The Retailer’s Imperative: A Strategic Approach to Customer Experience

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“Our customer experience is our brand.” The vast majority of the participants in the Customer Experience Management Survey agree with that simple and powerful statement. Retailers are past the point of debating the importance of customer experience management - now they know they have to master it.

Mastery of the customer experience (CX) is a challenge with many facets. Retailers are overwhelmed by the data technology and understanding of a customer journey that is increasingly complex. This study, conducted by Econsultancy in partnership with SDL, explores how retailers are addressing this issue and others essential to the strategic use of customer experience.

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1. Executive Summary

“Our customer experience is our brand.” The vast majority of respondents to the Customer Experience Management Survey agree with that simple and powerful statement. Retailers are past the stage of debating the importance of customer experience management. Now they have to master it.

Mastery of the customer experience (CX) is a challenge with many facets. Retailers are overwhelmed by the data, technology and understanding of customer journey that is increasingly complex

This study, conducted by Econsultancy in partnership with SDL, explores how retailers are addressing this and other issues essential to the strategic and tactics use of customer experience. Findings are based on a study fielded in the fourth quarter of 2014, collecting responses from over 200 senior retail marketers at organizations averaging nearly $500MM in revenues.

Complexity on one side requires simplicity on the other

The multitude of online and offline touchpoints require true integration across systems and technologies to ensure a consistency of experience. This research shows that the universe of retailer brands appreciate this necessity, with 97% citing integration of CX technology as “important” or “essential” to their growth.

But there’s a significant gap between the industry today, and where it needs to go. Only 40% describe their relevant systems as integrated and cross-functional.

A customer can’t be captured with a single metric or data point. That they’re using a mobile device at a store or viewing a particular landing page may be important, but it’s far from the whole picture. At the same time, retailers can’t optimize if they’re inundated with information.

The goal of joining the varied technologies and data in the CX ecosystem is to get a full spectrum view in a way that’s practically useful.

A clear sign of that disconnect is a lack of testing. While the share of ownership of other CX technologies is very high among large retailers, testing tools are in use at a minority (37%).

Customer experience is the path to higher profit

Despite the realities of commoditization and competition, today’s reality is that most retailers point to product offerings and price as their primary methods for attracting new customers.

Clearly, retailers want to use CX as a differentiator because it doesn’t compress margins, its supports them by making the relationship about service and value instead of price. Customers who trust a retailer to be useful by offering the right products within a useful, easy to use experience will come back again and again.

Many retailers view customer experience as a tool for higher conversion and retention, but don’t necessarily see the connection to acquisition. This is an important disconnect, and one that creates a competitive advantage for those that are emphasizing content and social marketing.

For 45% of retailers, content is a tool to grow their audience, often in tandem with social reach. Strong content marketing efforts are both creative and evocative, practical and informative. Too many retailers limit their focus on content as a conversion optimization or retention tool, but they are missing a key shift in the marketplace from paid to earned media. Not only is content a means to filling the top of the funnel, but it’s also a more powerful way to begin a value-based relationship than most paid outlets which tend to use price and product as their hook.

The Mobile CX is an untapped resource

Mobile has been a dominant priority for retailers across 2013 and 2014 and that investment has paid off – over 50% now say they have a strong understanding of the mobile user experience.

However, only a third of retail marketers (35%) believe they can differentiate using mobile.

Getting the mobile customer experience right should the single most important priority for retailers. This means more than simply creating an easy and seamless experience, although that is a clear necessity.

The challenge is for retailers to move beyond usability in mobile and advance to more sophisticated merchandising. An increasingly percentage of buyers is mobile-only, especially in younger demographics. Their numbers are growing quickly. This presents a challenge in creating an experience that’s simple enough for the small screen, but that involves the consumer with the brand and opens up opportunities for continued shopping and loyalty

The near future of customer experience

Looking ahead, using customer experience to differentiate will mean far more than excellent usability. Its focus is the individual customer and what matters to them. A consistent customer experience can be built upon with the addition of personalization, the role of which is set to grow for the foreseeable future.

Retailers have already allocated their budgets and more than 80% of respondents report increasing their customer experience management spending for 2015.

The opportunity in that investment is to grow revenues on the back of deeper, value-based customer relationships. The challenge for many will be building their expertise in customer experience management, not simply investing in more tools and more data.

Also in The Retailer’s Imperative…

  • How the different types of retailer view customer experience as a part of their strategies for growth.
  • What successful companies do to overcome internal friction in managing customer experience across departments and teams.
  • How top performing retailers separate themselves in their integration and utilization of customer relationship management technology.
  • The relationship between customer experience and corporate transformation.
  • Plus many more findings in this 25 page report.

