By Justin Bougher
February 24, 2020
Part 1 of a 6 part series.
Most ecommerce companies depend on some combination of third-party products in their tech stack. Martech vendors typically separate their products into submarkets based on use case. In the end, all of these use cases and products focus on better understanding the customer and providing a great experience. They are all trying to answer one or more fundamental questions about the user in order to take the right action. These questions can be boiled down to the following:
- Who is the user?
- What experience should we show that user?
- How should we go about showing that experience?
- Was the user’s experience any good?
- Are the tools in your ecosystem helping or hurting?
The problem is that while we all seek the answers to these questions, most organizations and tech products are getting the answers wrong. This comes down to a couple of primary problems. First, most software and tech solutions can answer one or some of these questions, but don’t have the capability to answer them all. Second, different teams across the organization access and manipulate the same data, leading to inaccuracies or inconsistencies.
To further complicate matters, while everyone understands the value of these questions, in practice most companies only focus on questions 1, 2, and 4, and neglect 3 and 5: How should we go about showing that experience? Are the tools in your ecosystem helping or hurting? Meaning, they’re not getting full value out of the tech investments they’re making.
Let’s dive into an example. A typical ecommerce workflow includes a customer management solution (CMS) to answer the question, Who is the user? In addition, they may have a client-side A/B testing solution or a personalization solution to understand, What experience should we show that user? Finally, they will have an analytics tool to determine, Was the user’s experience any good? However, none of these tools look at how they should go about showing that experience, or if the tools themselves are helping or hurting.
This blog series will help you close that gap, so you can fully optimize the customer experience — not just parts of it. Each week I’ll tackle one of these questions. I’ll walk through better ways to approach the answers, and offer solutions for common problems. Read along and see how you may be able to get more actionable insight into your customers and close the gaps in knowledge you struggle with now.
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