Digital Commerce Experience Transformation

Sep 15, 2022
Customer Experience | 9 min READ
Understanding the technology landscape
Experience-Driven Commerce is a term coined by Gartner to describe the next phase of digital commerce. Customer experience is the key to the next generation.
Mandar Risbud
Mandar Risbud

Practice Director

DXP and E-Commerce


In this phase, the consumers are not only shopping online, but they are more inclined to interact with brands personally than ever before. This experience is tailored just for them, their needs, and desires. They want to feel like the brand understands them and cares about their satisfaction with its products or services.
The best way brands can provide this type of experience for their customers is by using data analytics and tracker tools to collect information about what they’re looking for when shopping online, then making changes based on those findings so brands can offer them better(customized) experiences every time they shop.
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In digital commerce, the experience a customer has makes or breaks the relationship between them and the company. Customers expect an experience that makes engaging with a brand as easy as possible—and if it isn't, they will look elsewhere for what they need.
A good digital commerce experience should be seamless, intuitive, and personalized. It needs to offer customers options like a wide variety of products, clear information about them, and easy interactions with the company and its people.
Digital commerce has grown immensely in the last decade, with more consumers preferring to shop online than in offline stores. The popularity of digital commerce can be attributed to the many benefits it offers customers: convenience, ease of use, and lower prices. A recent market survey by Gartner reflected that 59% of the brands have already implemented an AI solution that is dedicated to improving customer experience.
What to expect?
While the tools of commerce experience transformation continue to evolve, some prominent trends are at the forefront of e-commerce in 2022.
For example, AI plays a key role in providing customers with highly personalized product recommendations tailored to their specific needs and preferences. This technology can also help improve customer service by optimizing support interactions.
Additionally, AR allows online shoppers to virtually see how products such as furniture or clothing fit into their homes and on their bodies before purchasing. For example, 6 in 10 people said they are more likely to buy a product if they can visualize it, as recorded by Google.
Product videos provide shoppers with a more immersive and engaging experience that can help influence buying decisions. At the same time, user-generated content allows them to see items from the perspectives of other customers.
Personalized recommendations take information about a shopper's past purchases and browsing behavior to suggest additional items they may enjoy. As a result, 63% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from brands that offer them relevant recommendations on products they will be interested in.
The latest trends in retail have raised the bar for customer experience, where buying online and picking up in-store (BOPIS) or buying online and returning in-store (BORIS) are becoming increasingly popular.
BOPIS has been around for many years, but it is only recently that BORIS has become an option for consumers. Both BOPIS and BORIS provide benefits to shoppers. For instance, consumers can quickly find the product they want to purchase by searching online and then picking it up from the store without waiting in line at checkout or browsing through shelves.
Why experience-driven commerce?
Experience-driven commerce is a new approach to managing and improving an organization's product and service offerings. This is a more holistic view of what makes the product or service valuable to customers and how it can be improved.
It combines people, processes, technology, and data to improve the organization's value to its customers. It also recognizes that the brand's core is its people—the in-store experience and customer experience will always reflect what is going on in its front-line employees.
This is where Experience-Driven Commerce comes into play. It is an approach focused on providing seamless, personalized, and consistent experiences across every touchpoint in the customer journey. The right eCommerce platform makes it possible to deliver these experiences to your customers. The result of this approach is that an organization can focus its resources productively on making improvements.
Digital platforms provide deeper insights into customer interaction, and with access to user metrics and buying patterns, organizations and brands can build a sustainable business model that actively implements continuous improvement strategies.
Experience transformation has a lot of benefits. Here are some of the main ones:
  • Keep your shoppers engaged by providing relevant experiences, to the right person, in the right place, at the right time, and ensure high returns on investment.
  • The customer-centricity of experience-driven commerce enables you to stand out from your competition.
  • Personalized experiences lead to an increased loyalty of your customer base.
  • Swiftly respond to customer needs and demands across various touchpoints.
  • Increase sales and revenue with improved conversion rates and reduced abandoned carts.
  • Enable more relevant and effective marketing strategies.
Current setbacks and scope for improvement
Digital transformation is important as the customer journey begins long before a purchase is made. The journey begins when the customer realizes they want or need something they don’t have. It continues through their research and decision-making process; here's what brands need to look out for in that space:
