One Big Step for Commerce, One Giant Step for Salesforce

Salesforce’s $2.8 billion acquisition of Demandware will serve as the company’s Commerce Cloud. Demandware and Salesforce have a series of joint customers. This acquisition will enable more e-commerce for Salesforce along with Salesforce’s customer relationship management tools. CEO’a are realizing the value of platforms vs. point solutions and the trend is going towards the vendors creating more holistic platforms that offer a continuous marketing, sales, service process. In truth, only companies separate those aspects of their companies into different departments. But customers don’t see a company as separate departments. So the departments really need to act as a whole and software as a platform can be the key to that.

The acquisition will grow the sales “funnel” for Salesforce. There is the possibility to expand the relationship with existing customers. So it gives Salesforce a new group of customers to upsell for the other services that it already offered, from marketing and online analytics through to back-office software for sales and other IT functions. Who is Demandware working with now? Some customers include Design Within Reach, Lands’ End, L’Oreal and Marks & Spencer.

With more and more people buying on their phone and online, commerce and e-commerce is more and more important. This is a smart move by Salesforce.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering customer-facing applications that make great customer experiences

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SAP Hybris -Commerce / IOT / CRM Event 2016

After attending the SAP Hybris IOT/ CRM event, I was very impressed to see a vendor really connect the dots between commerce and customer service and customer experience. Commerce is really where the rubber meets the road. At the end of the day, if the customer experience is poor, customers will abandon shopping carts and revenue will suffer. But SAP Hybris is helping customers handle this. SAP Hybris is looking to become partners with brands in their digital transformation. They deliver  customer data management, context-driven marketing tools and unified commerce processes for all a brand’s channels.

  • SAP Hybris Commerce Solution: This solution helps brands to target and engage with your customers better, wherever they are. As the world of commerce continues to change, this can give customers a consistent and meaningful experience – across every channel, every time.  The core hybris solution ranks consistently among the top commerce software platforms worldwide. Their B2B and B2C commerce applications include an Omni-Channel Offering, Product Content Management (also known as Master Data Management or Product Information Management), Order Managementhybris Marketing Conversion, and powerful search and merchandising. And Hybris, at its core, is omni-channel. The commerce software helps integrate all digital and physical customer touchpoints onto a single platform – including online, mobile, point-of-sale, call center, social media and print. Regardless of your industry, SAP can help to create contextual, personalized and relevant customer experiences that boost loyalty and increase sales. Brands can kick-start their commerce project in just a few months through the hybris Commerce Accelerator. Omni-channel solutions are pre-configured for B2C and B2B, and for specific regions and industries.
  • SAP Hybris Marketing: This solution combines superior customer insight with a highly agile and scalable platform. Brands can reach their customers at all points of their journey, and boost loyalty by responding to real-time data to deliver the best possible customer experience. Note that traditional marketing campaigns can fall short at engaging the individual customer. They can lack the basic knowledge of customer’s wants and needs and blast indiscriminate messages to the masses. However, Hybris Marketing enables marketers to develop a deeper understanding of customers; i.e., to know what they have done, what they may do and most importantly what they are doing now. Brands can gain real-time insights into the context of each customer and leverage these insights to deliver highly individualized customer experiences across channels. Here are some of the benefits:
  1. Understand Real-Time Customer Intents. Dynamically capture and enrich customer profiles across all sources into a single view, leverage implicit customer signals to gain insights into customer’s real-time intents
  2. Deliver Unique Customer Experiences. Convert ‘in-the-moment’ opportunities to dynamically deliver contextually relevant customer experiences across channels. Create new engagements to increase online community participation and customer loyalty
  3. Market with Speed and Agility. Proactively react to customer opportunities with increased visibility and alignment of the marketing process, resources, and performance.
  • Products for Billing: SAP Hybris Billing helps brands to monetize their digital transformation and renovate their revenue management processes with a highly agile and scalable platform. SAP allows customers to build flexible pricing models to meet their B2C and B2B customer needs as well as share revenues with partners of their business network.

