It’s no secret that business has shifted to focus more on customer experience and the experience economy. Every large brand is scrambling, rushing ahead to stitch retail and digital ecosystems together; as Dimension Data points out, 92.6% of businesses believe that it is a competitive differentiator. And, as Forbes points out, consumers have five clear expectations of all companies in the experience economy:
- The brand’s service level and experience aren’t just competing against the category competitors; they’re competing against every brand’s experience that consumer has experienced
- The brand is personalizing consumer experience; the brand knows them and tailors products and offers
- The brand provides a seamless, pain-free customer service experience
- The brand uses the latest and greatest platforms and technologies to keep up with the next generation of consumers
- The brand’s digital platforms integrate seamlessly, and without friction, to retail experience
It’s this last point that should provide pause for brands. There’s no doubt that integrating a brand’s website, app, email, social, CRM and other digital platforms to sync up and work harmoniously is an enormous task. But, creating integration without knowing if the foundation on which the channel rests is solid, is a recipe for disaster.
Brands that rush into the experience economy need to be able to grow and change as the demands of the experience economy expand and shift. Brands that can’t meet those demands in two to three years because their website and mobile app technology weren’t flexible enough to integrate with inventory management systems, point of sale systems or marketing personalization platforms will be worse off than before integration.
It means brands need to slow down to speed up into the experience economy. Brands should take the time now to ensure their digital platform foundations are ready for the experience economy by taking these three steps:
- Understand if you have all the data-driven systems in place to not only capture your consumers’ behavior, but continually create a fresh picture of their shopping behaviors
- Understand if your disparate digital marketing platforms can work together without instituting complex solutions that will eventually have to be replaced
- Understand if your digital marketing platforms have integration points with your retail systems to help facilitate a seamless digital to in-store experience
Contributed by: Tony Verre, Integer Dallas
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