Image from U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, found on Flickr, source link: https://bit.ly/2wcTeO0
Customers expect a lot from your website. They expect an intuitive, informative, and personalized experience, and if they can’t find what they want, they expect someone to help them find it. Good customer experience is a key strength of Digitally Native Vertical Brands (i.e. brands native to the digital space), and the need to provide one isn’t going away. That’s why Episerver designed their digital commerce platform to be adaptable, allowing you to keep up with the ever-changing needs of your customers.
It’s all starting to blur
The digital marketplace opened up a world of possibilities for both businesses and consumers. No longer restricted by the limits of physical stores, businesses could offer a greater selection, more convenience, and faster customer service–in the process of raising the bar for everyone else. The result is that products, services, and environments are converging, and transactions involve greater interaction with customers. A direct line between business and consumers is more important than ever, forcing companies to innovate.
The need for this direct line is two-fold. First, staying in contact with customers is paramount to staying on their radar. Consumers have more options every day, and if you don’t have their attention, someone else will grab it. Regardless of what you sell, providing a positive experience helps keep you relevant.
The second reason is that staying in contact with customers keeps you in tune with their wants and needs. People’s demands change, and they’ve come to expect the companies they interact with to keep up.
Yes, it’s personal
There’s more data than ever available on the people you do business with, and while personalization may have been a bonus in the past, it’s now a necessity. More than two-thirds of people expect their experiences to be personalized, no longer satisfied with a one-size-fits-all solution. Your customers are individuals, and recognizing that goes a long way toward earning their trust and their business. The companies that do it best are rewarded with loyalty, conversions, and revenue growth.
Something as simple as email remains an incredibly powerful marketing tool when personalized. As people use multiple devices to shop and explore, extending that personal experience to things like mobile apps helps reinforce the brand across multiple platforms. That kind of omnichannel consistency creates a better customer experience, and in turn a better bottom line.
Digital marketing and digital commerce are about being in the right place at the right time for the right person. Social media has been a great tool for putting the right message where it needs to be, but it’s becoming much more than that. Instagram’s decision to expand shoppable posts, for example, creates an opportunity to not only communicate with customers but also provide them another way of getting what they want.
That is, of course, if you’re listening. Despite two-way communication being inherent to social media platforms, they’re often being treated like one-way advertising platforms. Not only is that inefficient use of what amounts to free advertising space it’s also a missed opportunity. Social media allows you to directly address customer concerns. It’s an opportunity to meet customer expectations about being treated like individuals. As much as data can help with personalization, it can’t hold a candle to a personal interaction.
The Episerver customer experience
More than any specific feature, the key to creating a satisfying customer experience is the ability to adapt. Customers are people, and people’s tastes change. A digital commerce site that’s slow to adjust spends all of its time trying to meet the demands of yesterday. That leads to a bad user experience.
Episerver’s platform is designed with an easy-to-use author interface, which decouples website maintenance from IT. This creates a more dynamic site that can process changes in minutes rather than days. Smart campaigns can be created and implemented while they’re still relevant to the customer. Sudden spikes in traffic, perhaps due to unexpected success from a sale or seasonal promotion, are then easily managed on the Episerver cloud.
More importantly, Episerver is built around automated testing and machine learning. Automatic landing pages, intelligent context, and a dynamic search function are among the various means of personalizing your web experience. CMS and project management tools help track personalization goals, a key in maximizing ROI.
With less energy put into micromanaging the day-to-day functionality of your digital commerce site, you can focus on providing the best possible customer experience.
The best for your customers
With so many options available, consumers have unprecedented power in their purchasing decisions. Naturally, they gravitate toward the best possible experience for them. That’s why a great product alone is no longer enough. It needs to be included as part of a great customer experience.
If you’d like to know more about how Episerver can help your business best serve your customers, please contact us for a no-cost consultation.