SAP /IOT: Devices of all types now communicate over the Internet, creating unprecedented potential for sales and service in the utilities industries. IoT items include smart home appliances, thermostats, meters and monitoring software, cars, alternate power devices, irrigation technology, fleet vehicles, store sensors, networked sensors, and software integrated with machinery. All of these support a new and diverse collection of customers and consumers: more aware, expecting individualized service, and a radically changing the supplier/customer relationship. The connectivity and communication abilities of devices of all sizes will vastly change every aspect of marketing, delivery, and support of utilities, as it has done with other industries. Countries, cities, and individual consumers are making significant changes in their consumption and usage of utility-related resources. Some of these include:

>> More reliable connectivity, increased data availability, and lower price points make virtually anything connectible

>> Every business must now consider itself a digital business, regardless what product or service is being sold

> Every business must own its data and make it available across the organization and to consumers

Businesses are preparing for a future where software becomes more important than hardware and data becomes more important than products. A new generation of consumer (the prosumer) is becoming an active partner in the production and distribution cycle. What are the benefits?

  • Better use of a utility’s products and services, making consumption and customer relations healthier
  • The opportunity to upsell and/or to offer upgrades for newer, better, and more effective products and services
  • Predictive service based on warnings, alarms, or analytics sent by the devices themselves
  • Tailored pricing – flexible entitlements based on usage, frequency or time, and metering
  • Wider range of services– extension into new service areas
  • Enables direct conversations between customer devices and business platforms
  • Analyzes large quantities of data in real-time against defined business KPIs
  • Lower regulatory risk and cost of compliance through increased visibility and response.

The event was a very important one in the history of SAP. These are key aspects to the digital transformation of any company and SAP’s ability to help their customers transform key aspects of their business are critical. This is certainly not your grandpas’ CRM.

@Drnatalie Petouhoff

Covering Customer Experience, Marketing, IOT and Digital Transformation.

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Delivering Superb Customer Experience Management Across the Web, Mobile and Commerce

In this research, we look at trends to take ordinary experiences and deliver superb experiences that keep brand promises by delivering superb customer experience management across the web, mobile and commerce. Clients should use this document as a source for planning and work closely with both the business and technical teams to ensure success to deliver on the brand’s promise. This report offers insights into four of Constellation’s primary business research themes, Next-Generation Customer Experience, Digital Marketing Transformation, Matrix Commerce and Data to Decisions.

Digital Disruption Changes How Brands Engage Customers

The shift to digital marketing and commerce as well as mobile interactions brings a massive transformation to how brands and organizations engage prospects and customers. Customer experience management is a major pillar in many organization’s efforts to engage and retain their customers and partners. Customers, depending on the vertical market, might be patients (healthcare industry), members (financial services industry) or students (higher education).

Organizations are realizing there is more to the job of engaging and retaining these customers because there are so many opportunities along the customer experience journey to have something “fall through the cracks” and not meet expectations. Market leaders realize the future requires proactive digital enablement of the business to support the future strategy of their organizations. Constellation has identified key attributes required for success at experience management and using them, leaders can expect to have a basic blueprint to embark on this key strategic initiative.

Six Approaches Brands Must Adopt to Drive Customer Experience Management

Six Approaches Brands Must Adopt to Drive Experience Management

For more information on this report, you can find a snapshot here.

Unfortunately, in almost every segment, Constellation estimates that the top three competitors control from 43 percent to 71 percent of market share and 53 percent to 77 percent of the profits. In the technology space, only 80 companies since 2000 have made the billionaire’s club in annual revenue. Meanwhile, intense competition, short-term shareholder and management thinking, and minimal investment hamper the pace of investment and innovation required by business leaders to survive today’s competitive landscape.

While many brands have not been complacent about addressing change, the past five years have shown the difference between those who invested in digital transformation and those who have not. The corporate digital chasm is massive among market leaders/fast followers and everyone else. Astute brands realize they must invest in transformational change or face a vicious Digital Darwinism.

Is your brand ready for digital disruption or are they a “wait and see” brand”?

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences

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New Report: Delivering Top Experience Management across the Web, Mobile and Commerce

In this new report we look at some of the key concepts for defining the elements required for superb experience management in the digital business disruption era. Clients can use document as a source for planning and work closely with both the business and technical teams to ensure success to deliver on the brand’s promise. It is especially important as the shift to digital marketing and commerce as well as mobile interactions brings a massive transformation to how brands and organizations engage prospects and customers. For many organization’s customer experience management is a major pillar in their efforts to engage and retain their customers and partners.

