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Meeting Your Customers Where They Are. What a Novel Concept :)

March 21st, 2019 | 4 min. read

Meeting Your Customers Where They Are. What a Novel Concept :) Blog Feature

Jessica Keefe

Jessica is an integrated marketing leader specializing in strategic B2B and B2C enterprise solutions.

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A novel concept? Meeting customers where they are is such a novel concept, right? Ha! Unfortunately, it’s not novel at all, to be honest, but somehow, it’s a foreign experience for most commerce experiences that we go through as consumers today.  

But Why? Why is commerce so hard today, like a chore for consumers? It reminds me of one of Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up bits where he talks about receiving a birthday present that he doesn’t like, and he quips “don’t give me an errand”, referring to the experience of returning a present. Now, we certainly buy things more than we return them, but the sentiment is the same, that going through a commerce “process” is not a fun experience - it’s an errand, a chore, something that for the most part, we dread. But it shouldn’t have to be that way.  

It shouldn’t be so hard. Think about your daily life and your workflow from the consumers perspective - you wake up, go through your morning routine, most of us commute somewhere for the day (work, school, volunteer, etc), then most of us spend our evenings with friends, family, or partaking in hobby activities, then we have a night time routine, and eventually we fall asleep - and then restart the routine again the next day. And every day, we need stuff that spans Maslow’s hierarchy of needs - we need food, water, clothes, and shelter; we need exercise, stimulation, and entertainment; and we need relationships, community, and a sense of belonging.

There is no shortage of companies out there providing goods and services to satisfy all our needs - but there is a lack of companies providing an acquisition model for those goods and services that meet the customer where they are. There are definitely some brands and retailers out there making awesome strides towards meeting their customers where they are, and providing a helpful, fun, and engaging commerce experience. But for the most part, as consumers, in order to acquire the things we need, we have to adapt our daily routines around brands and retailers. It should be the other way around.  

There is a better way. Each and every part of our daily routine is an opportunity for brands and retailers to provide a shopping moment, to embed commerce seamlessly into the workflow of our daily lives, and make commerce an experience, not a process. According to the 2019 State of xCommerce report , 78% of consumers use either 2 or 3 channels before making a purchase decision - which means that consumers are already trying to leverage multiple channels, but this view is restricted to the purview of the channels available to consumers today.

There are literally hundreds of additional touch points or channels that brands and retailers could be using to engage consumers every single day in a more meaningful, customer-centric way, where the customer already is - versus making them go to your place of business, be it in-store or online, to buy the things they are looking for.  

Imagine. Imagine taking a picture of the pillow you had a great night's sleep on in your hotel last night, and boom, that pillow is on it’s way to your house - no need to ask the hotel staff what type of pillows are in the rooms, then make a note so you can go research where to buy it later. Imagine reading your favorite lifestyle blog and being able to buy a cookbook you read about with 1 click right there on the blog, and bam, that cookbook is on it’s way to your house - no need to launch out to Amazon or some other place to go through a commerce process there. Finally, imagine being at the gym and the exercise equipment provides recommendations for athletic clothing based on your gender, height/weight, and exercise habits, and pow, a new pair of running shorts are on their way to your house - no need to go out of your way to go to a physical store and try on lots of different items.  

How to get there. On this upcoming webinar, we’re going to talk about exactly this topic - not about Moltin and Creator by Zmags - but about how you can build a shopping experience that meets your consumers where they are. We’ll also share some great example of brands and retailers that are already doing a great job of this today. We look forward to seeing you there!