2. Foreword by SDL

Welcome to our first retail customer experience report of 2015.

If you are a retailer reading The Retailer’s Imperative: A Strategic Approach to Customer Experience, you already know how quickly this industry moves. It has taken fewer than ten years for the balance of power to shift from retailers to consumers; shoppers can directly contact retailers and manufacturers to make their needs known, and use social media as a viral public forum to give their accolades (or more often, air their grievances) to the companies that have captured their attention.

With customers’ ability to easily search and compare prices and products online, read hundreds of peer reviews, and get instant feedback from friends on social media, the original retail brand goal of differentiating on product is becoming harder to defend; with the exception of specialty or luxury retail, there are simply too many available product choices to easily stand out. That’s why providing an exceptional customer experience is the single most important strategic choice that retailers can make now, and in the years ahead. In fact, 89% of the retailers surveyed for this report agreed or strongly agreed to the statement “Our customer experience is our brand.” They recognize that it is simply the best way to nurture shoppers throughout their entire journey; from initial research to purchase, to repeat buying and eventual customer advocacy, across all channels.

However, the execution of a robust customer experience strategy brings its own set of challenges:

  • How do you deliver a consistent customer experience across all channels and devices, especially when shoppers expect to receive information instantaneously?
  • How do you balance featuring merchandise the shopper will like with merchandise that provides the highest margin or other business KPI?
  • With so much analytical data available, how do you make sense of it all, and turn it into something actionable and profitable?
  • How do you create personalized experiences on a macro level?

Helping retailers solve these types of challenges has been SDL’s area of expertise for years. As the provider of the only global-ready customer engagement suite, we ensure that our customers integrate a consistent shopper experience across all locations, channels, technologies and internal departmental silos, powering 350 global retail brands and driving more than $16b in annual online retail sales.

We hope that the information contained in the following pages provides some introductory insight into the best practices for staying ahead of the customer experience curve. Many thanks to Stefan Tornquist at Econsultancy for the analysis and creation of this report.



The Customer Experience Management Survey was fielded by Econsultancy via multiple thirdparty panels in the fourth quarter of 2014, garnering 226 responses. Participants were given an incentive to compete the survey.

The study focused exclusively on retailers with over $100 million in annual revenues. 40% of respondent companies have more than $500 million in revenues. Respondents were in North America and limited to positions of Manager or above. 43% of the respondents are in senior leadership (VP or above).

See the Appendix at the end of this report for a breakdown of the respondents.

Integrated technology and the managed customer experience

“Customer experience” is an old idea that is sparking a very modern revolution. Across most consumer sectors, companies are under pressure from digital-first competitors, commoditization and an increasingly mobile customer base. Control and choice have redefined how we all discover, research and purchase products.

Leading ecommerce companies have shown us how easy and fast it can be to be a modern shopper…and we have come to expect that same level of convenience from businesses across the board. This experience level sets both a floor for performance and an opportunity for differentiation.

Customer journeys are increasingly complex, with multiple touch-points and influencing factors from initial research through to purchase and, for some, ongoing loyalty. Consumers embarking upon this journey have come to expect it to be consistent and valuable. Throughout this report we’ll see that providing that value increasingly means personalization. The best customer interactions are seamless and personal, regardless of the device being used or the time between each interaction.

Integration within companies, across data sets, technologies and departments, has long been advocated as best practice for achieving efficiency, progress and innovation. We asked respondents how important integration across their customer experience management technologies was to them, and the results, shown in Figure 1, reflect that senior marketers appreciate the importance of integration. Almost every respondent – 97% - said that customer experience management integration was important, with 45% seeing it as vital to their growth.

Figure 1: How important is integration across your customer experience management technologies?

[Download PDF for charts]

Figure 2 shows the customer experience management technologies that marketers in the retail sector currently have in place. More than 70% have a web content management system (72%), followed by 66% who have an ecommerce platform in place. The only technology that less than half of respondents were using was testing (A/B and/or multivariate), with just 37% of respondents having testing technologies in place.

Figure 2: Which customer experience management technologies do you currently have in place?

[Download PDF for charts]

In addition to the technologies already in place, marketers have plans to add more; for example, nearly 70% of those without a content management system have plans in the works for 2015.

The move toward advanced customer analytics continues. Capabilities such as bringing all customer data sources into one analytics and management platform – known as single customer view (SCV) – are in high demand.

