Marquee brands like Forever 21 and Yelp offer personalized experiences on their homepage. They provide customized recommendations for user preferences, such as likes and dislikes, food preferences, and lifestyles, to meet customer needs better. The new features on the Yelp app have earned them 2.4 million users a month, with 2.2 million requests from across 300+ categories. The Californian fashion giant Forever 21 has been prioritizing personalization. They capture customer attention with personalized search results, lucrative offers, and product recommendations. This article discusses digital experience platforms and how they play an important role in creating a great digital customer experience for customer loyalty, retention, and lifetime value. It also covers how digital experience platforms can elevate customers' brand experience and ultimately business for brands.
What is a Digital Experience Platform, and how is it applied to E-commerce?
DXP is a front-end software paired with a back-end platform to create a complete e-commerce system. It helps customers in their shopping journey from finding a perfect product at the right price to completing the order. For this, it collects customer data from a range of digital channels to build, personalize, and maintain customer content.
With a DXP, brands can deliver personalized and compelling product listings and content based on the customer identity and their search and purchase history. DXP works the same way as headless platforms. In e-commerce, DXPs operate as front-end software with a back-end platform for creating an e-commerce system.
Enhancing the e-commerce experience starts with the customer
Three main aspects of customer experience are:
Building unique and memorable user experiences
For brands today, customer satisfaction is one of the important strategies for success in the business. Various brands look into how customers are using their websites, products, purchase history, search history, and feedback to gain user experience information. It helps them create unique and memorable experiences through personalization, leading to customer loyalty.
Shifting the marketing strategies
The end-user experience enhancement is essential while shifting marketing strategies. Market experts shift their plans and strategies from price and product to enhance the end-user experience throughout the purchasing lifecycle.
Personalized product recommendations and user preferences
One of the critical parameters for 21st-century businesses is customer loyalty. Customers are offered product recommendations and user preferences with attractive offers and marketing strategies. It helps them reduce their time searching for the product of their choice. Which in turn builds brand loyalty.
The back-end DXP platform processes payments and manages customer orders and products, but it cannot work independently. Digital channels provide data on the customer search, wishlist, purchase history, returns, and price of previous purchases from digital channels. In addition, it helps create personalized customer information. As per the information, the DXP recommends and indirectly guides the customer throughout the shopping journey of suitable products at preferred prices. The DXP directs the customers in their shopping journey and finds relevant products at an excellent price. It is done with customer data taken from the digital channels to create, personalize, and maintain the customer's information.
DXP helps create memorable customer experiences across multiple touchpoints with in-built templates and tools that allow e-commerce brands to build fully-functional applications.
The basic DXP features:
- AI and Analytics intelligently extract the customer preferences and accordingly provide suggestions while shopping.
- Automation in DXP offers a fast and most accurate analysis of massive data generated by millions of customers every day.
- Cloud infrastructure enables easy data storage and access.
- Content Management System (CMS) allows efficient and effective data management and easy content authoring.
- Digital Commerce speeds up brand recognition by reaching millions of customers at a time.
- Integration APIs connect two or more applications through APIs and quickly exchanges data such as the Google account connected to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and other synchronized accounts like social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and so on.
- Personalization offered by DXPs satisfies customers with their preferred recommendations while shopping.
- Omnichannel delivery allows customers to purchase and receive orders from multiple sales channels with one-touch seamless integration.
10 ways in which DXPs can elevate your brand experience
Modern consumers and shoppers crave for guided and personalized user experience. DXPs facilitate improving the search relevance by simplifying information search for users. It offers a personalized and controlled shopping experience by displaying products matching user preferences while shopping. It also helps the e-commerce engines collect customer shopping behavior data to become more intelligent over the period with experience and below tactics:
1. An intuitive UX and landing page experience for simplicity
Brand recognition and enhanced business need an engaging website with an intuitive UX and design. Brands need to focus on three critical areas to create an intuitive landing page experience:
- Websites should be optimized for various devices and gadgets used for digital shopping, such as smartphones, laptops, computers, tablets, and iPads.
- It should have appropriate product categories and sorted landing pages to make the site easily navigable for product search, the on-site path offers and CTAs, optimized payments, order fulfillment, and returns, streamlining the purchases for digital customers.
- The user interface should be simple and easy to track landing pages to make product, content, and information search simple and quick for visitors.
2. Appealing customer emotions for an increased customer base
Customer emotions play a critical role while invoking interest in your brand products and services. Thus, every touchpoint of your DXP must be engaging. Using the latest technologies such as augmented and virtual reality can change the digital shopping experience more than ever before. They offer the edge to convince you of the product by virtually visualizing it and making the shopping experience more tangible, like in shops or malls. Moreover, a combination of photographs and other multimedia content can evoke emotions to impact your online customers positively.
3. Omnichannel customer experience for brand strategies
With marketing performed on several channels or devices that the customers choose, offering a genuinely omnichannel customer experience is necessary for all the brands. Brands need to collect data from all platforms and analyze it for the best marketing and business strategies on each platform based on the information gained.
4. Personalized CX for customer loyalty
For e-commerce, personalization focuses on offering curated content for every customer throughout their journey. As an e-commerce business owner, you can provide personalization through the services you extend to customers' preferences and engagement history. Artificial intelligence makes it possible to analyze customer data, personalize, and tailor your ECX accordingly.