There are many points along the customer experience journey where something could “fall through the cracks” and not meet expectations. Market leaders realize the future requires proactive digital enablement of the business to support the future strategy of their organizations. The challenges to driving integrated customer experience management include:

While are most brands are recognizing they need to provide superb, integrated experience management, challenges include the conceptualizing, creating, executing delivering this integrated experience, and in particular integrating the website, social, mobile and commerce experience and interactions. The perception that creating a superb customer experience is easy, is the downfall of most organizations.

While most leaders understand that they need to deliver on superb experience management, organizations often can not move fast enough for three reasons:

  • Outdated systems and platforms that can not delivering on an integrated customer experience. Most brands, when they began CRM or their experience management strategy, did not anticipate the need to integrate the website with mobile and commerce. Often each of those disciplines were owned by different parts of the company and rarely did they speak, much less put their heads together to figure out how to deliver on an integrated approach. Thus, brands are left with legacy, point solutions that leave much to be desired.
  • Technology platforms didn’t provide truly integrated. Frequently brands tried to bring point solutions together, often hiring system integrators and management consulting firms to integration those solutions. But unless a platform is built with it’s very core centered on driving more than the old CRM (transactional customer relationship management), hundreds or millions of dollars or more were spent trying to piece technology together, only to result in thwarted attempts to create experience management across channels like web, mobile and commerce.
  • Organizations lack leadership and governance for experience management success. Excellence in experience management requires a cross-functional team strategy, but because companies have functioned in silos, this is more the exception than the rule. Along with a team and strategy, experience management requires budget decisions, often shared among various functional areas. Budget is never an easy topic, but experience management is pushing organizations to face these difficult conversations. New roles and expertise will also be required, with skill sets that span more than one functional area.

 MY POV: The solution is to formalizing an interdepartmental, multi-functional department collaboration using strategy, technology and best practices for customer experience management. As brands realize experience management is key to their overall strategy and long-term growth, Constellation Research recommends considering the following to deliver an integrated web, mobile, social, email and commerce experience:

  • Decide Who Will Lead The Experience Management Strategy: A Competitive Advantage
  • Choose Multi-disciplinary Skill Sets for Chief Experience Management Officer
  • Evaluate Experience Management Technology and Integration
  • Consider an integrated, interconnected technology platform
  • Strive for unity among channel connectivity
  • Use predictive insights to deliver real-time, optimized responses
  • Evolve commerce with interaction and behavior pattern analytics by putting big data to work

Unfortunately, in almost every segment, Constellation estimates that the top three competitors control from 43 percent to 71 percent of market share and 53 percent to 77 percent of the profits. In the technology space, only 80 companies since 2000 have made the billionaire’s club in annual revenue. Meanwhile, intense competition, short-term shareholder and management thinking, and minimal investment hamper the pace of investment and innovation required by business leaders to survive today’s competitive landscape.

Percentage of Profit Rays Book

It’s time to get serious about customer experience, social and digital media. Here’s a link to the report.

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences

 

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4 Factors that Drive Great Customer Experience And Commerce

We just finished some new research that shows the correlation to customer experience and commerce / revenue. Below are some of the highlights of the research and a link to a snapshot of the paper is here.

The Four Factors that Drive Superior Customer Experience Engagement

1. Know who the most profitable customers are online

  • Stat: Only 52 percent of U.S. and 53 percent of U.K. brands were very effective in knowing who their most profitable customers are.
  • This means that nearly half of their time is spent with the wrong customers (low value) or, if they are spending time with the right customers, the customer experience does not provide a high conversion rate.
  • Thus, brands require a new approach.

 2. Know where (which channels) their high value customers are coming from.

  • Stat: Only 58 percent of U.S. and 48 percent of U.K. brands were very effective in knowing where (which channels) their high value customers are coming from.
  • In this context, channels include social media, websites, search engines, etc. Basically, brands are guessing at where to spend their marketing and ad dollars to provide the highest return on investment.

3. Know which high value products customers are interested in.

  • Stat: Only 59 percent of U.S. and 56 percent of U.K. brands were very effective in knowing which products customer are most interested in.
  • Consequently, brands may not be displaying the best products to the highest value customers, thus losing revenue and profits.

