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BizReport : Ecommerce : November 29, 2019


Why merchants need to look outside the data box

By 2023, Forrester is predicting that about 60% of retail sales will be at least influenced by digital - social media, ads, video content. This means the digital space, and the data accumulated there, will become even more important as the days tick by. But it isn't just standard data collected by searches or links clicked that will be important. Here's why.

by Kristina Knight

The key to customer satisfaction is shown to be experience. But research has also spotlighted the public's general distrust in where and how online data is collected, stored, and then used. Which is why one expert believes brands need to be looking outside the box when it comes to customer data.

"Traditional analytics give you a restricted view of customer behavior, and only provide a small piece of the customer intelligence puzzle. Knowing how many people entered your site and where they dropped off is important, yes, but what's more important is learning what caused them to bounce in the first place," said Jonathan Cherki, CEO, Contentsquare. "The ability to understand what your customers are trying to achieve, how they want to go about achieving it, and what gets in their way, is the cornerstone of customer-centricity. Metrics such as attractiveness rate, hesitation time, engagement rate and conversion rate per click (to name a few) allow teams to really capture the nuances of digital customer behavior, and adapt their CX to visitor intent and context. This critical layer of understanding also helps brands unlock more sophisticated levels of personalization, and to tailor journeys and experiences to their unique audience's goals."

One way to look outside the data box is to look at each consumer as an individual rather than part of a larger demographic, according to Cherki, and that is best done through segmentation.

"The key to ensuring customer happiness is to optimize for... the customer. And as we know, one customer doesn't equal one way of browsing or one way of shopping. Customer behavior fluctuates according to intent and circumstances, and so an effective commerce strategy requires tremendous customer agility," said Cherki. "Segmenting by intent, for example, helps brands deliver a relevant experience that matches the needs of a customer in that unique moment. If a customer is looking for a gift for someone, you will want to create an intuitive gift guide experience that is easy to navigate, and leads them to the right products. If a customer knows what they're searching for, you'll want to make sure you offer a quick path to product, relevant suggestions and a shortcut to checkout. In either case, it's about putting yourself in the customer's shoes and understanding what experience will create the greater value."

In addition to segmentation, Cherki is a proponent of brands developing a more omni-channel strategy. Because while consumers might search first via a desktop, they are also using mobile devices in-stores, checking out what their friends say about products on social media and look to sites like YouTube for reviews and product unboxing. This means that merchants need to be offering content to these disparate channels.

"Over half of in-store sales are influenced by digital, and many a digital purchase has an offline component -- think in-store pick-up, cross-channel gift cards, returns, etc. Catering to customers' omnichannel preferences means coming up with an integrated customer experience -- one that rolls out personalization across channels and allows shoppers to pick up where they left off when they switch channel (or even device). The holiday shopping momentum keeps on going long after Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, and many gift-giving journeys will happen over time and across channels -- sustaining that connection with shoppers and making sure the experience remains relevant and seamless from beginning to end is key," said Cherki.

His first tip? Leverage advanced behavior metrics to fix customer service issues before they become a problem, and then continuing to monitor customer interactions through the brand's website, apps, and even social media.

"Better still, with AI they can be alerted to off-trend behaviors, helping them to recover lost revenue faster. But more importantly, this type of customer intelligence can underpin a bold, innovative approach to omnichannel experience design. With CX the key differentiator for brands today, coming up with unique ways to deliver the seamlessness every consumer expects is extremely important," said Cherki.






Tags: Contentsquare, ecommerce, ecommerce strategy, ecommerce trends, M:Commerce trends, mobile commerce, mobile marketing








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