The internet is everywhere. It’s escaped your desktop, conquered your laptop, lives on your phone and might even be on your games console, your set top box or maybe even a shiny new iPad. This has been true for a while and it all points to the fact that there’s no longer a single method of surfing.
This of course, also applies to eCommerce – online buying exists across this wide variety of devices. This ecosystem led to the multi-channel strategy – the belief that the commerce experience must be present across all channels, in order to always serve the customer.
While not wrong, the question now has to be asked, does this model tell the whole story? Recent research reveals there maybe a bit more going on here – and this affects eCommerce strategy. Specifically the problem with the multi channel is that it’s an either/or proposition – people buy something on their mobile phone OR their laptop, they browse products using their iPad OR their X-Box.
In reality life is a bit more complicated – we all move through different devices as we decide to buy, sometimes even in tandem. This is where the new agile concept developed by analyst house Forrester research makes more sense as a way of thinking of online buying behaviour.
Replacing multi-channel’s either/or opposition with a both/and way of thinking means that we more accurately reflect how people use technology now. But having read the white paper what does it mean for the buying experience we seek to provide?
1. Touch points not channels
With the insight that customers don’t move smoothly through one channel comes the realisation that the sales process needs to be thought of as a series of touch points. This means presenting the customer with the ability to discover products, transact and receive service in a relevant, contextual manner – from any medium.
2. Move quicker – be more agile
It then stands to reason that if customers are jumping between customer touch points, then agility is key to evolve rapidly with customer demand and the changing points of engagement. This is clearly more easily said than done. One answer lies in the adoption of APIs. This enables third parties an internal stakeholders to quickly adapt to changing customer demands – an approach taken for example by Tesco.
3. Empower those at the customer coal face
So if adapting to customer change in an agile world it also means making sure that the insight gathered from those dealing directly with the customer is incorporated. Those insights are key to your agile commerce strategy. How are you capturing them?
4. Looking at the life cycle
The move to agile commerce is part of a wider trend to looking at the customer journey through the sales funnel as instead a loop. For further reading learn more about how the sales funnel is broken in our other eCommerce article this month.
5. Single Analytics customer view
Optimising your touch points presents the classic problem of economics – wants are infinite, resources are finite. How do you prioritise your work on touch points when you only have finite budget? Here a single view of analytics is key. Only once you’ve established the KPIs that work across all channels can resource be effectively allocated.
This means you can achieve greater ROI as your marketing is no longer siloed in separate channels but instead are together and connected. Moreover, in Forrester’s study of agile commerce, 48% of businesses found increased online sales with 25% also reporting increased profitability. If that’s not a reason to investigate agile commerce, then what is? Drop us a line to find out more.