Create Cross-Channel Consistency for Every Touchpoint

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  • Doug Heise Vice President, Global Marketing
  • May 13, 2014

While price may be a deciding factor in many purchases, it’s not always the deciding factor. Incorrectly assuming that you know what your customers what to buy will lead to missed opportunities that transactional commerce isn’t equipped to address.

Experiential commerce attempts to understand the shopper throughout their journey and develop an emotional connection that delights, inspires and informs. This is achieved through immersive, contextual and rich media content that shares the story that connects your brand with consumers.

Online shopping experiences are now omni-channel journeys that require context and consistency to connect with customers. The experience must prevail over the transaction. To attract and inspire buying intent, the experience the customer has with your online store must be flexible, fluid and visual.

According to research by the Custom Content Council, 90% of consumers find custom content useful. But, for 61% of them, they actually feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are more likely to buy from them. It’s important to realize that your customers’ browsing and buying habits have changed. They are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media as well as to recommend those brands to their networks. Your brand simply cannot afford to present a fragmented experience as customers interact with it across the channels they use while shopping.

The challenge this creates for marketers and e-Commerce teams is in how to effectively manage both owned and “leased” Web properties. From the promise made in posts on social media channels that pull consumers back to your online store, to the stories you share about your brand and products when they arrive, the experience must be fluid, consistent and transparent.

Blended Content Delivers

Content and commerce must be brought together and blended to share a story that engages customers with an experience that motivates conversions. Based on what you know about your customers, the content you serve them must be as closely related to their context as possible. Whether based on a user profile, past purchases or social media activity, the depth of personalization will be a determining factor driving the quality of the customer experience.

Product detail pages must go beyond the product features and descriptions to include rich media, social media—such as reviews and ratings—instructional videos, support information, and links to related products. By sharing product-aligned stories, your online store will be better equipped to secure conversions, generate up and cross-sell opportunities or enhance the post-purchasing process.

Blended, content-rich shopping experiences result in higher sales per transaction, greater loyalty and more vocal advocacy that spreads the word. People follow brands with interesting content. They share experiences that delight them with their social connections. And this word of mouth fuels up to 50% of buying decisions.

Powerful Design Environments Provide the Flexibility

Given the real-time nature of customer experiences, marketing and eCommerce teams need to be able to serve up stellar visual content without waiting in the IT queue. Visually appealing free-form layout options and a catalog of design elements should be available within your web content management (WCM) and e-Commerce technology platforms to help facilitate execution. A platform that separates content from layout and presentation layers means contextually rich stories can be shared along with product and pricing information to maximize the impact and effectiveness of the customer experience.

Responsiveness is Required

These capabilities combined with built-in responsive Web design technologies allow for the creation of modern, experiential commerce on any device or screen size. Tagging and asset management capabilities enable the system to detect the device and deliver relevant, device-specific content.

With this level of flexible design and blended content administration, marketing and eCommerce teams will have the speed and predictability that are essential to meeting customer experience expectations at the time of need—regardless of the channel and device in use.

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