  • When the customer first discovers a product online- At this stage, the customer wants to understand what sets your product apart from all other products on the market.
  • Looking at search engine ads and results- Businesses should ensure that their digital presence is always treated as a whole and not divided into parts when it comes to customer experience. Every website or social media content should be consistent with the brand's tone of voice.
  • Researching online reviews of products and services- As the customer decides whether or not to purchase your product, they need to be able to easily access information about your policies for returns and refunds, warranty, quality guarantees, shipping and delivery times, and any other concerns they may have.
  • Checking out a company's background- This is also a time when customers often begin interacting with businesses through multiple channels: websites, mobile apps, social media presence, etc. Therefore, you must be able to provide consistent experiences across channels.
There's an opportunity to improve the experience at each of these touchpoints. For example, 73% of consumers said that a key to influencing a purchase is establishing a brand connection. Give them a great experience, and they'll be loyal and buy more.
Challenges with commerce experience transformation
Offering customers an omnichannel experience can be tricky, especially when considering how much time it takes to design and develop consumer-facing apps that work on different devices and screen sizes. At the same time, this experience can't just be good—it needs to be great if businesses are going to keep up with their competitors and retain customers in an increasingly crowded space with bigger players like Amazon looking to dominate.
The first drawback is that the transformation process can be expensive. It requires a significant investment in your e-commerce solutions and time and resources as you learn how to use them.
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Another challenge is that it requires a mindset shift from employees to customers. Hesitation from customers to adopt new technology, and if employees aren't on board with the idea of change, it may be more of a struggle to implement new e-commerce solutions and get everyone on the same page.
The biggest challenge is ensuring that everything works consistently and seamlessly across all channels. This means unifying the data and systems used to manage it all, which can be extremely complicated and expensive.
Lastly, Getting started with a digital composable commerce strategy requires a major investment in technology, including upgrading legacy systems and migrating data from one platform to another. Also, finding the right tool for your needs can require a good deal of due diligence. Finally, you need a tool that works well with your existing systems and makes your products user-friendly.
Composable commerce - A modular approach to digital transformation
Composable commerce is a digital business strategy that is largely interchangeable with a headless architecture that aims to cater to business problems through packaged business capabilities. PBC's approach reduces complexity by focussing on specific issues making them easy to integrate and implement.
Composable commerce functions exceptionally as it provides the scope to experiment and innovate by having three key standpoints-
Modular and flexible architecture
Flexibility was a myth earlier due to the monolith architecture, but now it is possible with MACH. The MACH architecture is the foundation on which composable commerce is built, and it has four key elements.
  • Microservices - It’s the enabler that businesses implement to build a decentralized and decoupled approach. Microservices retain flexibility and agility of systems even as the business gets more complex.
  • API-First - Microservices communicate via APIs to create complex business transactions, and with an API-first approach, the exact business requirements can be built without having to opt for standard plug-ins to deliver business value.
  • Cloud - A cloud-based architecture provides the needed scalability you need to deliver fast responses and the necessary security-grade encryption.
  • Headless - Complete detachment of the user interface layer from the backend functionality. The cross-channel experience makes it easy to deliver a superior customer experience across all touchpoints.
Businesses can now grow exponentially by implementing different strategies to meet changing market demands. Composable commerce is opening opportunities for brands by cutting down the response time and giving more controlling authority over the workflow.
This further accelerates the implementation of agile practices to fast move with iterative implementation to set your business up on a composable technology stack. Reducing the overall impact on development teams, overhead and total cost of ownership.
Open ecosystem
Delivering personalized commerce experiences requires flexibility, a sound sales channel, customer service, and a marketing channel to interact with customers in more ways. In addition to simplifying workflow integrations, eliminating vendor lock-ins, and building core rich repositories of resources. Each component can be scaled independently and backed with the best-in-class services as required with an open ecosystem.
Composable commerce is the way of the future. Businesses must switch fast to an agile methodology to survive the competitive market space. Delivering a personalized experience requires a headless approach to provide the customer-focused experience with the choice of customized applications. Therefore, it is important to have a 360-degree view of your business before committing to digital transformation.
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