Joey Moore Discusses Multichannel Commerce Strategy
This past March, as many of you already know, my co-worker Laura Myers and I had been invited to attend Episerver Ascend 2017 as media, which took place in the glamor of the heart of Las Vegas, with over 600 attendees. During the event, we were fortunate enough to chat with Joey Moore, Director of Product Marketing at Episerver, and we really enjoyed his wealth of knowledge about enterprise-level digital commerce as well as his friendly and pleasant demeanor. Therefore, Laura has reached out to Joey once again, to bring forth his rich insight on multichannel commerce strategy to our audience.
Speaking from his experience, Joey thinks that one of the biggest mistakes with multi-channel strategy is not setting up the customer journey in a way that organizations can understand where customers are coming from, when/where they interact with them, and he believes that social channels are often overlooked when it comes to listening to an audience. Therefore, he recommends organizations carefully and closely monitor what their prospects/customers different touchpoints are, and from there create a holistic plan that can address each touchpoint.
Separation of channels often leave customers frustrated and confused. Considering that today, 91% of customers want to pick up where they left off from one channel to the next, disconnection between departments and channels is not something today’s consumer really wants to tolerate and especially millennials are not really known for their high tolerance and loyalty. Therefore, it is extremely paramount for businesses to have a holistic approach when they employ a technology and strategy. As Joey also stressed during the interview, organizations should break out of their silos – not only with the technology but also with the way that people from different departments work. For instance, a customer can have a hard time with the call center if a coupon is not accepted by them whereas it is accepted at the store. This sort of lack of cross-channel information visibility tarnishes the brand reputation and makes it impossible to build up a customer loyalty.
Another thing Joey emphasized was the importance of having leadership who can drive and gather people from different departments around the same overreaching goal within the organization. In other words, it is so important to provide all divisions with a single view of the customer across channels so the entirety of the organization would be on the same page to execute its multichannel strategy.
One of the examples Joey gave as a brand that he feels is excelling with their multichannel commerce strategy was Topper’s Pizza whom we had a great conversation with during Episerver Ascend 2017. (You can watch the full interview here.) The reason why Joey picked them is that “they have realized that in the eyes of the consumer, they need to be a digital-first business.” He also said: “They have started speaking to the customer - not through technology but actually through the way the customer wants to interact with them.”
Even the best strategy can be improved upon, especially in this ever-changing digital era, it takes more time and effort to understand if you actually keep up with your consumers’ expectations. To do so, businesses should consistently monitor their customers and prospects’ patterns. They need to know which steps happen online, which steps happen offline, if the entire journey is completed through only one digital channel, say, your website, or do visitors wander among different platforms, how these visitors react to the interactions with the brand, for how long they spend exploring your content, and so on. From there, they need to connect the dots and integrate channels and systems. So they can ask via email or a Twitter ad: “Hey, remember those cool shoes you looked at? If you are still interested, they are just a click away.” This is not considered as creepy anymore, yet it demonstrates that you are listening to your consumers and tailoring your content based on their purchase histories and personal interests. In fact, the recent Episerver study, “Reimagining Commerce,” finds that 43 percent of respondents expect brands to know about their purchase histories, followed by personal interests with 25 percent, demographics with 20 percent, and billing information with 17 percent. After all, to me, if personalization isn’t done at the individual level, it shouldn’t really be considered so.
Joey warned retailers and told the ugly truth: “Customers won’t wait for you to catch up as they will just move to the next organization.” He also added: “Today’s customers are the least loyal and the most demanding generation, and this situation puts a lot of weights on not only vendors like us to keep up and stay ahead of the demand but also on our customers and how they speak to their potential customers at the market.” I couldn’t agree more with Joey on how ever-increasing demand from consumers puts huge pressure on businesses. Well, you know what they say; “pressure makes diamonds.”
According to a recent survey by Forrester, 52 percent of marketers cited understanding customer behavior across channels and devices as the biggest challenge they expected to face in the next two years. Survey respondents also noted it was important to them to be increasing or enhancing customer engagement, education or loyalty (38%), integrating online and offline interactions (38%), and attributing marketing performance across interactions (40%). To tackle these issues, marketers should focus on both explicit and implicit insights. While explicit insights can be gathered through consumers’ transactions, responses to campaigns, orders, and returns, implicit signals can be attained from time spent on specific product pages, offers hovered over for a certain period of time, previously visited sites, customers’ feelings shared on social media, and what information is shared on online forums. Combining both of these is the secret sauce to fully understanding the pattern that can ultimately allow them to interact more effectively with the right audience at the right time across the right channels.
A multi-channel strategy is imperative not only for effective customer engagement but also for productivity within the organization, as for marketers, nothing is harder than dealing with the challenges associated with managing a multitude of content, and distributing that content globally in multiple languages if they do not have the right tools. To deliver and optimize a seamless experience for both external and internal stakeholders, organizations need to be armed with the right technology and, as Joey mentioned, the right mindset. It’s important to realize that executing an effective and robust multichannel commerce strategy is not a destination, yet it is a journey that continues as long as your business is in the game. If you want to position your business to remain with or ahead of the curve over the next 5 to 10 years, you should first, truly understand what kind of message resonates with your audience, then which channels and devices they are spending their timeon, from there, how you can integrate your message with those channels to deliver the most seamless and relevant experience, and finally how you can optimize those experiences for each consumer.