STOP THINKING IN CHANNELS.
START DESIGNING FOR PEOPLE.
1. February 2022
Clever commerce. Omnichannel. Unified commerce. Commerce everywhere. Bold movements often come with bold and blaring titles. No matter the label, our recent work with Salesforce Customer 360 has brought us closer to designing smarter and seamless commerce experiences than ever before.
You know it, and we know it. Data is king and customer comes first. The famous management guru of the 60s, Peter Drucker, nailed marketing and innovation as the only two basic business functions. Even though we’ve preached this for what feels like forever, entering 2022 it is more relevant than ever. We believe it will be a year of creating and innovating genuinely new commerce experiences.
It doesn’t matter which channel your customers use. It doesn’t matter where the inventory is located. It doesn’t even matter where the transaction happens. If all data is collected to a repository constituting the single source of truth, you can meet customers and tailor experiences wherever they are. The technology has matured and is ready to create real unified commerce and present a single truth of everything customer journey related.
How is that possible? The technological solution that realises this long-sought-after ambition is dubbed Salesforce Customer 360. This unites all Salesforce suites. It collects and serves data in marketing, sales, IT and service. It enables us to collect data on every touchpoint in the customer journey – from the first exposure on social media, to product purchases online or in-store and even customer support tickets. This unifying thread enables you to be truly agnostic about where you sell, where you provide recommendations and how you offer customer service.
We’re not afraid to say that it’s a game-changer for commerce.
FROM CUSTOMER-FIRST TO CUSTOMER 360
Before we go forward, we need to look back. For many years, digital transformation projects took their point of departure in a specific channel. Let’s redesign our website. Let’s rebuild our commerce solution. Let’s rethink our customer service function. Let’s reinvent the retail space. You get the idea.
That was followed by years of praising being “customer-first”. In many cases, this just meant that you made sure to have customers in mind when you did your digital project. Painfully obvious today, but sadly still true in many digital projects where the smoke machines jampacked with buzzwords stole the picture from what really matters.
Then came the era of “mobile-first” which again focused on channel and technology over truly tailored customer experiences.
Enter thinking more holistically. Where we’re not just designing for one touchpoint, one channel or one specific scenario.
Today, we know that getting a single source of truth on the customer is pivotal for crafting great experiences. If we have a unified view of the customer, we can build a unified experience around them independent of channel.
“I realise that the name itself, Salesforce Customer 360, may sound like more smoke and mirrors, but we’re seeing significant and tangible benefits in the way we work with commerce for our clients when our point of departure is getting a single source of truth. Customers investing in this technology now will enhance and advance their commerce experiences and have a platform for unified commerce innovation across the digital and physical space for the times ahead,”
Lars Cimber adds.
REDECORATE THE STOREFRONT WITH FIRST-PARTY DATA
For ambitious companies, the traditional commerce focus on the web-first storefront is long gone. You know that your customers now buy on mobile, on social media, directly from feeds, in apps, in-store, at pop-ups and in marketplaces. Not only is there a plethora of channels to have in mind, but your customers also want personalised experiences and customised recommendations – regardless of where they meet your brand.
“The mobile storefront has now surpassed the web storefront as the most important storefront for transactions for most of our customers. But it’s not as important as putting first-party data at the forefront. With first-party data, you can engage each customer where they choose to engage with you, and you can provide valuable recommendations based on their data.
This is pivotal when we want to create unique experiences anywhere in a unified way – let’s say as the customer moves from online to the physical, to digi-phys combinations like with digital in-store and pop-ups. These are all transaction spaces to exploit ahead. Just imagine how mobile apps and interactive outdoor advertisement, especially with new 3D screens, will form augmented storefronts and new shopping spaces that are tailored based on the data collected already.”
First-party data holds the key to knowing customers’ purchasing history, their digital behaviour and their interests. While these data are to be found in the CDP (Customer Data Platform), the kicker for Customer360 is the natural and tight-knit integration with the AI-powered recommendation engine like Salesforce Interaction Studio, powered by Einstein AI. When combining these, and especially when you add in a mobile point of sale, you’ll find yourself in good shape to elevate the customer experience in a unified way.
SALESFORCE CUSTOMER 360: MUCH MORE THAN COMMERCE
While we at IMPACT have greater-than-average attention on digital commerce, it wouldn’t be doing justice to Salesforce Customer 360 if we didn’t highlight the cross-functional benefits of the solution. The shared view of the customer is equally beneficial for your colleagues in other functions. For instance, for marketing to optimise spend and customer lifetime value, sales for targeting the right leads and segments, retail for serving the customer based on history and smooth returns and not least in customer service where recommendations and upsell can be made.
For years people have talked about empowering customer service teams to aid better. For years we’ve heard from retailers who desperately wanted their in-store staff to provide recommendations based on data rather than gut feeling. With Salesforce Customer 360, use cases like these are suddenly not just feasible but rather a near term reality with customers already en-route to reaping the benefits.
Both in the retail space and the customer service department, the direct benefits are evident. Whether you’re looking for increasing upsell, improving customer satisfaction or reducing support call times, Customer360 taps directly into the business case. In fact, this view changes the business case from one where the customer service platform and the team is deemed a cost, to a potential revenue driver and sales-providing team.
Finally, the unified customer view entails opportunities for how you work with actionable customer insights.
My experience is that most companies have vast opportunities hidden in their customer data. By gathering the full customer picture, and analysing and acting on the data in real-time, we can output new graceful and user-relevant commerce experiences. With this more companies will be able to unlock the potential hidden in their data and grow new transaction possibilities.
Do you want to know
We want to help. For a non-binding evaluation into how you can craft a more unified view of your customers, please reach out to Lars Cimber.