5. Responsive interaction for customer engagement
You can engage customers with newsletters, email marketing, SMS messaging, audience segmentation, chatbot, and live chat for audiences on-site and social media to interact with the customers. You can also incorporate follow-ups after customer engagements using customer surveys after purchase and cart abandonment emails.
6. Responsive support to resolve customer queries
Customers should be satisfied with each query. The FAQ page on your website enables your customer service department to address the issues and find the best solution without reaching your customer support. Other advanced solutions such as live chatbots 24*7 customer support help elevate user experience, keeping up with your brand loyalty.
7. Optimized supply chain for an improved customer service
Supply chain management is all about delivering products on time, avoiding stock-outs and customer disappointments, assuring product safety throughout the supply chain. Therefore, it is mandatory to centralize your inventory data when moving towards omnichannel sales.
8. Several fulfillment options
For popular brands, fulfillment options such as BOPIS, i.e., buy online, pick up in-store, and BORIS, i.e., buy online, return in-store, are becoming increasingly prevalent. They help save on shipping and other fees, ensuring stock availability for earlier product delivery. It is a win-win for both the customer and company as they can save on shipping and restocking costs and get the returned product for reselling.
9. Payment options for easy transactions
There are two payment aspects to consider. One is the different payment methods customers use. You must pinpoint the customers' payment methods and provide a seamless checkout. The other way is to offer subscription service to the customers as it is convenient for goods or services customers use regularly. Offering payment options to the customers can be great to get them to convert. Also, offering financing, layaway, and pre-purchasing to your customers is a good option for businesses.
10. Community support
Creating a community of engaged and loyal customers, influencers, partners, and stakeholders is the ultimate business solution. This community must expand to multiple platforms where your brand operates. One way is to create a Facebook community where customers can share product reviews, user-made content, usage tips, etc. You can also host an online community on your website. Building a community keeps customers informed and productive and adds an element of fun.
Benefits of DXPs for e-commerce platforms
E-commerce platforms can reap some incredible benefits from DXPs as below:
1. Scalable to multiple touchpoints
With DXPs, brands can deliver content to online and in-person touchpoints beyond the web, mobile, chatbots, and customer portals for consistent customer experience on any type of platform.
2. More control over your business
DXPs integrate marketing, trading, and customer service along with real-time solutions. In addition, DXPs can collect relevant incoming and stored data with APIs offering brands more control while interacting with the customers.
3. Scalable architecture with microservices
DXPs function with the agility of the microservices architecture it offers. It enables organizations to evolve their technology stack, making necessary changes and improvements to the platform components.
4. Fueled by insights
The AI in the DXPs offers brands actionable insights at every customer touchpoint. It can find the hidden details within massive data, helping visitors find the relevant information.
AI-enabled personalization drives customer loyalty and provides a tailored user experience. In addition, it helps in knowing customer buying patterns to improve the customer experience at every touchpoint.
Examples of e-commerce brands who have adopted DXPs
Amazon always tops the list when personalization in the e-commerce landscape is discussed. This is because Amazon accesses the customer data points such as name, search query, search time, purchase history, brand affinity, browsing habits, past purchases, the average spent amount to know customer preferences and market better.
Amazon performs behavioral targeting, predictive modeling, and contextual marketing by anticipating customers' needs using customer data. As a result, Amazon’s on-site recommendations make 60% higher conversions than other brands.
IKEA has been actively employing AI, making customers interact and use the app to get an idea of the actual store without even visiting, making the buying process easy and engaging. IKEA searches spiked tremendously with the app and established it as one of the most innovative companies.
Macy’s has introduced a mobile application for augmenting sales and has reported more than expected earnings. Its mobile checkout app quickens the in-store checkout. In addition, the technology bolsters the self-service feature, making customers browse items with their phone camera and app scanner.
Starbucks has launched an app-based customer rewards program to customize their beverages and order products. In addition, it introduced gamification to engage with in-app customers and personalized them for users’ screens. This rewards program earned Starbucks a revenue of $2.56 billion, generating $6 million in sales per month. In addition, Starbucks drives real-time personalization with app-centric data. Their AI engine serves individualized customer offers based on their activity, past purchases, location, and preferences.
Walmart achieved a 40 percent increase in sales and a 10 percent stock boost in 2017 by a website representing trending items. In addition, its recently launched Store Assistant mobile app has helped it transform the overall customer shopping experience.
Types of DXPs and their e-commerce applications
Here are the three DXPs and their E-commerce brands applications:
1. CMS DXPs
CMS DXPs work on analytics and persona-based segmentation for generating demand, acquiring customers, accelerating sales, personalizing promotions, and content delivery.
2. Commercial DXPs
Commercial DXPs display promotional content on their websites and offer add-on features of pre-purchasing, product returns, payment, inventory, and shopping cart management.
3. Portal DXPs
Portal DXPs increase customer loyalty and retention with CMS mobile support, workflow automation, and front-end representation to the e-commerce brands.
The 21-st century digital era is modernizing with advanced digital technology in all sectors. It has brought a new marketing strategy for businesses, like enhancing digital customer experiences through DXPs. DXP enables businesses to reach millions of customers in a few seconds, make modifications on a website and enlist new products through digital product launches. It helps improve the customer experience by personalizing products they view based on their search, purchase, return, and even price preferences in historical data. Reach out to QED42 for a digital experience you would have never imagined before for your business and brand, and transform your business into intelligent entities through their innovative marketing strategies and expertise.