We caught up with Jenn Wolf, Sr. Program Manager, A/B Testing, at TrueAction, a full service ecommerce and digital marketing agency and Monetate partner, to get the scoop on the integrated customer experience.
Q: A major trend for 2013 will be integrating the customer experience across all touchpoints (such as mobile, tablet, app, etc.). Why has that become so important and how should companies respond?
A: To be competitive in today’s world, multichannel is the name of the game. As we all know, particularly in the world of ecommerce, mobile and tablet devices are taking web shopping by storm and continue to grow globally. Recent studies predict that mobile growth will double in 2013, but multichannel goes even beyond that. It’s shopping via any environment – laptop, phone, tablet, TV, or in a brick & mortar store.
In response to this changing landscape, companies need to make data-informed decisions, be ready with responsive design, and pay attention to how consumers interact with their businesses. With tools like Monetate, you can easily target consumers on specific devices and quickly adapt the look and feel of your site to better fit their individual screens. And being able to test without high development costs allows companies to find what works best through experimentation; not only on each device, but also for each consumer. Recognizing when visitors are on mobile devices can clue you in to their shopping habits. Perhaps they are researching a product with the intent to buy in store—entice them to purchase via another channel by offering them an in-store or online promo.
Retailers should also think about continuity. Experiment with overall messaging so each of your channels offer a consistent theme. Incorporate social sharing into your shopping experience as well.
Incorporating multiple shopping methods into your testing & personalization programs can positively impact the overall consumer experience, and also provides invaluable data to help your business rapidly adapt to what consumers want today and tomorrow.
Q: What’s the one step companies must take now in order to deliver an integrated customer experience?
A: The first step companies must take is optimization. Improve your mobile and tablet experiences by reducing scrolling, making buttons easier to find, and removing elements that are not compatible on all devices. Create consistent messaging across all purchase channels. Engage shoppers in more than one channel whenever possible. And of course, use your testing tool to determine what works best based on real data.
Q: What’s the one mistake companies should avoid when it comes to integrating customer experience across devices?
A: The number one mistake we can make as we move into the multichannel world is to not use the tools made available to us. It can be difficult to quickly get data out of our tools or turn that data into actionable recommendations; but I cannot stress enough how important it is. Your data is the key to knowing what your consumers want. If you don’t have the internal resources to work with your data effectively, then look outside your team. There are many agencies, including TrueAction, who can help. Don’t ignore your data!
Q: Which companies are excelling at delivering a fantastic customer experience across devices?
A: eBay’s portfolio of companies, including TrueAction, GSI Commerce, PayPal, and many others, continuously seek ways to build a truly multichannel experience for consumers and do an excellent job of it. With a goal of connected commerce, eBay excels in helping consumers get the products they want, where they want them, and when they want them all while focusing on making buying and selling easy and simple. And with the help of their extensive tool box including their commerce platform, eBay’s constant innovation in this area makes them a true leader in this space.