Experiential Commerce: 3 Goals and an Incremental Approach

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

Making the transition from transactional to experiential commerce can be a challenge. Not only must marketing and e-Commerce teams learn to work in sync, but they must use the right technology to do the job.  Taking an incremental approach is one way to ensure that the project is successful. Consider that McKinsey & Company finds that, “on average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted,” an incremental approach affords a higher probability of success.

Being aware of the risk will help you make smarter choices when taking the initiative to remove the friction from the customer experience that can have a negative impact on brand performance. When making the transition, there are three goals that will help you to chart your path to transformation; brand consistency, unified experiences, and revenue growth.

Brand Consistency

Keeping track of a global brand across a myriad of communication channels is key to maintaining its strength, which translates into customer acceptance and ultimately sales. However, research from Meaningful Brands® has found that the relationship between people and brands is broken. In fact, research that included 700 brands and over 134,000 consumers in 23 countries found that:

“Most people worldwide would not care if more than 73% of brands disappeared tomorrow.”

This finding has frightening implications. But marketers and eCommerce teams can rise to the occasion by sharing product-aligned stories that address the context of customers and provide compelling experiences, rather than confusion. By choosing web content management (WCM) with two-way integration to eCommerce, fluid, visually inspiring and immersive interactions become the norm—rather than the exception.

Unified Experiences

Customers have a variety of experiences with your brand, including your online store, brand .com site, social media, mobile and customer service. When these interactions are managed in operational silos, experiences become fragmented and confusing for the customer.  By their very nature, transactional commerce is focused inside-out, based on what the company considers important, such as process improvements, pricing optimization, order fulfillment, calls to action, and more.

The importance of making the shift to experiential commerce is summed up nicely by Peter Sheldon and Stephen Powers of Forrester Research:

It is no longer enough to enable an online catalog and transactional eCommerce: Today’s marketers want to tell brand and product stories through the deep personalization and contextualization of content and interactive digital experiences.

As you have read in this series of blog posts, this is also what your customers want. A blending of content and commerce will eliminate disconnected, confusing experiences and empower more confident shopping conversions.

Revenue Growth

Making the transition from shopping limited to in-store discovery to search-optimized discovery across channels comes along with the shift to experiential commerce. Improved search engine optimization will bring higher traffic from earned media at higher levels of engagement. Greater brand awareness and consistency will result in higher conversion rates and revenue that lead to improved customer loyalty.

Meaningful Brands finds that proof that brands who deliver immersive experiences that customers want have higher financial performance:

“In addition to outperforming their competitors in traditional brand measures, the top 20% of brands also dramatically outperform financial leaders across a spectrum of industries… These are financial advantages that are durable, sustainable and disruptive.”

Omni-channel consistency creates higher, more sustainable levels of engagement at every touchpoint. Armed with the engagement tools that allow marketers and e-Commerce teams to continuously edit and refine the digital customer experience without depending on IT, opportunities for experience-driven conversions can be seized in the moment, not queued up with IT for implementation after the fact.

CoreMedia LiveContext 2.0

If your company would like to overcome the challenges presented in this blog post series with an incremental approach aligned with the three goals above, the solution is available to unify experiences that build brand equity and revenue. Effective brand management, collaborative teamwork and a digital experience hub provide the ecosystem of tools you need for a successful transformation from transactional commerce to experiential commerce.

CoreMedia LiveContext is the result of a deep integration between two exceptional enterprise technology providers: CoreMedia and IBM WebSphere Commerce.

Each system is utilized for its strengths. IBM WebSphere Commerce provides a powerful customer interaction platform for cross-channel commerce. CoreMedia is an expert at delivering engaging, contextual customer experiences across all touchpoints.

Working together, CoreMedia and IBM provide a rich experience-driven Commerce solution to drive brand building and enrich the product catalog, with tools that ensure maximum flexibility of design and layout. You’ll also enjoy minimal risk with our Express Deployment Solution that provides a fixed-price, fixed-scope deployment offering to ensure successful implementation within a reasonable timeframe.

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