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
- 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.