Design & Technology June 15, 2018
Providing a unified customer experience with Adobe
Customer behaviour and expectations are evolving heavily. The attention span of people has decreased (from 12 to 8 seconds) and the average website visit time has reached its lowest point in history. Customers are more demanding than ever. In this climate there’s the challenge of remaining relevant especially across fragmented and complex buying scenarios. Luckily, Adobe has its own way in supporting companies with this challenge.
The five phases of the customer buying cycle
Adobe identifies five phases in the customer buying cycle: awareness, discovery, shop phase, purchase and post purchase.
During the awareness phase, the customer’s goal is to feel positive about the brand and understand the potential value of the product. Awareness is created by advertising on different platforms (Facebook, display advertising, digital TV, Amazon). The discovery phase is when the customer’s goal is to better understand the value of the product to meet their needs. This is done by enabling shopping triggers on the advertising platforms (chat bot, lookbook, search capability).
During the shop phase, the search process is refined by filtering products and sorting out specific details. Alternatively, the purchase phase needs to provide a frictionless buying process from the checkout initiation, towards the fulfillment process (shipping options), checkout completion and ultimately the rewards (rewards enroll, coupon, scan) and payment confirmation (cash, mobile, credit card). Finally, the post purchase phase needs to ensure that the customer using the products has an enjoyable experience that makes his life better.
All about experiences
The Adobe Experience Cloud provides a suite of solutions to manage the entire customer buying cycle, connecting Data & Insights (know who your customers are and understand the moment of truth), Content & Processes (contextual content and flexible processes adapted to the real-time context) and enables you to provide Fluid Experiences (deliver the optimal experience for each moment & touchpoint). The introduction of more touchpoints with the customer also provides companies with new commercial opportunities.
During the Adobe Summit, there was a strong focus on the influence of content on the experience and the convergence between content & commerce within the customer buying cycle. This key theme was followed by the recent news about the acquisition of Magento by Adobe.
Adobe and the convergence between Content and Commerce
The Adobe Experience Cloud provides many capabilities, but lacks Commerce and Back Office functionalities (catalogue and product information, core merchandising, pricing & promotions, cart & checkout navigation, commerce personalization and order management). To control this gap in the proposition, Adobe works closely together with supported Commerce Engines: Commercetools, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Elasticpath and of course Magento. Many of the current projects for clients are based on a headless commerce approach where a combination of various back-end systems for order management, PIM and the standard commerce functions are plugged in to a delivery tier that manages the experience. This enables businesses to operate with greater agility and introduces the flexibility to quickly adapt to new opportunities in the market, think about Amazon’s Alexa for example.
How does Artificial Intelligence (Sensei) support the customer journey?
There is no possibility to provide a unified buying experience for your customers without having artificial intelligence in place that enables you to remain relevant based on the data derived from the different touchpoints with the ecosystem. Sensei – the homegrown AI engine Adobe developed – is the missing piece that ensures this unified buying experience is provided.
In short, Adobe Sensei is an open data model designed to be extended and customised with the customer’s own fields, that can be used across the whole Adobe Cloud Platform. Sensei combines different variables to give a unified profile:
- Environmental Variables: IP address, country of origin, timezone, device type, screen resolutions, operating system, browser, mobile carrier.
- Site Behavioral Variables: customer/prospect, new/returning visitor, previous visit patterns, previous interests, searches, previous purchases, previous campaign exposure, previous campaign responses.
- Temporal Variables: time of day, day of week, recency & frequency, etc.
- Offline Variables: CRM & DMP, Call Centre, 3rd-party data, ticket sales.
Based on these data, Adobe Sensei is mainly used to offer intelligent experience services, such as attribution, personalization, anomaly detection, sentiment analysis, and intelligent audience segmentation. In practice, this narrows down to i.e. personalised suggestions for each visitor, providing the perfect offering for each visitor every time, traffic generation based on past purchases and more.
Stay on top
With an overload of experiences customers encounter on daily basis, a unified customer experience within e-commerce is a pretty essential part of your business. Mainly because it plays a huge part in connecting your customers to your brand. Luckily, the Adobe Experience Cloud provides exactly what businesses need to stay on top of ever changing trends and opportunities for organisations that result from that.