Bricks-to-clicks: 3 principles of experience commerce

  • Posted on April 19, 2016

experience commerce

The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Peter-Paul Lemmens.

Digital transformation has revolutionized the way companies deliver a great customer experience. When I started working in retail nearly a decade ago, my CMO told me the best way to measure the impact of our marketing efforts was to observe the number of our company’s shopping bags spotted “in the wild,” and compare that number to the number of competitors’ bags. That was in 2008, when retailers were first becoming digital and opening online stores to complement their brick-and-mortar ones. Fast-forward to today, and the world of commerce looks radically different.

What’s changed? In short, e-commerce has exploded, making the customer experience absolutely vital in capturing market share. Today’s customers have more choices than ever before, so organizations must create positive experiences that are centered around the customer – fostering engagement and loyalty in the process. This phenomenon has given rise to what many leaders in the industry call “experience commerce,” which requires knowing your customers, their preferences and how they behave through different channels to create compelling experiences based on those insights. And evoking emotional connection, whether shock and awe or euphoria, is one way to differentiate your customer interactions.

For organizations looking to be competitive in this changing landscape, here are three experience commerce principles to consider:

  1. Customers are motivated by more than price. In our work with clients, we’ve seen that many organizations use websites in very functional ways, meaning what they tend to be good at is making a good price proposition – customers can buy it cheaper there. However, customers are not necessarily inspired to go back, just for the savings. Creating an emotional connection that draws them back may be more sustainable, because you can’t always compete on price.
  1. The customer journey is paramount. Businesses must put the customer point of view front and center to truly understand why and when a customer uses a particular channel, and then create a seamless journey across channels. For example, when you’re in the car, you’re not going to use your mobile phone to make an appointment online, but you will do it when you get home, likely on your tablet. Companies forget that customers do that, and tend to push all functionality to all devices. Understanding the customer point of view and usage patterns is essential.
  1. The “golden rule” of marketing still applies. Know your customers. Take the steps to understand what drives them to buy your products, how to best reach them and how to best serve them. Today’s data and analytics tools allow companies to develop customer insights that enable new and differentiated touch points. While digital has made understanding customer behaviors more complex, it has also provided the ability to optimize budgets and campaigns in ways previously not possible.

By developing experience commerce thinking, companies can create a more loyal and engaged audience online, increase conversions and drive meaningful results for the business.

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