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Imagine Commerce 2016 Session Recap: Today's Buyer Journey – The Good, the Bad and the Not So Pretty

Imagine Commerce 2016 Blog Template for Session Recaps

The 2016 Imagine opening session is over and everyone is busy attending breakout sessions throughout the Wynn Hotel. Our very own chief marketing officer Erika Brookes presented on omnichannel marketing in a breakout session called “Today’s Buyer Journey: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. Erika laid out today’s buyer journey discovery, influence, and purchase, and she gave actionable insights for increasing conversions for a seamless customer experience from beginning to end.

If you’re at the event and couldn’t make it to today’s breakout session (or want to hear it again because it was so awesome), Erika will be giving a condensed version of her presentation again tomorrow at 11am PST in Lafleur 2!

There has been a lot of buzz around the words omnichannel, mobile, and customer experience lately, and it’s difficult to sort through what’s fluff and what’s actually relevant to small and medium sized eCommerce stores. Erika chose this topic for her first Imagine presentation to dispel the myth that these are just buzzwords and present compelling research and insights that show just how important a seamless omnichannel experience is for your customers.

Key learnings from today’s session:

  • The emergence of mobile & social has led to a shift in today’s buyer journey
  • Omnichannel is more than a buzzword; it’s a strategy that’s here to stay
  • Stores that leverage the content & devices their buyers are already consuming & using will have a competitive advantage
  • It’s imperative to have establish the right processes and technology for omnichannel, but it’s not necessary to implement every strategy all at once

2016 - erika brookes presentation
Digging deeper into the New Buyer Journey

  • Technology adoption is accelerating at an unprecedented speed. For example, while the telephone took 75 years to reach 50 million users and the television took 14 years, the internet only took 4. Facebook took 3.5 years to reach 50 million users while newcomer Snapchat only took 2!
  • Many retailers flock to use these technologies in their marketing without fully understanding how their audience uses it (think Facebook apps and QR codes — the ugly side of marketing!)
  • Today’s buyer has all of the power in the consumer-to-retailer relationship. Brands can no longer broadcast their messages megaphone style to their audience. Instead, they need to participate in the conversation that’s taking place in their consumers’ world and facilitate a customer experience that meets shoppers where they are.

Erika outlined 5 extremely helpful strategies that retailers can implement to make their customer experience more customer-centric for an omnichannel world. She gave examples of good, bad, and ugly examples for each, but we’ll share the good here with you today!

5 #Protips to Implementing Omnichannel:

1. Personalization

The new expectations shoppers have for their experiences with stores demand that they are appreciated and known by the brand. Personalizing your messages, especially in email marketing, allows you to have that 1 to 1 interaction with your customers without having to send out one-off emails all day. Break down your customer list into advanced segments in order to create highly targeted marketing campaigns. Do this by merging multiple factors like product category, demographics, and behavior.

2. Automation

The “now generation” demands that things happen immediately. They’re always connected and are producing a LOT of data with every interaction they have online. Automate your marketing actions, especially when it comes to order fulfillment and email messages surrounding purchases, to hold your consumers’ attention and keep them coming back. You can do this with triggered emails that remind shoppers to return to your site and complete abandoned cart orders, after-purchase emails that remind customers to leave a review, and more.

3. Content

Content marketing is a form of advertising that has an element of social proof, but we have to be aware of how we make the transition from organic content to paid and sponsored. Promoting your content through sponsorships and ads is a great way to get more eyes on what you produce (and hopefully more clicks back to your products), but you have to keep it genuine so you can retain your customers’ trust. Incorporate calls-to-action like products links embedded in your blog posts, buyable pins, and even shoppable Instagram landing pages while maintaining your brand voice and transparency.

4. Social

Social and content marketing go hand-in-hand, but social gives consumers an even bigger platform with less restrictions to have their voice heard. The brands that succeed with social are the ones who understand what their target audience is talking about on social, join in the conversation in a natural way, and learn how to harness what’s being said about them on social in a positive way. Use trending topics and pop culture events to your advantage, but make sure you understand their context and their relevancy to your audience.

5. Analytics

You have access to data about your customers – who they are, what they’re doing, etc. It’s what you do with that data that counts. Ultimately, the goal is to have an eagle eye view of your store’s data and be able to quickly act on it in a way that leads to a more cohesive experience for your customers and more revenue for your store.

Erika’s advice: Track EVERYTHING. Analyze EVERYTHING. Bring all of your data into one place so that you have a holistic view of your customers and how your marketing is performing across all channels and in coordination with one another.

Here’s a few things folks are saying about the session: 


What’d we miss?

Did you attend this session or have more thoughts to add about omnichannel? We’d like to know! Tweet us @springbot