Unlike traditional online commerce — which is focused on transaction-centric elements such as product availability and pricing — experiential commerce seeks to replicate the complete shopping experience consumers are used to facing in a brick-and-mortar store.
Only 11% of retailers currently have an experiential commerce strategy in place, according to a survey conducted by CoreMedia, a provider of web content management software. However, experiential commerce is gaining traction, as up to 75% of companies are discussing the concept more extensively.
To assemble the report, Coremedia surveyed 143 attendees at the 2014 IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit on May 14-15, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. The survey was designed to improve the company’s understanding of how retailers are addressing experiential commerce.
The top factor driving experiential commerce adoption is a lack of differentiation from the competition, as reported by 57% of retail respondents. Other factors increasing retailers’ interest in experiential commerce were low conversion rates (44%) and a lack of brand understanding among consumers (43%).
By embracing experiential commerce, respondents said they aimed to increase:
Customer loyalty (68%);
Customer satisfaction (63%);
Engagement (62%); and
Brand awareness (58%).
However, retailers noted that although they may want to implement an experiential commerce strategy, there are five obstacles making the process more difficult:
Providing a relevant experience across all channels (58%);
Personalizing the user experience based on context (58%);
Integrating with marketing systems, campaigns and content (58%);
Lacking experimental commerce expertise (48%); and
Integrating rich media into their commerce platform (48%).
With a combination of organizational and technology change and optimization, retailers can deliver a satisfying e-Commerce experience and continue growth. To ensure marketing and e-Commerce alignment, Coremedia recommended that retailers map out the buyer’s journey across all touch points and identify “moments of truth” in which content and offers can guarantee a positive action from consumers.
Additionally, Coremedia suggested that retailers review the technology they have in place so they are not using inadequate experiential tools. On top of that, businesses must ensure that team members can easily use these tools to reduce dependence on IT or external resources. Retailers can build up technology skills by offering cross-training or by partnering with system integrators or digital agencies that have experience working with e-Commerce and content management solutions.
Click here to access the CoreMedia Survey Report.