We are in Age of the Consumer, looking towards the Age of the Convergence of Data.
As we look to 2020 and beyond, businesses will increasingly be asked to deliver superior customer experiences, regardless of channel — be it Mobile, Virtual Reality, Voice, or Apps. Digital Commerce, though, was originally designed for the world of browser-based experiences, one that starts and ends with a typical search, list, browse, add to basket, and checkout journey.
At Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2017, DigitasLBi OSG held a panel on the future of digital commerce. Moderator Lisa Butler, SVP, DigitasLBi OSG spoke with Michael Fasosin, Chief Strategy Officer, DigitasLBi OSG, Mark Grannan, Senior Analyst, Forrester, Brenna Johnson, Sr. Principal Product Manager, Product Strategy, Commerce Cloud, and Daniel Mourse, CMO, PureFormulas.com. Below are key themes discussed.
Consumers using technologies like Alexa to shop are the norm, not the future
With innovative technology disruption, brands are moving away from crafting their individual brand journeys, and focusing more on the consumer story as they create their individual journey with the brand.
As businesses begin to track these micro-moment, “signal-driven” interactions with consumers, they use the technology to inform consumers about extending the experience. With the proliferation of data related to customer journeys, user behavior is an important barometer of user intent based on what the consumer does. It will be critical to know who the consumer is “in the moment” and what is important to them to understand how to engage with them.
Consumers spend the majority of their time on apps that brands have no ownership over like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and email. Companies must figure out how to inject their brand into these experiences. Forrester believes the pendulum is swinging away from apps and back to web because of flexibility. Forrester also cautioned that it is time to identify the low hanging fruit to continue the movement; the money and appetite that was appropriated for digital has been spent, and most companies are running on fumes.
Keep the digital train on the tracks…
The shift to the ideal digital organizational model is underway. Brands are pivoting to embrace a centralized model with a distributed execution to get support from the center of excellence. It is imperative for brands to receive this support, otherwise they’ll find creative ways to fulfill jobs through local agencies.
Technology is also undergoing a shift with companies finding themselves on large commerce platforms that have to be customized, extended and integrated, but that are still inflexible to the multi-channel, moment-measurement and respond approach. Most digital experience platforms were designed for subjective segmentation, however, digital is moving to a new paradigm fueled by data and Artificial Intelligence where each moment in the journey is intrinsic to building a deeper engagement with the user. We’re seeing the emergence of new cloud solutions like Oracle Adaptive Intelligence Offers and IBM Watson that tap into user behavior, facilitating richer and more meaningful one-to-one engagement.
Brands need to build the roads that consumers are driving on.
Companies of the future must be present throughout the customer journey. To stay top-of-mind, brands must close the gap on that journey by providing service — service that is supported by technology, data and intelligence; however it’s vital to remember that true loyalty and customer engagement is only possible when the human experience is front and center.
Lisa Butler, SVP, Oracle Solutions Group, DigitasLBi
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