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e-Commerce Industry News

March 13, 2015
In ecommerce, comprehensive customer experience is paramount
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March 13, 2015
In ecommerce, comprehensive customer experience is paramount In ecommerce, comprehensive
customer experience is paramount
Although it might seem as though brick-and-mortar stores are going the way of the dinosaur in light of massive increases in digital commerce, this is simply not the case. Yes, changes are taking place quite rapidly with respect to businesses becoming more entrenched in ecommerce, but customers are showing that they prefer to have options regarding where and when they are making purchases, and are definitely likely to prefer a brick-and-mortar location to view certain items before making payments.

This all boils down to the demand placed on the shoulders of modern businesses to become more robust and dynamic in their operations, opening the doors for every opportunity rather than balking at a certain trend or capability. The word of the day is "multichannel" and, while it might appear to be hyperbolic, companies indeed will struggle to remain relevant and profitable without reaching a 360-degree customer experience across platforms, mediums and beyond.

Tips to succeed
CIO Magazine recently listed some of the more critical matters ecommerce businesses need to focus upon when working toward an effective multichannel strategy, noting that bringing digital environments to the brick-and-mortar location as well as vice versa will be critical. One example of this the source cited was the use of branded digital kiosks in a store that allow customers to shop over the Web even when they are in the physical location, while offering complementary Wi-Fi is also a good idea.

This has proven to be not only an effective way to engage customers generally speaking, but also an increasingly demanded capability with respect to allowing customers to search for and study products when they are in the store. According to the news provider, location-based services, user-generated content displays, question and answer platforms in digital environments and similar implementations can have a profoundly positive impact on customer experiences and engagement.

Aside from the actual experience, certain cross-channel capabilities are becoming more important as well, most notably those that relate to the delivery of products and services. CIO Magazine stated that in-store pickup should be an option for customers who are shopping on digital channels, and that the websites involved should be consistently aligned with the general aesthetic of the physical storefront for maximum brand visibility.

Full life cycle
From lead generation and marketing to sales and customer relationship management, businesses must become more focused on not only ensuring that all channels exude a consistent image of the brand, but that each strategy does as well. When a customer has expectations that are reasonable given the marketing or lead generation content they have received and the company does not oblige the relevant demands, problems with trust and engagement will quickly surface.

By having a sound business plan and strong understanding of the company's mission, brand image and objectives, developing a multichannel, full life-cycle approach to customer experience management will be a far easier and more effective process.