SCV is budgeted at half of those companies without the capability. A recent Econsultancy report found that the majority of marketers understand the value in creating a single customer view, and are still striving towards that goal.

Though barriers stand in their way, the SCV is the nirvana still being sought by the marketing majority. For the 67% of marketers whose priority is integration across all channels, the challenges are on-going.

Single-customer view can be viewed in two ways; as an aspiration or as a practical reality. Those in the first camp are generally disappointed in their progress because their definition of SCV as the perfect marriage of data and technology across every system is impractical.

In the second group are marketers who see the value in a SCV they’re able to use today, and build on for the future. They recognize that perfection is truly “the enemy of progress” in this case, as the nature of digital marketing is chaotic. The need to incorporate new applications, databases and definitions is so frequent as to be standard, requiring a flexible, open approach and a definition of SCV that emphasizes the questions of today instead of the framework of tomorrow.

The orientation of retailers around advanced customer analytics and customer experience management has taken time, as overall technology spending tended to lag behind other sectors. The last 24 months have seen a significant increase in the adoption of these technologies/capabilities.

The primary mover in this shift has been the strategic priority in CX that is evident throughout this report. That’s spurred an increase in technology spending that puts retail/wholesale at the forefront of growth (5% growth in IT/Tech budgets, highest among categories and well above the mean of 3%).

Underlying retailers’ shift toward these technologies is that the move to the cloud has addressed several long-standing issues;

  • With the steady arrival of new point technologies over the last decade, retailers have had to make decisions on tools based on whether they integrate with existing systems. The cloud doesn’t solve this problem outright, but has certainly made it much easier to adopt solutions…and to move to new ones.
  • Interoperability is the key to the future. If the disparate systems that together make up modern marketing and merchandising can’t communicate and share data, they drastically limit the vision and capability of retailers. The nature of the cloud allows for much easier translation of data, and lowers the barriers between systems.
  • Mindful of margins, retailers have been willing to invest more both out of necessity, but also out of value. The move to the cloud within the larger software-as-service revolution has meant far more capability for the budge than in previous, installed hardware iterations.

The last 12-24 months have seen a significant move toward marketing technology integration across a wide range of customer-facing industries. Today fully 40% describe their relevant systems as integrated and cross-functional and more than 50% have at least some level of integration. Only 2% have no plan for integrating their technologies at all. This supports the results shown in Figure 1 in which respondents demonstrated widespread agreement for the high importance of integration.

A recent Econsultancy report found that while 67% of responding companies agree their ‘priority is for all key marketing activities to be integrated across channels,’ only 7% said their organizations are ‘very much set up to deliver effectively orchestrated cross-channel marketing activities.’

The remaining 93% face challenges in organizational structure, process, skills and technology. Fortunately, we see steady progress, especially in the area of technology and its implementation.

Figure 3: What is the level of integration between your current customer experience management technologies?

[Download PDF for charts]

The reasons for unifying systems are largely understood. Goals of better segmenting audiences, achieving a single customer view and improving the customer experience are those most cited in Econsultancy’s research.

It’s also worth noting that programs to unify databases and marketing applications correlate strongly with a number of positive attributes that aren’t usually the specific goals of system integration. For example, organizations that have integrated, cross-functional systems are 70% more likely to cite the “ability to associate marketing activities with financial results.” Likewise, they are 42% more likely to be able to “turn data into useful information and action.”

Where customer experience meets the customer

At the intersection of marketing and technology, two priorities dominated 2013 and 2014: improving their knowledge of the customer and control over the mobile experience. The results of their investments are evident, as nearly three in four are happy with their understanding of the customer journey of existing customers (74%).

More remarkably, over half are satisfied with their knowledge of their customers’ mobile customer journeys. Various technical issues have hampered tracking and measurement efforts, and mobile has the lowest proportion of respondents saying they have a strong understanding (Figure 4). But the tide has turned, with more than 50% responding positively.

Of course, the ultimate goals are financial. Achieving better return on marketing investment, improving margins and increased retention are some of the measures that reflect the investment in customer experience. But we’ll see that identifying these connections is complex and many retailers are now turning their attention to the kinds of measurement required.

A deeper examination of the data shows that those who said that their systems were fully integrated consistently have the strongest understanding of the customer journey for returning and new customers, as well as for mobile, desktop and offline users.

Figure 4: How well does your organization understand the 'customer journey' for the following audiences? – Strong understanding

[Download PDF for charts]

An underlying message of the results is that there’s an opportunity around offline customers; marketers are 37% more likely to have a “strong knowledge” of their returning digital customers than those that favor a bricks and mortar experience.

