January 3, 2019
Customers are empowered unlike ever before with a new variety of experiences to find, compare, buy, and own products. Simultaneously, companies have more data than ever to better market, engage, sell, and serve their customers. In this so-called “Age of Amazon,” the most valuable buying experiences are now characterized by shopping ease and convenience. And as the standard-bearer for commerce innovation, Amazon proves that companies must solve customers’ problems in order to thrive, as customers choose where to spend their money based on what they experience—often over what they purchase. As digital commerce evolves, retail is not alone in rapidly expanding into these new channels. Consumer packaged goods, services, and even manufacturing companies are also now striving to simplify their sales processes. Seventy percent of global business and technology decision-makers at retail and wholesale firms say that improving customer experience is a top business priority over the next 12 months, second only to growing revenue at 77%.*
As the business requirements for commerce success evolve in the digital economy, a playbook of best practices continues to emerge. Here are three factors of an experience-led commerce strategy.
Reinvent your customer experience with end-to-end platforms, like Salesforce, to get a unified view of your data and make it actionable. Eighty percent of retailers feel the pressure of evolving to experience-based business models. The implementation of a retail commerce platform is key to executing this transformation.* So it’s no surprise that within the next 18 months nearly half of retailers will be investing a retail commerce platform.*The benefits of Salesforce for Commerce:• Create a unified experience with cross-cloud capabilities◦ Fully connected solution across Marketing, Commerce, Service, and more◦ Create a 360° view of customer information and history◦ Data changes and updates are inherited across the solution• Get up and running with less need for IT support◦ Faster time-to-market◦ Reduction in project costs for new sites, upgrades, and enhancements◦ Power, agility, and scalability of built-in-the-cloud solutions• Harness the innovation and efficiency of a unified solution◦ Adopt new functionality quickly while maximizing budget efficiency◦ Open API enables customized enhancements as business needs require◦ Hundreds of certified technology partners provide rich solution flexibility• Achieve long-term economies of scale◦ Lower total cost of ownership for technology stack◦ Better integration stability, covering a wider array of business needs◦ Single support organization for the entire platform
Innovate the customer experience using transactional and contextual data to identify key insights that impact engagement. Designing an outcomes-driven, human-centered commerce experience requires having enough data to empathize with customers and align to their motivations across the entire customer journey. Investing in data architecture and establishing a governance framework is the foundation for driving relevant engagement and personalization. As we found in our global research report, The State of Salesforce, 59% of companies with a data governance framework provide a cohesive customer experience, versus 48% without.
- Augmented Intelligence (AI)
Utilize machine learning and predictive analytics to optimize the customer and employee experience in real-time. Only 25% of global retail and wholesale data and analytics decision makers whose firms use or plan to use AI say they are using it to create and deliver a better customer experience.* Salesforce Einstein and IBM Watson are complementary AI that help companies connect customer data with real-time insights from unstructured data to enhance the shopping experience.
Guide: Easily show customers relevant product suggestions based on shopping and purchase history
Predict: Quickly guide customers with personalized search results and category pages
Understand: Inform teams with complete customer history to guide product, merchandising, and promotional decisions
Answer: Reduce the friction from post-purchase service and support with on-demand, intelligent chatbots
Want to learn more about developing a commerce strategy on Salesforce? Get our eGuide.
*Source: Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics®Priorities And Journey Survey, 2017
*Source: IDC Retail Innovation Survey 2018
*Source: Forrester’s Q2 2016 Global State of Artificial Intelligence Online Survey