4. Know which high value products customers have viewed.

  • Stat: Only 60 percent of U.S. and 56 percent of U.K. brands were very effective in knowing which products customer have actually viewed.
  • When brands understand the customer’s journey, they can direct their spending and messaging to the moments of maximum influence.
  • When they do this, they will have a much greater chance of reaching customers in the right place at the right time with the right message, producing higher conversion rates.

How does your company stack-up compared to these companies? What have you done to improve your customer experience so that it results in better revenue and customer experiences?

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service to Great Amazing Customer Experiences

References:
Harris Poll Research and Primary Constellation Research

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Continuity of Customer Experiences Drives the Future of Commerce

Continuity of Customer Experience Drives the Future of Commerce. I just finished some new research on how improving online customer experiences boosts customer loyalty and revenue in matrix commerce. This survey report provides online businesses with insights into e-commerce challenges, tools used for success, and plans for e-commerce usage in 2015-2020.  The goal is to ensure better experiences and understand what experience-driven continuity means to online business leaders, learn how organizations rate their own brand’s online experiences today, discover what they do to engage with customers across devices, and find out how organizations would rate the emotional connection that customers have with their brand online.

How End Users Should Use This Information: Clients should use this document as a best practices guide in planning for the developing online customer experiences required for success to drive enhanced revenue in matrix commerce initiatives. Here are 6 Pillars of Customer Experience and here’s a link to a snapshot of the paper:

Here’s more of the details of what we learned:

Six Pillars of Customer Experience Commerce Must Haves

Start in one channel, finish in another.

  • Stat: Only 29 percent of U.S. and 22 percent of U.K. brands reported that it was extremely easy for their customers to start the buying journey in one channel (e-mail, chat, video chat, mobile chat, co-browsing, etc.) and complete the purchase in another channel
  • Customers expect to start the buying process in one channel and finish in another of their choosing.
  • It is paramount to reach out to consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions.
  • If a customer cannot easily transition from one channel to another in the buying process, a company will not be able to reach out to the customer at the moment the customer has questions, wants advice or needs help in making a decision.
  • The customer journey must involve continuous interactivity and a two-way conversation with the brand at the right time, with continuity at its core.

Start on one device, finish on another.

  • Stat: Only 35 percent of U.S. and 23 percent of U.K. brands reported that it was extremely easy for their customers to start the buying journey on one device and complete the purchase on another device and keep all the information for the order correct and complete.
  • Customers expect to start the buying process on one device (desktop computer, tablet, smartphone) and finish on another.
  • Leaders should make the business case for not only the technology to make it possible to start the buying process on one device and finish it on another, but also the staff and the training for them to help customers when they transition from one device to another.

Proactively deliver contextual agent assistance during the purchase process.

  • Stat: Only 46 percent of U.S. and 48 percent of U.K. brands could provide excellent agent or human-assisted service through voice and chat while keeping intact the context about the customer’s search, previous purchases and likely purchases.
  • Stat: In addition, only 49 percent of U.S. and 41 percent of U.K. brands could anticipate when a customer may need human assistance while on an e-commerce site.
  • What this means is that brands are not able to provide the human touch often required to close a purchase or understand the context of customers’ potential purchases and help them make the best choice.

Create performance reports viewed as a dashboard or downloadable for reporting and analysis.

  • Stat: Only 51 percent of U.S. and 34 percent of U.K. brands had technology that could provide a variety of e-commerce/website performance information as a dashboard.
  • Without an easy way to look at analytics, the numbers can be lost on many people.
  • Actionable insights must be provided in a dashboard fashion, with trends and easy-to-interpret “next best actions” in order to optimize e-commerce conversions.
  • Stat: In addition, only 50 percent of U.S. and 34 percent of U.K. brands had technology that provided them with site performance reports that were downloadable for reporting and analysis.
  • Without this capability, it is difficult to communicate to senior leadership about the trends, the progress or what is needed to convert more sales and drive higher profits.

Detect if customers need pre-purchase assistance and then support them and send help.

