile context, many users, for example, use social media to discover your store. It is important to know the referral source in order to create a strategy.
- Landing page: landing page is crucial in that it helps you to determine what type of visitor you are dealing with.
- Site navigation clues: this involves helping customers have a seamless experience when browsing your site.
Content and commerce
Content helps you to tell a story. Content is a medium through which customers experience your product even before buying. Rich content experience is the pillar of ecommerce stores.
Merchandizing beyond the storefront
A good ecommerce store should move beyond the storefront. For instance, we are seeing some companies letting people to follow them on Instagram or Facebook after navigating away from the storefront. Perhaps a product can become viral and generate more sales. The idea is that the shopping experience shouldn’t end at the storefront. Some sites have also integrated Pinterest so that customers can pin their favorite products, exposing the brand beyond the point of sale. It is all about giving your customers the opportunity to tell their friends about an awesome product they came across.
What ecommerce stores need to do in future is to become more than just product inventories that people go to search and buy from to platform of sharing experiences.
Towards contextual commerce
You must understand how context shapes commerce experience. The things you will have to pay special attention to in order to realize your future commerce goals include mobile role in digital and physical shopping, available data pieces and context, tools available to deliver desired experiences and technology investment such as API, platforms etc.
Khalid Saleh is CEO and co-founder of Invesp. He is the co-author of Amazon.com bestselling book: “Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Visitors into Customers.”
Khalid is an in-demand speaker who has presented at such industry events as SMX, SES, PubCon, Emetrics, ACCM and DMA, among others.
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