Customer experience is the difference between making a lifelong fan and losing the sale. The way to grow revenue today is by delivering a tailored experience to each customer. It’s no longer about directing traffic to your website or other e-commerce portals. Brands and merchants that enable a customer to transact at any moment are more likely to make the sale.
It’s all about customer convenience: customers want to be presented with opportunities to buy in a social networking conversation, in an online chatroom, on a blog, through an app, or whilst they are playing an online game. New features in Sitecore Commerce 8.2.1 enhance contextual e-commerce experiences and make them better for both merchants and consumers.
The high cost of customers
Creating customer loyalty is vital to your business. Because customer acquisition is such an expensive business, it makes sense to take care of the ones you already have. Not only is it 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current customer, the return on investment (ROI) from focusing on existing customers outstrips that of new customers. The probability of a sale from an existing customer is between 60-70% whereas from a brand new customer it is only 5-20%.
But what keeps customers loyal?
It’s all about delivering the experience that customers demand. Customer expectations are evolving. For one thing, customers are no longer content to follow a prescribed sales route. They are not interested in your organisation’s efficiency models. They want to do more than simply make a purchase: the experience around the purchase is equally important. This means that, somehow, merchants have to meet customers on their own terms.
Increasingly, customers are demanding control of their (online) shopping experience. Tech that supports self-help and allows customers the freedom to edit or change their orders brings greater shopper satisfaction, and loyalty.
Also, customers move fluidly between platforms and channels, even changing mid-stream within an interaction. The growing trend is for customers to multi-screen, accessing sites on desktop, phone and tablet, so providing a consistent experience across all devices is vital. If you want to keep selling, you’ll have to keep up. The bottom line is that the online shopping experience you are offering must be both accessible and customisable.
The game changer
The rise of the smartphone has changed the way we shop: not just the how but also the where. Almost everyone has a supercomputer in their pocket –there are over 2 billion smartphones users in the world, and this number is projected to touch the 3 billion mark by 2021. But it’s not just the number of potential customers with cell phones in their hands that is important, it’s how we are using them. The mobile device is now a part of life. The trend is for the seamless integration of shopping opportunities into everyday life, where consumers can purchase anything at the click of a button or a voice command, anytime, anywhere.
The rise of contextual commerce gives online merchants the opportunity to present products to potential shoppers just as they need them. A brand that consistently anticipates a customer’s needs and offers the perfect real time solution will earn and keep loyalty.
Improved contextual commerce
The trick to delivering contextual commerce, and creating lifelong fans, lies in utilising everything you know about the customer in order to present the most compelling offer at the best time. Sitecore Commerce offers a powerful framework that delivers shopping experiences that are shaped by your customer’s interaction history and context.
For upper mid-market B2C and B2B online merchants, the recently launched Sitecore Commerce 8.2.1 offers a fully customisable platform that can adapt to unique scenarios. Search personalisation and automation are not the only things to help you to deliver the experience your online customers demand. Contextual commerce eliminates any step that may cause shopping cart abandonment or delay in purchase.
Here are 3 improved features that will make the difference:
Enabling customers to edit or change their orders at any point along the sales cycle is a powerful differentiator. The freedom to change their minds or make a full return is a big driver in purchase decision-making.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that loyal customers are simply price or promotion driven. The power of a loyalty programme doesn’t lie in discounts. Loyal customers are equally retained by experiential rewards and preferred treatment, status symbols and recognition, and the brilliance of your customer engagement including gamification and contextual offers.
The new promotions capabilities of Sitecore Commerce 8.2.1 has full coupon code management capabilities and offers a roster of both item and order-level promotions.
It also tracks entitlements. Value-add yet time-limited items like subscriptions, warranties and loyalty programme status are now easily accessed and managed.
It goes without saying that a system that relies on customer data to present compelling shopping opportunities needs to automatically archive user history. Promotions and pricing history is archived. The price a customer would have paid at any given circumstance is easily reconstructed.
The customer journey is taking a very different route: even a trip to your website may be too much of a detour when it comes to making a purchase. A fully extensible and customisable platform like Sitecore Commerce 8.2.1 allows you to deliver tailor made offers to customers exactly when and where they need them. Create customers for life by delivering contextual shopping experiences.
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