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3 enduring consumer truths—and the brands meeting them with innovations in commerce

With enhanced commerce platforms like Sitecore Experience Commerce (XC) 9.3, companies are leveraging the latest innovations for increased performance and scalability, more sophisticated marketing automation, higher and more predictable revenue streams, and stronger customer loyalty and engagement.

Even the global retail industry has shifted its focus to technical innovation. NRF 2020 exemplifies this trend. Leaving its 20th century brick and mortar focus far behind, it’s essentially a tech show these days.

But even as technology transforms the retail industry (along with every other industry), there are a few consumer truths that remain. I consider three of these truths below, while highlighting Sitecore customers who have embraced digital technology to exceed customer expectations for powerful results.

Know me, remember me

Eighty-three percent of consumers want to move between channels when communicating with a brand. But brands that fail to recognize customers across channels can’t offer coherent cross-channel experiences. And one disjointed experience can have a tremendous cost. Companies who have weak omnichannel customer experience have a 33% customer retention rate, versus the 89% retention rate of companies with a strong one.

Bluegreen Vacations gives their customers exceptional vacation experiences — a trademark for the American timeshare company. The problem was these exceptional experiences weren’t being reflected online.

“Consumers hate rehashing what they did online to a call-center rep,” says Famous Rhodes, EVP and CMO for Bluegreen Vacations Corporation, “and they hate not seeing a call-center engagement reflected in their digital experience. So, we’re blending them together. Sitecore gives us that power.”

Bluegreen rebuilt its online presence with Sitecore XC. The revamped online presence not only improves the transactional elements of buying timeshare properties, but also enables Bluegreen to serve up specialized content and vacation recommendations to each individual. This dramatically reduced call-center hours (where 98% of transactions were previously being made), saving an anticipated $3 million a year. And customers who do chose to call in are served by agents with a 360-degree view of the customer’s journey — across mobile, desktop, and call-center channels.

Between its improved online and call-center channels, Bluegreen projects $10 million in revenue increases related to upsells, additional nights booked, resort stays, and improved activation rates.

I want what I want, when I want it

Foodstuffs North Island, New Zealand’s largest grocery cooperative, wanted to deliver the best possible shopping experiences. To remain relevant and valuable, they needed to offer their customers the ability to shop when, where, and how they wanted through a compelling omnichannel experience.

Over the past 97 years, Foodstuffs has gradually transformed their business from a traditional grocer to a leading-edge retailer. Given the proliferation of food delivery apps in the region, like Uber Eats and My Food Bag, Foodstuffs needed to extend their commerce offering. A full online experience, versus just an app, was essential for getting a leg up on the market. By allowing customers to begin shopping on a web browser and finish on their app while also collating channels across all stores, they were able to provide a more consistent, immediate shopping experience. It complements the shoppers’ in-store experience while allowing them to interact with brands wherever they want. With a 158% uplift in sales, Foodstuffs North Island remains primed to take over the competition.

Keep it simple

Brand still matters, and a consumer’s perception of a brand is only as good as his or her last experience. With products in over 140 markets, Thule, a Sweden-based international outdoor and transportation company, understood this well. Their ecommerce was disparate, led by different markets across the globe. Which meant their brand message was being muddled if not lost entirely. To own their brand, they needed to unify messaging.

But that was just the start. Given all the options consumers have today, including Amazon, Thule needed to up their game to meet customer expectations.

“We really wanted to give a personalized experience to the users coming to the site,” said Jenny Wassmer, eCommerce Sales Director, Thule. “By using Sitecore, we were able to consolidate everything under one roof,” including 14 vendors across the globe. This enabled them to capture valuable data, which they’re now able to analyze for insight to help grow the business.

They also have to serve up content across 23 languages. “We have to be able to manage content diversely across the different markets and languages pretty quickly and fluidly,” says Wessmer, “and Sitecore enables us to do that with a very small team of fewer than 10 people.”

With uplifts in site visits, average order value, number of transactions per year, and more, Thule’s happy with the results.

We’re proud to partner with experience leaders like those highlighted above. And we’re ready to support your smarter, more sophisticated commerce growth in this decade and well into the next. Discover the new Sitecore XC 9.3 and the power of commerce innovation. Or contact us to discuss your commerce journey and future plans at any time.

By Kelly Bergl

Posted: Tuesday 18 February 2020