The New Customer Journey
Customers are embarking on a new journey traversing a complex web of new impression and interaction points. This journey begins long before most companies have the opportunity to deliver their carefully crafted brand messages. Brand awareness is now influenced by new impression formats such as heated community discussions while product discovery is driven by affiliate sites and visual shopping engines where shoppers assemble new looks. The actual shopping process now includes powerful new touch points such as mobile which offers instant access to information and transactions that span multiple channels such as buy on mobile pick up at your closest store.
Thus, the traditional marketing funnel and ecommerce as we know it has been eclipsed by this new paradigm -- an extended web of influence that traverses new interaction mediums and is being executed across numerous touch points.
A New Set of Customer Expectations
This customer journey will continue to fragment and evolve continuously raising customer expectations. Jim McCain, CEO of 1-800Flowers.com has embraced this reality and built his business around it. “Customers seem to change every day. It is their expectation set that has changed which is driven by the technology change”. 1-800-Flowers.com aggressive strategy to leverage technology is continuously enhancing the customer experience with innovations such as an optimized mobile purchasing experience, a transactional Facebook store, and cross channel initiatives like their incredibly successful “Spot A Mom” campaign that was simultaneously executed across all of these mediums.
Changing the way we market, build relationships, and deliver brand value
Today’s successful brand experiences don’t happen by accident, they are carefully planned and executed. Moosejaw Mountaineering knows this better than anyone. “Every customer interaction is a planned marketing event specifically timed and focused on building relationships and differentiating the Moosejaw Brand” says Jeffrey Wolfe, Founder of Moosejaw Mountaineering. “Whether they’re interacting with our Facebook page, receiving an SMS, or visiting our website they will experience a carefully orchestrated brand experience”.
Customers now expect a highly personalized, integrated cross channel brand experience that retains context as customers jump across touch points. The next generation ecommerce platform is designed with this in mind. Precision marketing capabilities now enable marketers to establish rich dialogs with shoppers that span multiple channels. Marketers can finally respond to new interaction behaviors such as rewarding shoppers after they have written their fifth review. E-commerce is no longer a web cart and catalog, but instead, a cross channel customer interaction platform that optimizes every brand touch point and cohesively links them together.
As marketers, we must redefine the way we look at traditional ecommerce and marketing. Our marketing strategies must now focus on optimizing every customer interaction across the new fragmented customer journey.