In a recent InternetRetailing webinar, Converting inbound intent: aligning content with experience and with commerce, Paul Fennemore, digital transformation consultant at Sitecore, considered the importance of learning to understand the customer in order to meet their shopping needs.
Paul started by setting out the challenge for those working on inbound marketing to ensure that the content customers see reflects their needs and preferences.
• Often organisations start from a situation where they have a lot of product content, based on the catalogue, and an ecommerce engine that handles transactions. But often it’s about broadcasting, rather than correlating data with the needs of individual website visitors. Promoting products out rather than bringing customers in.
• “As people increasingly transact with you via digital channels, the less you get to know about them.” Losing the information that you had when shoppers came into the store.
• Important to be able to maintain conversations based on customers’ preferences - and without investing the billions that Amazon has.
• Customer experience is at the heart of ecomemrce.
Ecommerce doesn’t happen at the beginning or the end: it’s about the whole experience.
All engagements matter in creating contextual value that boost trust and confidence.
• Becoming increasingly difficult to be able to differentiate your product and/or brand: “Customers have so much choice over the internet, it’s about quality, service, value. About enabling trust and confidence and having rapport.”
How to get there
• The focus is on SKUs, with a clear emphasis on product, catalogue of product information to be able to manage that.But it’s important to focus much more on the who. Why are they buying that product? Have they had one before that’s failed? Need to be able to pick up on that.
• To match the who and the SKU need to put them into one system, matching and marrying connected product information with connected customer information. Harness insight etc around the consumer from sources including social media.
Example: How Toshiba Australia talks to people based on their intent. What are their circumstances, how they can take them down a journey that correlates to their circumstances. If this is a business, are they expanding, do they need more technology? Are they a price-sensitive start-up? Are they moving office? Enables Toshiba to augment their traditional products - these are the things we can do over and above the core product to help make the decision. Giving information that the customer needs as an organisation. eg. If moving office might want to think about how to connect new systems in a simple way.
• Personalised content
• Personalised search
• Data-driven personalised experience management: and how the Sitecore system operates to provide this.
• How to take shoppers directly to the content that’s relevant to them.
• Measuring intent/propensity to buy
Importance of integrating customer data
Need to align content with commerce
Example: Danone Nutricia: dynamic content mapping: augmenting a product with customer service. Provides a forum for parents to speak to each other, via a mobile app, while offering advice and information. “They’re taking a simple product and augmenting it with informing and even entertaining. This company has earned customer loyalty even before the baby is born.”
Sensitive information: must be compliant to GDPR, based on trust and meeting the law too.
23% of target women in Benelux have downloaded the app and are using it all the time. cf 70% downloaded apps never getting used.
• Consistent omnichannel behaviour and messaging really can work. Not about transactions, about the who, not the SKU.
• Ways of taking digital to physical world. Eg vending machines that interact with app to give the right product, magic mirror, responsive web, point of sale, events.
• How targeted engagement plans work
Testing: can easily go in, make slight modifications between different versions. Can modify text, components, call to action. Doing very simple things works: all the research says you’ll get at least 6% increase in conversions through simple AB testing. Don’t need legions of staff, simple AB programming. Every time create new content, create two to three new versions and test.
• Marginal gains through experience
• Pre-purchase personalised search
• Purchase: persona driven recommendations
• Post-purchase: customer service, nurture, test.
Visit the Sitecore webinar page to view the webinar in full, including the slides and the final Q&A session.