In an increasingly digitally-focused world it’s easy to forget that the vast majority of retail sales happen offline (roughly 90% in the United States). Meanwhile, digital research influences over 50% of those purchases. The opportunity, then, is to use easily accessible digital data to optimize the offline customer experience.

The difference in retailers digital vs offline customer knowledge is especially interesting in light of the decreasing difference between the two groups. Every day more shoppers are using mobile devices to compare prices in store (“showrooming” and coming to stores having compared prices online (“reverse showrooming”), as well as using services like “pick up in store” after digital purchase. These specific behaviors are symptoms of a larger condition; consumers care less and less about venue, and more about convenience.

For many companies, the first steps in this area have been in using offline customer data to measure the impact of digital marketing. Others have begun to build a more complete spend attribution picture using the two types of data.

It makes sense for marketers to want to draw offline customers to the more profitable, efficient and controllable digital side of their businesses. But it’s also important to offer offline customers the benefits of digital research with in-store pickup, layaway programs that are administered online but delivered in-store and easy methods of supplying out-of-stock products to offline buyers.

In this era of rapid product development and rapid commoditization of many product lines, every company struggles with how to differentiate themselves and protect margins. The upside of digital is that it evens the field for smaller and digital-only players to compete with international brands. The downside is that digital research can slant the relationship to price instead of service.

But the first challenge is to attract new customers; Figure 5 examines how retailers see their competitive advantages in doing so.

Figure 5: What are the primary ways you believe your company can differentiate itself in attracting new customers?

[Download PDF for charts]

Retailers are varied in how they see their unique advantages in attracting new customers with no one dominant factor.

It may surprise some to see “product offering” so highly cited (54%) in this era of rapid commoditization, but product remains a piece of the puzzle. In addition to those that carry house brands as a differentiator, for some this means optimizing the supply chain to offer the newest products, while others focus on the drawing power of select third-party brands.

But nearly half of all retailers have to fight with other weapons to generate interest in products or product merchandising that aren’t unique to the company.

Even for those marketers working with products that are not a competitive advantage, digital offers an opportunity. Creative thinking combined with technical resources allows brands to add value to existing and new products with complimentary digital content and related services. For example, a wine merchant can use customer information tied with a mobile application to create a virtual collection that informs and upsells the buyer.

For nearly 45% of respondents, content is a key differentiator in attracting customers. In the retail context, “content” includes capabilities that are both creative and evocative, practical and informative.

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Marketers should be well aware of the risks in price warfare, were there are few winners, at least in the short term. Price testing seems like an obvious approach, but has downsides; findings tend to have short-lived validity and moreover price tests usually explore price alone as a variable.

But price is only one part of the perceived value in the exchange, and so it should be tested in the context of the larger experience of the brand, the shopping process, complimentary content, etc.

Testing against the experience can help determine the most profitable route, not simply the best performing price. A share of the audience may be shopping on price alone, but they are not necessarily the majority, nor are they the most desirable.

Omni-channel retailing is cited by just over one in five marketers. This reflects the challenges in creating a truly seamless experience, but also highlights that it can be a powerful differentiator for those that achieve it.

In previous years, much of the hard work was done once a prospect became a customer. Brand identity had great pull and product choice was limited, at least in comparison with the ecommerce era. Today, switching costs are almost non-existent unless retailers excel at building loyalty. Figure 6 examines some of the methods that marketers rely on to retain and upsell their existing customers.

Setting the bar is the overall customer experience. It is not surprising that this was selected by the highest proportion of respondents, when personalization, content and transactional ease of use are all subsets of the larger CX.

Figure 6: What are the primary ways you believe your company can differentiate itself in selling to and retaining current customers?

In the most recent Econsultancy report on personalization, half of the respondents said that they measure the benefits of personalization by customer retention. This survey saw almost the same proportion of respondents select personalization as a primary way of selling to and retaining current customers.

As the link between an improved customer experience and better commercial performance has become more obvious, the ability to personalize is rightly seen as transformative for businesses as they seek to differentiate from competitors.

The role of content is significant in marketers’ retention strategies, rated nearly as critical as its impact on acquisition. 37% cite their organization’s ability to use content for conversion optimization and retention as a key differentiator.

Can customers use PayPal? Can they order online and pickup in retail locations? Does the ordering process get easier for repeat customers? These are becoming the “table stakes” for creating a useful an easy transaction. For now, it’s a differentiator, but soon enough it will take more than simply providing a smooth experience to keep customers coming back.

Figure 7: Which of the following data about a customer and their context do you have access to?