  • Stat: Only 27 percent of U.S. brands and 19 percent of U.K. brands reported that it was extremely easy to send the customer help.
  • When respondents were asked if they were able to detect when customers need pre-sales or pre-purchase support, the survey also asked them how they were able to determine the customer’s need.
  • The breakdown of how respondents currently can determine (or not) whether customers need help indicate a very rudimentary approach.
  • The way brands currently are able to determine if a customer needs pre-sales help is if there is general movement throughout the e-commerce site pages because they are toggling between products or because they are on a page for a long time.
  • Brands need to be smarter than this and the right technology can help here.
  • However, if the brand is not able to reach out to customers with the right information at the right time, it is unable to convert these in-need customers in time into purchasers.
  • The various forms of assistance included being able to send a knowledge base article or offer a proactive, pre-sales chat designed to stop the customer from abandoning the site or the shopping cart.

 Get high lead conversion rates from demand generation content.

  • Stat: In order to secure the resources for content marketing to generate demand for products, brands need to be able to have a high lead rate for the content they create.
  • This means that brands do not understand what type of content customers need to make up their minds and purchase the product. Content generation can be expensive and require additional staff.[2]
  • Content is not something to be taken for granted. It takes budget, people, and process to deliver relevant content to engage customers and drive commerce.

Next Steps?  Have you gotten your customer experience in shape so you can ultimately drive revenue and commerce? If so, what did you did you do? What do you think most brands are missing on this topic?

@drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Create Amazing Customer Experiences.

References

[1] Harris Poll Survey and Constellation Primary Research.

[2] How to Staff the Team for Effective Content Marketing: From Ad Hoc to Professional, Learn What It Takes to Staff for Success, Constellation Research, Dr. Natalie Petouhoff and R “Ray” Wang, April 10. 2015

 

 

 

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A Facebook Commerce Pop-Up Store- Social Commerce For Small Business: Rachel Roy Jewelry

How to use a Facebook Commerce Pop-up Store / Social Commerce For Small Business and Monetize Fans

Social commerce is the addition of shopping to social networks. Small business can profit from Facebook Commerce. But if businesses aren’t careful, social commerce has the potential to ruin social networks. That’s why it’s important how brands fulfill on f-commerce. It will directly affect the success not only for their own individual brand, but as an industry as a whole. If social networking shopping sites are not delivered in the spirit of what the customer wants, it will fail. If they are delivered well, social commerce can succeed. If not for this point alone, brands need to pay attention to f-commerce as an example of how shopping can be integrated within a social network.

English: American fashion designer Rachel Roy.

Image via Wikipedia

An example of someone who really gets social commerce? That would be Rachel Roy. Rachel used a pop-up store— a Facebook commerce store to create engaging social merchandising experiences that increase a brand’s fan base while driving transactions. By creating immersive brand experiences that fully integrate shopping as well as the shopper’s wider social network, the brand increased their social currency with those fans and customers. And a pop-up shop is a great way for brand to test the f-commerce waters without going into full-scale  shop.

Rachel Roy launched a pop-up store on Facebook, giving fan’s a shopping event that included early access to Roy’s new jewelry line which was a collaboration with British R&B artist, Estelle. Rachel Roy provided a limited edition, time sensitive offering that helped drive sales without having to offer a discount.

The pop-up store lasted three days and boosted Rachel Roy’s fan base by 25% in the first day and 100% by the end of the campaign. The Facebook Page acquired 1 fan every 1.5 seconds. The exclusive, limited edition piece sold out in six hours.

Rachel Roy

Image by Rubenstein via Flickr

 

 

 

The Rachel Roy pop-up shop was built on a software-as-a-service solution created by Fluid Social Fan Shop of the Fluid Agency. This is an e-commerce firm whose clients include Diane von Furstenberg, Nine West, Theory, Vans and Coach.

6 hours: Time it took for the Rachel Roy Facebook jewelry store to sell out.

3rd highest: daily sales made by Rachel Roy, the day it opened its pop-up f-store.

Bravo to Rachel Roy for being a social commerce diva!!

 

You can find more examples like this in Dr. Natalie’s Book: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans With a Facebook Store and learn how to use social commerce for your business!

@drnatalie Learn. Share. Grow!™

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff is a social media business and ROI business adviser. You can find her here:

Twitter: @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
website/blog: www.drnatalienews.com/blog

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