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BizReport : Ecommerce : May 09, 2018


Marketers: How to win at customer experience

Over the past three years, more emphasis has been placed on the customer experience on ecommerce sites, on social media sites, and even within the generalized advertising space. This is a problem for many brands, who may be proficient at providing a solid experience, for example, consumers in the United States. But this is a global economy, and a global experience game. Here's how brands can manage it.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How do customized digital experiences influence shoppers?

Andres Angelani, CEO of Softvision: Customized digital experiences are the differentiating factor for retailers to create memorable moments for customers and provide the right product content or service at the right time. With so much digital noise customers need simplicity, personalization and contextualized experiences.

Softvision has a deep background working with retailers and CPGs to bridge the gap between eCommerce and loyalty and how those intersect with the in-store experience. Today, consumer purchases can take place in a mobile or social environment, and the data left behind these journeys helps establish shopper marketing and shopper experience trends as well as enables retailers to build shopper profiles for their most loyal customers. The data that's collected can help brands create stronger and more compelling experiences, in both the physical and digital world, to directly engage consumers on terms they want and for products they're looking to purchase.

Kristina: Is a customized experience more than simple personalization?

Andres: Yes, a customized experience is more than simple personalization. At the heart of a successful business strategy is a customer experience that is elegantly simple and positive, where consumers are likely to come away satisfied--and return. This type of experience is designed by understanding the emotion of end users throughout a journey involving the company's products and services. Often, this is brought to life by digital experiences that change based on where the shopper is physically.

For example, retailers can be successful with "in-store" mode for mobile experiences or even arming Associates with the ability to build custom orders for a shopper real-time. The goal is to maximize positive emotion. Personalization can help understand and meet a consumer's needs, but a customized experience caters to shopper's interests and preferences based on what they are doing at that moment, in a way they fully control.

Kristina: How are personalization and customized experiences different?

Andres: Personalization is when a product or brand understands what a customer is looking for, and delivers on expectations. A customized experience is designed to deliver on a specific interest or preference in a way that the Shopper dictates. When designing digital experiences, customization may mean that the application takes outside context from the real world and delivers a unique experience based on that information. If I want a customized retail experience, I'll purchase my latte from Starbucks according to my preferences and specifications (size, strength, flavor, etc.), whereas my Spotify playlist continually streams music to me based on my tastes in music, artists, songs that have been searched and played.

Taking that idea one step further, Zumiez, with the help of Softvision, was looking for a way to engage deeply and reward its best customers, simply by recognizing them for their engagement. The Zumiez Stash Rewards program and app gives back to their best customers through exclusive rewards and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Customers get points for things they already do, like visiting stores, and get access to things that they can't get anywhere else. This customized mobile experience enables the retailer to reach its best and most important customers, engaging and rewarding them each time they touch the brand.

Kristina: For a brand who is personalizing, why should they also look to customize the shopping experience?

Andres: Personalization and customization go hand in hand when it comes to creating the ultimate cross-channel shopping experience. Understanding and delivering on the personalization behind what a consumer is looking for (brands, styles, etc.) and combining that with strong customization (sizes, colors, accessories, ability to build their own, etc.) lets a customer know that the brand "gets" him or her. Customization takes customers to a place where they can also subscribe to products creating the benefit of more stable and growing revenue streams. When a customer has that type of experience on their journey - an experience that delivers personalization and customization to a near one-on-one level - then a brand is not only building sales, but more importantly brand loyalty for the long haul.

Tags: branded content tips, customer experience, customer experience tips, ecommerce, ecommerce tips, mobile marketing, social marketing, Softvision










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