The 3 C’s Missing from the Digital Commerce Equation
By Kerry Young on May 24, 2019
As customers get more acclimated to the digital commerce experience, it gets harder and harder to pry consumers from their cozy couches to travel to a physical store. Don’t get us wrong – the physical store is still really important, but retailers need a new approach to intrigue shoppers. What’s missing? In this blog article, we’ll share the “3 C’s” that are often missing from the digital commerce equation:
- Converge: Let a customer shop the same visual store whether they are online or offline.
- Connect: Map the customer’s shopping list to the shopping path in this visual store.
- Compel: Match great products and their stories to a customer’s interest and need.
The 3 C’s: How to Create a New Shopping Reality
With GS1 Connect 2019 coming up in June, this is a timely topic for retailers, CPG brands, and grocers who are looking to discover modern tools to create extraordinary customer moments. To do so will require converging physical assets with online and mobile tools to create a new shopping reality.
What does this new reality look like? In our view, merely managing your customers’ experiences falls far short of inspiring your customers. You simply won’t get the differentiation needed in order to outpace the value and convenience customers find by shopping online. This brings us to the first “C,” converge.
Early results have shown that customers who shop at retailers with both a physical and an online store follow two trends:
- They prefer to shop an online store that mimics the physical location, and
- When a store provides this solution, they actually increase their purchases and loyalty.
In addition, when a store’s digital representation mirrors the in-person shopping environment, it offers an extra benefit of successfully testing new store models. Retailers and brands can take advantage of unique opportunities to learn customer behavior across online and in-store environments with better accuracy.
The second “C” of connect addresses a leading consumer complaint, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could link up my shopping list to the store layout so I can find what I need more easily in the store?”
The physical store offers advantages for retailers when it comes to impulse buys and shoppers browsing for ideas and inspiration. Yet the physical store can also be a frustrating experience for consumers who are accustomed to the ease of digital experiences.
That’s why connecting a shopping list to an online store layout (or planogram) is one of the most frequent requests of retail shoppers. No more wandering aimlessly around the store in search of an item on your list. No more staring at a wall of similar products, searching in vain to find the specific one you want.
We’re now in the era of digital wayfinding – helping customers find the precise location of everything on their shopping list with up-to-date stock quantities. This is a big step in delivering the remarkable moments consumers crave regardless of the channel.
(Click here to learn more about how we make digital wayfinding a reality for retailers and brands.)
The final “C” brings the three elements together to compel the shopper to complete the purchase.
One of the most exciting and powerful capabilities of the online shopping environment is the ability to respond to customer behavior in real-time, as it intersects with various product groups. When a customer selects an item that belongs to a certain set of product segments, you can create responsive navigation for that person containing hero-products, cross-sells, and promotions.
Replicating customer segmented assortments has previously been a challenge for in-store environments. But with a converged store and their digital shopping list connected to wayfinding, you can provide the shopper with product options related to items you already know they want. With all three “C” elements, it’s now possible to craft a compelling, customer-specific story for shoppers in a physical store environment.
How can retailers and brands incorporate the 3 C’s in their commerce environments?
At EnterWorks, we suggest applying the Storeytelling approach – crafting experiential moments tailored to your store and specific customer shopping occasions.
By incorporating the three C’s of Converge, Connect, and Compel, you can inspire your customers to engage in an interactive shopping story designed around their existing buying preferences.
Multi-domain Experience Management (MxM) plays a major role in making this a reality, particularly if the platform leverages third-generation MDM capabilities. Third-gen MDM helps shift the focus of MDM from back-office control of data to driving “front office” revenue through engagement and insight.
To dive deeper, we invite you to listen to our webcast with Featured Guest Speaker Gene Leganza, Forrester VP and Research Director, Serving Enterprise Architecture Professionals, as he discusses MDM Driven Engagement, Experience & Transformation.
About the author
Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.
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