Brands need to compete on customer experience not price | DMA

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Brands need to compete on customer experience not price


Would your brand pass an end-to-end test on customer experience? The challenge facing many retail brands today is how to create an online customer experience that's more like the one offered in a physical store.

Connected marketing has the power to draw your customers closer or drive them away. Emarsys' Alex Timlin gave a great example of how not to do it a few weeks ago when a shoe-buying expedition turned sour.

Retailers don't just struggle to maintain the personalised offline experience a customer has in store when he or she moves online, browsing and buying on the web is not the visual feast your get in a physical store. The trouble with a lot of online stores is that products are not curated in the way they are in the real world, Alex explained in his webinar on customer experience last week.

Think about how people search for an item. Let's suppose I'm looking for something specific, say an orange dress. I'll probably Google 'orange dress', the results will come up with said orange dress, I'll click on a retailer's results and it will take me straight to the transactional page. But suppose I'm not ready to buy but am looking for some help - the sort I would get in a physical store?

Some intelligent data analytics and recommendation technology would give me a much richer customer experience, one that makes me feel like the brand knows me, is making an effort to help me put my look together and isn't just trying to flog me an orange dress.

The message for brands is to do the legwork for the customer, make it easy for them. Ocado came up in the webinar as brand that does a good job of this. It uses data analytics to do a number of things, from prompting the customer about items they may have forgotten to telling them if there as special offers on their 'favourites'. By remembering what the customer usually buys, it also makes a few suggestions based on their tastes. As an occasional user of Ocado, I have been on the receiving end of this but until now was unaware of the technology and insight that went in to create this personalised customer experience. But it has made me go back to them again and again.

Will marketing turn into a customer service?

Discover how to put the technology in place to create a personalised brand experience for customers at the second webinar of our customer experience series on Wednesday 3 September. Register your free place.

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