The commerce landscape is changing. In this latest episode of The Experience Makers, our guests explore shifts in consumer expectations, the new commerce journey, how retail giants like Amazon are changing the game and where that leaves other brands.
In episode 4 of The Experience Makers, technology journalist, Gemma Milne, talks to Miro Walker, CEO of Cognifide and Naji El-Arifi, Head of Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce. Wunderman Thompson Commerce is a global ecommerce consultancy that brings strategic clarity, tech know-how and creative inspiration to help organisations deliver winning commerce capabilities across all digital channels.
As we dive into this episode, our guests discuss how the commerce landscape has changed and explore the different ways brands can adapt. Long gone are the days of one option shopping, going into a physical store and buying something off the shelf. Today consumers have a plethora of options, and brands must adapt to these changing expectations. It’s not just the many avenues consumers have to shop that brands must contend with, they also need to pay far more attention to the inspiration phase of the buyer journey. Inspiration can strike anywhere. Am I right? Brands need to be visible wherever their consumers are and create a truly omni-channel experience to stay competitive.
High street store no more?
Online shopping has changed the way that consumers make purchases and we’ve seen many high street stores and shopping mall closures as a result. But does that mean high street stores are dying like dinosaurs? The simple answer is no. Your favorite brick and mortar stores still have their place in the consumer journey. In fact, Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s Future Shopper research has found that many young people will only shop at stores that have a physical location.
However, brands need to rethink the in store experience; these days it’s not just about purchasing. Some consumers like to touch or try on products, while others will use the in store experience purely for inspiration and buy online. The online experience is not competition for in store purchasing, both of these avenues should be used to compliment one another.
The Amazon Effect
You can’t talk commerce without talking about Amazon. They have set the new gold standard in service and have clearly made service a differentiator. Naji sums up some of the other reasons why they’ve become so dominant:
-They sell absolutely everything
-Making a purchase is frictionless
-Easy to interact across their whole ecosystem
The experience that Amazon offers across their entire ecosystem not only delights their customers, but also raises the bar for other brands. Can other brands compete, and if so, how?
What not to do
Just because your friend is jumping off a bridge, doesn’t mean you should too. Well it’s not as dramatic as all that, but just because Amazon is doing something doesn’t mean your brand should too. All of Amazon’s current services work for their brand, however that doesn’t mean it’s a one-size fits all approach for every brand. The opportunity for brand sites is to offer a unique experience. It’s about figuring out the different facets of your brand that consumers enjoy and elevating that experience which will, in turn, keep them satisfied and coming back for more.
Where Amazon falls short
It’s true! Amazon is subject to criticism too and the Future Shopper report, highlights these areas:
-Price: If you uncheck the Prime button there are a lot more options, many in fact are cheaper.
-Inspiration: Gen Z feel it’s not the best place to find inspiration to make a purchase. Let’s be real, sometimes the results they display when you search are laughable.
-Specialty products: Amazon can’t offer specialty brand items that are only available directly.
Hint hint: look at these areas to differentiate your own commerce offering.
So, this is just a taste for what you’ll learn in episode 4 of The Experience Makers. To find out more about how to execute a powerful omnichannel experience and gain some practical takeaways listen to When content and commerce collide.
Alternatively, download The Future Shopper Report for more consumer insight.
Gemma will be joined by Jedrzej Osinski, Senior QA Engineer at Cognifide and Mario Coletti, UK Managing Director of Nextatlas as they discuss how AI will impact the future of customer experience. Stay tuned!