Monday, September 06, 2010

How to Meet Consumer Expectations in a "Transformative Time" (Forrester)

According to, a recent Forrester Research Report, "we are in a highly transformative time as changing customer expectations, commerce capabilities, and technology continue to evolve rapidly. Initiatives that just a few short years ago would have seemed a long way off — such as mobile commerce, app stores, multichannel order management, or embedding shopping on Facebook — are now squarely on the priority list of eCommerce business and technology leaders. And as consumer expectations, client needs, and the competitive environment continue to evolve, pressure on executives to make the right choices in technology and operational capabilities continues to mount." The Forrester report, says PowerRetailer, highlights the key factors that retailers need to understand and consider in order to remain competitive. These include:
  • Focusing on development of key services that expose core data, business logic, and enable long-term flexibility in driving end user experiences across various channels including, social media, mobile applications, third-party marketplaces and rich internet applications. In addition to this, consumers expect consistent information, policies, fulfillment options, and service options across all of these channels – making it necessary for retailers to reply in kind or risk losing custom.
  • Investing in systems, such as, order management, commerce platforms, product content management, customer data management and intelligence, to manage the online multichannels and service their customer base. [my emphasis]
  • Using existing content as an asset, by aggregating, testing and optimizing it routinely.
  • Understanding customers and their needs and using this information to build business cases for the development of new multichannel customer experiences.
Conclusions: "The report notes that often bureaucracy can play a role in limiting companies moving into multichannel customer experiences. In order to be innovative and competitive within this highly dynamic landscape, understanding and support from senior level leadership is crucial."

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