Newsroom Editor

Last year accelerated the transformation of consumer habits and demand for connected customer experiences. It was the biggest year ever for online commerce, with 10 years of growth achieved in just three months. More than ever before, shopping became seamlessly intertwined with the other experiences that occupy our day-to-day lives, and as consumers, we have become used to expecting everything to be easily and immediately ‘shoppable’, as well as conveniently delivered to our doorstep.

This opened up a new set of challenges for brands that were not yet offering robust and transactional digital customer experiences. Brands are now realizing that everything they sell needs to be available in just a matter of clicks on any device, and all of their customer engagement channels—from social and email to banner ads and text messages—need to be commerce-enabled. The Forrester Wave™: Commerce Services, Q1 2021 report outlines some of the capabilities needed by brands to achieve this and ensure that commerce is always on and always present.

Beyond the Point of Sale

The transaction is still the moment of truth for any brand. However, given how shopping habits have evolved, the only way to continuously create these moments and nurture ongoing, value-based customer relationships is to optimize every touchpoint and build a cohesive, relevant experience. If your brand cannot drive awareness, engender loyalty, and create personalized content that drives consumers seamlessly to conversion, your competitors will.

It is estimated that a 2% increase in customer retention is the same to profits as cutting costs by 10%.[1] It is crucial for brands to build commerce experiences that are consistent, not siloed, and feed into their broader strategic vision to grow customer lifetime value (CLV). Personalization is the key to both create attention with targeted offers and extend engagement to turn occasional buyers into repeat customers and, ultimately, advocates.

Fueling Personalization with Identity Data and Content at Scale

If personalized, omnichannel commerce experiences are the outcome, data and content are key ingredients in the formula that make it possible. First-party data provides the framework of understanding not only who your customers are, but also what they want and need. Data-driven marketing is experiencing major disruptions as a result of new legislation being passed to protect consumers’ privacy rights, as well as the progressive deprecation of third-party cookies and mobile device identifiers on some of the major internet browsers. Therefore, brands investing in first-party identity resolution are going to have a competitive advantage in delivering personalized commerce experiences. Personalization also requires robust and steady content production that can operate at scale to deliver global consistency and local variation without foregoing the artistry and inspiration that wins consumer attention and creates the excitement that leads to a purchase.

It is through the summation of these capabilities that brands can bring to life an end-to-end commerce strategy that is built on a deeper understanding of the customer journey and can meet the demands of the new era of commerce.

Learn more about the capabilities needed by brands to deliver differentiated commerce experiences. Download The Forrester Wave™: Commerce Services, Q1 2021 now.