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09Jan, 2018

Ecommerce for year 2018: Experiential Ecommerce

We at i95Dev believe in experiential ecommerce, and hence we watch the industry leaders closely. Year 2018 is surely going to see a heated ecommerce race and behemoths like Amazon and eBay are surely looking to power their way through innovation.
Ecommerce in 2017 laid emphasis on the more traditional methods such as fast site performance, ease of navigation and omnichannel/multi-channel selling. 2018 is going to be the year of customer experience and personalization i.e ease of shopping, finding informative content and interactive tools to make online shopping more immersive.

Magento’s contribution to experiential ecommerce

What names pops to your mind when you think of the term experiential commerce? It is all but imperative that Warby Parker stands out as a trailblazer in experiential commerce.
The growth registered by Warby Parker in the last 5 years is simply exponential, a staggering $1.2 billion worth ecommerce empire. The secret recipe for the success of Warby Parker is the finesse with which they did the cheap things right. They solely relied on the word of mouth publicity by doing excellent promotions and Magento stood as a bulwark in their ecommerce success all along.

How Magento and Warby Parker wove magic?

When Warby Parker entered the horizon, Luxottica was virtually maintaining a monopoly over this domain. Warby Parker was able to undercut the established Luxottica through their innovative business model and loosened their stranglehold over the supply chain. People were able to shop for affordable eye gear under $100 from their homes.
Magento helped Warby Parker create success by providing enhancements such as:

  • Helping customers try their selected eye gear easily and virtually. This achieved the ease of shopping which is the primary step to create a personalized shopping experience.
  • This allows the development team to perform easy customizations to suit their evolving workflow. This gave them the ability to develop a highly flexible ecommerce platform, which can be integrated with backend systems like their ERP and CRM.
  • Magento helped Warby Parker develop a highly informed workforce. They were able to provide the resources to make informed and personalized decisions about particular customer’s queries.
  • Magento enhancements helped Warby Parker achieve high-level personalization for their shoppers. This included providing personalized discounts and giving shoppers a range of shipping methods to choose from suiting their pockets. In turn, it helped them a lot in their word of mouth marketing strategy, which further established the brand of Warby Parker firmly.

Upon close observation, you can clearly realize the prognosis. All steps that were taken by Warby Parker can be judged standard but they fit in the bigger picture of providing personalization.
Personalization forms the basis for developing a good experiential commerce solution that is exactly what Warby Parker did.

How can you emulate Warby Parker’s success?

Warby Parker spawned a great number of innovative start-ups. So what does it take to successfully emulate them? The factors to aid achieve ecommerce personalization are:

    1. Knowledge at fingertips
      Gen X and Gen Y shoppers are semi-knowledgeable thanks to the internet and a semi-informed resource results in a lost customer and worse bad rep. Empower your resources and customer service representatives with updated information. Let your service representatives inform your customers about the latest stock in inventory based on their previous preferences and purchases.
      How to achieve this?
      Ecommerce integration with CRM systems can help in providing vital customer information like preferred brands, past order history, choice of shipping and previous complaints raised. This information can help ecommerce businesses achieve effective decision making, quicker response from the customer reps, streamlined customer interaction.
    2. Mobile centric ecommerce
      Do not let mcommerce be a vestige in your strategy. Make your web store mobile optimized and let your customer service representative provide product and inventory information directly with customers via email or SMS.
      How to achieve this?
      Firstly choosing the right ecommerce platform, which has mcommerce at its heart, is very important. Magento collaborated with Google to combine Progressive Web Apps to enhance their ecommerce capabilities. Read more on this click here.
    3. Improving checkout process
      With the rise of one click and guest check out options it is only imperative that adding this to your strategy only makes your path easier. Apart from these, incentives like offering a great returns policy, offering innovative shipping options like drop shipping and customizing thank you page are a great way of improving checkout process.
      How to achieve this?
      Magento has great features, which give your customers easy check out options. Some of the options offered by Magento are guest checkout and advanced payment integrations. To know more about Magento and its role in success stories like Warby Parker success, click here.
    4. Personalized Loyalty program
      We repeatedly reinforced our thought ‘No two shoppers are the same’. This forms the basis for personalizing your ecommerce strategy, do not treat all your shoppers the same. Offering tailor made loyalty programs go a long way. Loyalty programs that offer discounts to a certain set of shoppers are a few ways to enhance your personalization strategy.
      How to achieve this?
      An ERP ecommerce integration does the trick here and choosing Magento for integration will be a great move. By integrating your ecommerce and various selling channels like eBay, Amazon and Etsy with ERP framing, synchronizing different pricing and discount rules becomes easy.
      No matter which touch point your customer shops your product from, all his information is synced back. This makes providing them a personalized and consistent discount program very easy and takes your customer loyalty a few notches higher.
    5. Providing advanced shipping options
      Shipping is often an overlooked factor in ecommerce operation but this is what defines your success or failure. Your shoppers lay much emphasis on the kind of shipping options you provide them. Inducting factors such as drop shipping, free shipping for orders above a minimum threshold, placing fast moving products with the shipping provider and linking shipping to customer loyalty go a long way.
      For a more detailed insight on the ways to offer free shipping, read our blog.
      How to achieve this?
      Shipping played its part in establishing the brand of Amazon, which honed the skill to finesse. Consider offering innovative shipping options like ‘Drop Shipping’, which allows you to cut down on your costs. For you to achieve drop shipping identifying the most sought products and placing them at the right locations is important.
      An ERP ecommerce integration in this situation helps you in monitoring your inventory levels at various points simple making drop shipping easier. Also,  ERP ecommerce integration reduces the factor of backorders which greatly reduces the strain on your delivery network.

Conclusion
The whole brand of ‘Warby Parker’ is built upon the perception of providing eye gear to shoppers in an economical, personalized and convenient way. These three factors made it stand out from their well- established peers like ‘Luxottica’ and Magento lent a solid foundation in achieving that.

i95Dev has been operating in this domain from 2001 and worked with our share of Warby Parker like ecommerce operations. Even during the frontier days of ecommerce operations, we helped businesses achieve personalization and provide convenience for their shoppers. This greatly reduced their operational costs and increased their revenues.

Year 2018 for ecommerce is going to be the year of ‘Personalization and Experiential Ecommerce’. If you are contemplating to take the big leap forward just contact us at info@i95dev.com

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Ecommerce for year 2018: Experiential Ecommerce