According to an Accenture Industry report, 68% of Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) demand an integrated, seamless online experience, regardless of the channel. This statement rings true for the expectations thrust upon companies who are building their brands online and relying on both ecommerce and content to set themselves apart, possibly not considering the impact that a siloed approach may be having on future success.
By 2020, online users will expect a personalised shopping experience that leaves them feeling valued. An engaged customer is a loyal brand advocate and companies can leverage this further by offering a seamless sales approach by combining sales, marketing and customer service. Many businesses still see an inherent disconnect between aspirations to offer a truly integrated content and commerce strategy and the many processes, people and technology required to actually achieve it.
The result of the disconnect is often a poorly executed online strategy that tries to, but may not always deliver on addressing the needs of customers and improving the online shopping experience.
The success of IKEA for instance, confirms that people don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves. The likes of IKEA have learnt how to immerse the customer in a world where they can see how products combine to suit their own preferences and lifestyle. This is the level of functionality and engagement that customers have evolved to seek out. Retailers need to heed the call and better illustrate why their products or services deserve to be part of their customers’ lives.
Getting the balance right is a tricky business and Millenials in particular are intent on not being marketed to (in the traditional sense of the word) but rather feeling that the buying power is in their hands with the most individualised experience possible. Most retailers are however not meeting the evolved requirements of online shoppers and one stating, “Once they get to the checkout, something just doesn’t feel right. There’s a break in the experience from cart to checkout – and that causes a disconnect for the customer.”
Key components for an integrated ecommerce content strategy*
For companies looking to overcome their siloed content and commerce processes, the challenge is to find a solution that will allow them to differentiate their store and optimise their existing transactional processes. Businesses to therefore consider the following: