It used to be that as long as you had a good product, a user-centered site infrastructure, and a quick and easy checkout with a diverse offering of unique online payment methods, such as this one, then you had all that an ecommerce company needed to be able to compete in the digital marketplace. Then, customer experience became a central factor in maintaining conversion and increasing market share.
It is now commonplace to have a well-designed ecommerce site with significant investment in customer experience and marketing across digital channels. So, the next phase in ecommerce development that must be adopted in order to remain relevant and to be able to compete is a proactive approach to direct the customer journey.
Personalizing the Digital Customer Journey
Within a world of increasing digital consumerism, it has become more and more pertinent that ecommerce businesses learn how to win over today’s connected retail consumer. At present, for a company to successfully convert browsers into buyers, it needs to proactively direct the customer journey, as opposed to merely passively reacting to it.
Unlike in a retail store where you can merely focus on superior customer service and hope that you make the sale, in the digital marketplace, there are methods that allow you to guide the customer towards a win-win end goal – product purchase and brand loyalty. This is achieved through personalizing the customer journey.
A personalized digital journey is achieved through the proper management and implementation of big data. This really just means making use of information that is received through past interactions, which helps to direct future interaction and a customized shopping experience. For example, implementing an algorithm that tracks what the customer has already viewed, and in turn recommends similar products that might also be of interest based on this history, works to refine and tailor the shopping experience to that customer’s individual taste or interests.
Proactively Building Brand Loyalty
In order to offer this type of individualized experience, you first need to understand your customer. You need to know your target market better than you know yourself. In order to do this, you need to be consistently and actively analyzing the needs and desires of your target demographic through CRM techniques, adapting to emerging technologies, and continue to find opportunities to build on the customer relationship in order to give your customers a personable connection with your brand.
You also have to offer your customers not only a personalized experience, but a directed journey that is truly beneficial. No amount of outdated flashy hooking techniques can stand up to a truly individual and beneficial shopping experience. Not only does this result in customer satisfaction and your ultimate goal to secure sales, but it works to proactively produce brand loyalty and maneuver around competition. For example, if you offer the perfect shopping experience that meets all of your customers’ needs, then they fall into a brand loyalty loop that negates the need to check out your competitors. This process needs to be both valuable and continuously evolving.
Ultimately, being able to compete in the current marketplace is all a matter of thinking ahead and knowing your market base so well that you are actually able to direct their search and meet their needs before they even know that they have them.