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Amit Thapliyal Author's Perspective
3 Minute read

Fluid Commerce—The ecommerce evolution story

The customer is the king in today's market. An age-old business mantra accentuated by the technological explosion, which has brought all the powers in customers’ hands. Customers are in complete control of their preferences and retailers must stay disruptive and evolve to meet their expectations.

So, what are customers’ behavior and preferences; and how do retailers evolve to meet them?

As we breakdown the statistics related to consumers’ shopping behavior, we get incredible data revealing that “43% of online shoppers have reported making purchases while in bed, 23% at the office, and 20% from the bathroom or while in the car. While the rest go for offline stores” (credit: wordstream.com).

These stats indicate that consumers make purchase decisions randomly, as there is no specific platform preference. They might browse an online store or related eCommerce website and make a real purchase at the brick and mortar store.

Capturing the Consumers’ attention through ‘Fluid Commerce’

Technology is transforming the entire shopping landscape, to marry the whims of customers. So even the retailers who have been away from the whole idea of technological disruption are today bound to reinvent the wheel to stay relevant for their customers.

So, what do today’s customers want?

Customers want a fluid commerce experience. They want to go beyond the siloed approach and get a sense of continuity on their shopping journey, minimizing the friction between various shopping channels. While the entire idea of Fluid Commerce sounds close to the omni-channel approach, it has a much-advanced approach to it.

So, for businesses, creating an experience that is consistent on each step of a B2B customer’s journey, is the essence of fluidity. B2B companies need to re-visit their marketing strategy to make it more fluid and match the context of the user interaction taking place. This is only possible when they produce and deliver highly curated information that is consistent across platforms and devices.

Technology is raising customer expectations at a breakneck pace. For businesses, there’s more focus than ever on going beyond the expected product or service to deliver a customer experience that truly differentiates.  - A Salesforce Research on Customer Expectations

Fluid Commerce is all about developing a frictionless, personalized shopping experience that integrates technology for online (omni-channel) and offline stores, along with the data and systems used by them. It includes:

  • Frictionless, omni-channel experience: Delivering a 360-degree shopping experience to the customer— cross channel, devices, and offline stores is imperative.
  • Personalization: We all are unique; that is exactly how we want to be noticed by others, even while we shop, make simple, everyday choices. Personalization increases engagement and deepens the relationship between the retailer
  • Technology from all the ends: Weaving all the technological touchpoints emerging at different points on a shopping journey (such as IoT) to create a fluid experience.

Summing Up

It’s an exciting time to be a buyer in the market. But it is an exciting time for retailers too, with so many untapped potentials awaiting them in fluid commerce. The rewards for those who meet consumer expectations are unparalleled, which promise conversion rates drastically going up, improved loyalty resulting in frequent customer engagements, linear growth in revenue, bottom line profits, and much more.
Lastly, while the whole idea of creating fluid commerce might sound daunting, there are experts in the market who will help you navigate through this jungle of complex technology and make most of the opportunity.

Amit Thapliyal VP - Marketing, Altudo | MVP - Strategy, Sitecore


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