How brands can win with connected commerce

How brands can win with connected commerce

Connected commerce ­­— the integration of various technologies and platforms to create a seamless and personalized shopping experience — is revolutionizing the way brands interact with their customers. When brands can deliver hyper-personalized experiences to customers, they are better equipped to capture customer attention, build ongoing relationships, and grow their market share.

As marketers rush to master this expertise, it’s become evident that their ability to personalize depends on how willing customers are to provide the information needed to inform more targeted interactions. In an increasingly shoppable world, enhancing customer journeys in commerce to provide some form of value exchange is the key for brands seeking this type of access. This strategy is crucial for companies striving to become experts at connected commerce — and its scope extends beyond just retail to encompass direct-to-consumer brands across various industries, including B2B and consumer packaged goods.

The dangers of disjointed commerce experiences

While companies that lead with customer-first experiences are winning, not every platform or point solution is created equal when it comes to meeting consumers in the context of their shopping journey. And few organizations are structured to take advantage of the strengths of their technology investments. Critical roadblocks to success include a siloed approach to commerce, where experiences are not integrated with broader brand experiences, as well as complacency toward customer experience management (CXM) best practices.

Lack of clarity about who your most loyal customers are and what they need, siloed systems, and disjointed experiences delivered are just a few of the obstacles that keep companies from delivering next-generation commerce experiences. The result? Disconnected shopping journeys and bad customer experiences that lead to attrition and a poor brand image.

For example, if you run a B2B industrial supply business with thousands of SKUs, but your online inventory doesn’t provide best-in-class search tools, account-based pricing, or guided shopping journeys, customers will quickly go to a competitor with an easier search process to find the parts they need.

How to connect the experience

Offering something of value to customers in exchange for their data is critical to power more personalized interactions that your audience care about and, ultimately, to create loyal brand advocates.

At its core, designing shoppable customer journeys involves five requirements:

  1. Identity — know your customers
    In order to effectively personalize the customer experience, you need to understand how your customers move through the purchasing journey. This includes tapping into data to identify specific shopper personas and utilizing that information to define personalized shopping journeys. In complex buying journeys, these data points will allow you to craft guided purchase paths based on behavioral data collected at all relevant points. In other cases, it could be knowing that a particular segment is most likely to purchase a particular product type and delivering experiences that showcase those specific products. Individuals respect brands that invest in getting to know them and deliver what’s most relevant to them.
  1. Obliterate friction — make it easier to buy
    While identity helps you better understand what your key customer segments expect, continuously addressing points of drop-off will help you drive incremental revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and help develop responsiveness to the changing needs of your consumers. Customers expect all the brands they interact with to deliver the same seamless experience they get from consumer brands like Amazon, Netflix, and Nike. Some industries have a lot of work to do to close this gap.
  1. Headless architecture — deliver great UX
    Unify and streamline your commerce environments, regardless of channels, regions, or brands, by implementing a headless enterprise commerce architecture. Headless commerce architecture refers to a method of building and managing ecommerce systems where the front-end user interface and the back-end system are decoupled, or “headless.” This approach enables your organization to quickly adapt to market changes and effectively apply personalization throughout customer interaction, while using built-in commerce tools on the back end (including integrations with finance and operations systems, product information management (PIMs), payment processors, and so on.
  1. Orchestration — bring it all together
    With robust journey decisioning, you can offer commerce experiences that are consistent with the customer’s persona and behavior — across all channels, all in real time. And you can do it all by coordinating unified data signals, journey analytics, and journey orchestration. Adobe Experience Platform is key here, with functionality like Adobe Real-Time CDP, Adobe Journey Optimizer, and Adobe Analytics giving you the tools to help your brand make personalization come to life.
  1. Integration — take advantage of the next wave
    Find ways to extend commerce shopping journeys into complementary experiences that allow you to learn more about your customer. This could include examples such as owned marketplaces or loyalty programs that maximize the value of each relationship with your organization.

In short, connected commerce is revolutionizing the way brands interact with customers, empowering them to deliver hyper-personalized experiences that capture attention. In combination with Adobe Experience Cloud, follow these five pillars to deliver commerce experiences that drive next-generation brand advocates.

Dentsu and Merkle, a dentsu company, are proud to be diamond sponsors at Adobe Summit 2023. Learn more here how to connect with us at the event.

Tara brings over 20 years of experience in sales and delivery, including nearly 8 years as a senior Adobe sales leader. With deep vertical and industry expertise, she is excited to set and guide the vision for Merkle’s Adobe practice to accelerate business growth. Tara is passionate about leading with an emphasis on transparency, passion, and commitment to excellence.