“I want it all and I would like it delivered.” – Bette Midler
In today’s e-commerce world, that pretty much sums up the customer expectation. At least part of it.
According to Forrester, we’re five years into the ‘Age of the Customer’ in which newly empowered customers place elevated expectations on every interaction they have with brands.
As disruptive companies leverage breakthroughs in a host of technologies such as mobile, social, cloud and artificial intelligence to deliver personalized, valuable, and immediate experiences, customers have infinite choices. And more than just product choices, customers choose where (brick & mortar vs online) and how (pick-up vs delivery). The end result? The expectation of a superior experience from all businesses they engage with.
We’re customers ourselves and are fully aware of our own expectations as consumers. We can come up with a long list of what those expectations are, from pricing to product performance. Today’s consumer expects a limitless catalog of products, immediate insight into functionality and user reviews, comparisons with related products and, in some cases, same-day delivery. No wonder, then, that 86% of business leaders agree that customer experience is vital for success (Harvard Business Review, January 2017).
But after years of talking with both businesses and consumers, we are convinced that it’s really about ‘The Three C’s of the Customer Experience.’
Brand consistency is a vital factor in determining the customer experience, as they should be able to instinctively recognize the brands they’re interacting with. More importantly are the consistencies with product information. Consider that modern day consumers often take extra steps to ensure they are making an informed purchase — especially when buying online. For suppliers, this means that the content shared with retailers is similar, standards-based extended product images and data attributes, including more detailed product information (beyond just dimensions, composition, etc.) and other attributes giving consumers a better view of that product.
Today, with a simple click, it becomes easier than ever to make comparisons, get more insights and choose between similar brand offerings based on online reviews. Customer centric information such as brand name, product ID and key attributes in the product name, product description, feature bullets, product specifications, images, and video are truly mandatory to meet expectations.
The presence of our smartphones has trained us to expect brands and retailers to immediately deliver exactly what we’re looking for when we’re looking for it. Consider those moments while in line getting coffee. You’re scrolling through social media feeds and suddenly discover the ‘must-have’ item, be it a box of organic crackers or automobile seat covers. You see it. You want it. You click “Add to Cart” before your latte arrives. Need a few key stats?
- Almost 65% of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales occurred on mobile across Shopify platforms in 2017.
- In 2014, global mobile e-commerce revenues amounted to 184 billion U.S. dollars and are projected to reach 669 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.
- 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.
- Almost 60% of people who own a virtual assistant have used it to make a purchase through voice command.
Fortunately, there are countless solutions and tools available to manufacturers and retailers to help pave the way for the ultimate customer experience. For example, Innovit’s PIM solutions providing rich capabilities to manage products, catalogs and digital assets enabling them to meet and exceed growing customer expectations.
Learn more by reading our newest white paper on Omni-Channel Master Data Management. And register today for our April 24th webcast with 1WorldSync ‘How a Low-Cost PIM Strategy is a Winning Strategy – Especially vs The Big Guys.’