Via Gartner contributor: Gloria OmaleMarketing leaders should use these digital commerce trends to meet customer expectations for a more convenient, relevant and streamlined buying journey.
Companies are realizing that digital commerce is a key focus for organizations looking to improve customer experience and increase sales. From Amazon Alexa to Snapchat, technology advancement is changing customer expectations of the shopping experience, significantly impacting marketing and digital commerce. The Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 revealed that CMOs place digital commerce in the top 3 strategic capabilities, allocating 9.2% of their marketing budget to digital commerce, up from 8.1% in 2017.
“Marketing’s digital commerce priority aligns to CEOs’ goals,” says Jennifer Polk , VP Analyst, Gartner. “In the 2018 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, 62% of respondents reported that they have a management initiative or transformation program to make their business more digital. Facilitating digital commerce transactions with the right tools and capabilities is central to organizations’ success.” Digital commerce also fuels two marketing imperatives: Expanding brand presence into channels where customers are and nurturing more transactions through a better customer experience. Marketing leaders driving these imperatives should stay on top of these six digital commerce trends:
No. 1: Conversational commerce
Conversational commerce uses natural language like voice and text chat to enable people to discover and purchase goods and services via a dialogue. For example, voice commerce is available today through smart speakers like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Ensure that product content is tailored to the conversation format to make it easier for consumers to browse by voice. Take advantage of the touchscreen functionality on devices like Google Home or Amazon’s Echo by incorporating visual elements in your conversational commerce strategy.
No. 2: Hypercustomization
Made possible by advancements in data analytics and artificial intelligence , hypercustomization uses data to provide products, services and content tailored to customers’ personal preferences. Consumers value tailored help. For example, a bank personalizes messaging to customers who have been declined for a loan to educate them on why they were declined and then recommend steps they can take to improve the likelihood of future loan approval. This creates an improved customer experience, which leads to better business results. Build hypercustomization into long-term personalization strategy, by focusing on products, services and experiences where customers value personalization enough to pay premium pricing or reward your brand with greater loyalty.
No. 3: Subscription commerce
These models enable the sale of physical and digital products and services on a recurring and automatically renewing basis, facilitating a direct relationship with customers not possible via traditional retail commerce. HelloFresh for example, offers a meal subscription service that delivers recipes and ingredients that customers need for their weekly dinners, skipping the hassle of going to the grocery store. As customers prefer convenience over the traditional buying steps, explore the potential of subscription commerce, offering consumers the automatic replenishment of consumable products.
No. 4: Omnichannel commerce
Omnichannel commerce connects consumer experiences across multiple devices with those taking place in physical stores or company locations. For example, Amazon and other retailers are making conveniences such as “click and collect” or “buy online, pick up in store” core to their physical locations. Blending digital and physical assets to support the buying journey delivers a better business contribution than with digital by itself. Use consumer insights to understand changing expectations of physical and digital channels, with an eye toward current and future buyers and younger demographics. If you lack a physical location, explore pop-up stores or events in targeted locations. For example; Porsche offers Travel Experience driving tours, leading to purchase
and social sharing.
No. 5: Brand marketplaces
Digital marketplace platforms enable third-party vendors to sell goods on the platform in exchange for a commission. The marketplace owner attracts customers and processes transactions, while the participating third-party vendors manage product manufacturing and delivery. An example of this is ASOS Marketplace platform – it allows boutique stores, vintage collectors, individuals and designers — established or unknown — to trade from their virtual market stalls to customers across the world. B2C marketplaces are already dominated by established players, but B2B manufacturers can use marketplaces to grow sales, like selling overstocked or obsolete inventory to business buyers. Those looking to launch B2C marketplaces must offer a differentiated experience, like access to expanded/ exclusive brands, products or assortments, to attract consumers.
No. 6: Visual configuration
Visual configuration helps sellers offer configurable, customizable and accurate product visualization. The technology’s ability to configure-price-quote (CPQ) solutions enables buyers to customize products to their preference and get relevant related pricing quotes. Snapchat enables users to take a photo of an object or person’s outfit to buy it on Amazon. As digital commerce gets more visual, analyze customers’ behavior throughout the funnel to learn what type of product content drives discovery, consideration and conversation and ultimately sales. That insight can be used to create visual content that influences purchase behavior.
Contact Sharon Herrnstein, Chief Marketing Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org today for a FREE and no obligation consultation call. We can help ensure your investment in marketing truly supports your organization’s goals whatever platform you’re working with.
Previously published by Gartner, Nov 2019 | Contributor: Gloria Omale