For several years now, retailers have been deploying creative digital marketing tactics and transforming how consumers engage with them online. But what if they’ve been doing it all backward?
A recent digital experience benchmark report found 85 percent of consumers are unhappy with their online shopping experience, so there’s room for improvement. Companies looking to make a change should start by fundamentally rethinking how they develop omnichannel content and experiences.
As a retailer, first you must shift from a content-first mentality to an experience-first mindset. Secondly, you must embrace marketing-first technologies. Combined, the two strategies may sound simple, but brands and retailers haven't been structured to work this way, and the technology hasn’t supported this line of thinking.
Here’s how you can reboot your omnichannel experience strategy — and do it the right way.
Understanding the Experience-First Mindset
The need for a dynamic omnichannel digital presence is only growing for companies, especially as generative artificial intelligence gets smarter, videos get catchier, and personalization becomes paramount. These enhanced technologies and tactics are adding to how brands elevate online, mobile, and Internet of Things experiences.
However, this momentum provides an opportunity for brands and retailers to hit pause on how they construct digital events and rethink their approach. Traditionally, companies have developed omnichannel digital experiences by thinking about their content first. You begin with whatever content you have and then build out an experience.
The reverse of that is to think about experience first: Create a digital experience road map and work from the end vision. Only after that do you incorporate content appropriately for each varying experience.
For example, a content-first approach in action would be a company starting by inputting content into its content management system (CMS) and then attempting to flesh out a digital experience from there. Unfortunately, many of those solutions aren't designed to manage an overarching digital experience.
Unleashing Marketer-First Tools
Another sticking point in using a solution like a CMS to achieve an experience-first mindset of digital creation is that companies still need to give marketers more control of the end result. This requires a move away from relying on IT departments and developers to complete all of the tasks, and a move toward technology that supports marketers working independently.
Frankly, some might argue that giving marketers more control over how omnichannel digital experiences get executed is more powerful than an experience-first approach. The ultimate goal is to put marketers in a position that allows them to be creative, have freedom to make content updates, and build experiential campaigns themselves quickly.
Technologies that can enable marketers, such as through a visual workspace that eliminates the need for code and enables marketers to create the digital experience on a visual dashboard, will set up companies for stronger digital experiences. These technologies also enable a marketer to work from a unified place, pulling content and data from a variety of solutions to build unique customer engagements.
Rethinking Digital Experiences
Today, brands and retailers rely on dynamic and ever-changing omnichannel digital experiences to engage consumers. They’re leveraging vibrant videos, augmented reality-driven experiences, generative AI, and personalized content and experiences. With so many options before them, brands and retailers must start by considering how they want to use their tools and bring in the content to support the creation.
They must empower digital teams to deliver experiences through marketer-friendly tools. If companies rethink how they approach omnichannel digital experiences, consumers will again find joy in online shopping.
Darren Guarnaccia is president of Uniform, a digital experience composition platform (DXCP) on which developers and marketers can control their digital-experience stack.
Darren Guarnaccia is president of Uniform, a digital experience composition platform (DXCP) on which developers and marketers can control their digital-experience stack. As a leader with deep expertise in blending best-in-class product-marketing and product-management strategies to overcome business challenges, differentiate products, and drive exponential growth, Darren oversees marketing, product strategy, and enablement at Uniform.