Hope you are healthy and safe right now and can remain so for the long term. We are in some interesting times and being asked to learn as we go. For now survival, but I am confident knowing you all that you are already thinking of the steps after that and trying to plan for it, this is what I am trying to do. Not easy, but I am trying.
A significant and clear message emerging from all the efforts right now (commercially speaking) is that Customer experience is at the centre of everything we do and why right now - those focussed on it, are reaping benefits. CX is not just about online user journeys, unboxing, it is the end to end spectrum on how we think about the consumer in general.
Consider the following two stories which caught my eye early this morning.
It is this in a nutshell...
And the other was less whimsical, and even more engaging. Thanks to Mike Black from @Proitero for sharing this AM.
The exec summary tells alot, but I take these 2 key points into my view:
"The two biggest challenges to brands in e-commerce are pricing and profitability — a major challenge for half of the brands surveyed — and adapting their supply chain to meet the needs of e-commerce, which 40% called a challenge. Almost a third have no dedicated e-commerce pricing strategy, while 41% don't have a team or set of processes to handle e-commerce orders." This final point is where pressure points arise right now. If we do not have processes built in the right way, connecting the right tools and for the right reasons, we will find that point of failure somewhere inour journeys.
We need our next generation of leaders to be completely focused on CX, for the long term. With that skill and vision comes natural qualities we are demanding of our brands and companies these days, empathy, listening, building long term plans with long term people and focus on a relationship beyond today.
How to plan to combat this. There is no quick fix, despite what we all want right now. We are in triage mode. Yes there will emerge some success stories, but watch for a pinch point again in about 6 months. As we emerge from these days that will go down in history, we need to think differently and understand the point at which we leave ecommerce today, is not one we want to return back into.
Consider how many profitable ecommerce companies you can list? At the SMB level let's say, removing the behemoths. The challenge is outlined succinctly in Mike's share. We are not set up fundamentally to succeed, and maybe, just maybe our way forward can be even more successful. Sustained growth and modest profits - I would take it. To achieve this, root and branch analysis needs to happen. Open the minds to technology and innovation, where appropriate.
As a part of an ongoing process, I am going to share some technologies that solve CX and profitability problems without us ever considering them, maybe.
Some of the cool tools I have been observing and I will share where I think they can be used.
Sizebay - Sizebay helps online customers find the perfect size in just a few clicks and customizes the shopping experience, recommending items that fit and look the best!
A scientific-based approach using anthropometric data will create an easy customer UX and grow your conversions as well as reduce your returns. Sizebay guarantees a 98% accuracy in recommending sizes to online customers. Here is the CX factor -- This is Great for trying to stop returns before they start, this is really something we have got to do. Customer experience (CX) needs to be about facilitating the customer make the right decision pre purchase. Check out their amazing demos on the homepage - beautiful UI also.
No Place Like - AR for ecommerce. Taken on by Meadows and Byrne to improve conversion on considered purchases. Experiencing exponential uplift on usage during the #workfromhome scandal :) Not being present in store now also means we can spend more time browsing and discovering the products we really want and remove the notion of buyers remorse!
These are just two alternative approaches to looking at your post COVID19 approach to ecommerce and I will continue to share more unless you tell me to go run and jump. WIth my partners in Validify we have been building out an approach to tackling innovation in the retail space. Alot of people are hurting now and with 30 years + of relationships we have built, we really do share that pain, grief and shock. This is not going to be an easy road but maybe a time to reflect. What would I do differently? How might I change some of the processes that bugged me for years.
We will be rolling out in the coming weeks a series of online workshops where we will provide consultation and diagnosis on migrating a way through these challenging times, but setting you up to grow again. This mail is really intended to introduce us to new, useful tools and to get a chance to work with great people.