[Download PDF for charts]

What is the most valuable data to optimize the customer experience? It’s an interesting and nonobvious question. For some retailers, the past provides important context and with it, the direction for the future. Others place the greatest value on knowing what’s happening in the moment; using behavior in tandem with location and time to deliver real-time experiences. For international retailers, language soars to the top of the list as the factor that can stop a potential sale in its tracks.

Figure 8: What factors are most important to know about a customer and their context?

Of course, retailers should build their personalization and optimization strategies using both categories of data.

[Download PDF for tables]

Figure 9: How is the impact of customer experience measured?

[Download PDF for charts]

If organizations had only one metric to measure the impact of customer experience, it would be revenue. Fortunately they’re not limited, and can use a variety of views and benchmarks, each of which provides unique insight.

Tying revenue to customer experience/customer satisfaction is a vital step in the maturation of a marketing organization. Without a methodology for connecting the two that is agreed upon between marketing, finance and management, the organization is doomed to alternately base investment on good intentions or short term cost constraints.

It’s not easy for many companies to make these connections. This is due, in part, to the asynchronous impact of customer satisfaction; improved loyalty and likelihood to return doesn’t always show up in the neat 90 day periods of accountancy.

The straightest path for most is the use of customer lifetime value (CLV) which takes into account both present behaviors and the assumed value of those in the future.

The limitation of revenue from a strategic perspective is that it’s a slice in time. Its directionality is important, of course, but today’s revenue doesn’t predict tomorrow’s customer behaviors. For these, marketers may be better served by looking at return purchases, loyalty and order value as well as other metrics that reflect the experience, not just a single point of financial data.

Customer experience management; implementation and strategy

In previous studies the obstacles to customer experience have been varied. Today, they’re simple; companies need the budget to install and integrate the essential technologies of CX. More than half of the survey respondents cited integration and investment as their chief barriers to successful customer experience management.

The need for effective customer experience management in retail has been top of the rulebook since far before the age of the internet. A good experience increases the likelihood of a customer converting and returning; a bad experience will send them to the nearest competitor. This fact is as true for a grocery store as for an ecommerce giant like Amazon. So it is unsurprising that company culture was only selected by 12% of respondents; those arguing against an investment in customer experience are a non-existent minority in retail.

C-level and senior executive sponsorship of customer experience initiatives was selected by almost a quarter of respondents, but this is likely due to budget restrictions rather than a lack of acceptance of the need for customer experience management. Encouragingly, Figure 13 shows that more than 80% of respondents are planning on increasing their customer experience management budgets for 2015.

Figure 10: What are the greatest barriers to successful customer experience management?

[Download PDF for charts]

Figure 11: How successful is your organization with on-boarding new technology in the following ways? – Those who selected ‘very successful’

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Figure 11 explores some of the keys to success in customer experience management and marketing technology in general. Several related characteristics are worth exploring because their long-term impact on success is often overlooked.

Maximizing functionality in new technologies is the Achilles heel of many companies. Six months after a significant investment, user rates are low or more commonly the technology is being used at a fraction of its capability.

Those companies that avoid this problem share several characteristics;

  1. They really know their vendor. Smart buyers work hard to ensure that they understand the vendor’s fit beyond the product itself. Do they understand the business model and the company? Do they have the resources to provide training or specialized assistance?
  2. They incentivize staff. Methods vary but are often simple variations on tying compensation to usage or proficiency goals.
  3. They set specific marketing goals that require the full capabilities of the systems. By attaching a major program goal to the introduction of a technology helps to internalize the system at the same time as it encourages learning and proficiency.
  4. They assign or add specific team members to be responsible for that technology and its outcomes. Too many organizations try to limit themselves to the specific capital expenses of technology and don’t add and reallocate human resources to support their new technical capabilities
  5. One route is to add outside help from agencies and contractors, for those that want to on-board a new technology without adding internal headcount, or who want expertise that’s hard to develop internally.

Figure 12: How is the customer experience budget changing in 2015?

[Download PDF for charts]

Predictions of the future are notoriously inaccurate. In a business context they tend to over-reflect trends that are in vogue, or strategies that are still pure because they haven’t yet adapted to reality. But one strong and reliable indicator separates customer experience from other digital priorities: investment.

The vast majority of retailers are increasing their customer experience budgets. Among over 250 respondent organizations, not one plans on reducing their CX commitment in 2015. In contrast, 80% are increasing their budgets, and one in three is planning a significant increase of more than 10% from their current level.

One complicating factor is that it’s rare to have a separate customer experience budget. Instead it’s a set of investments across a number of budgets and line items in marketing and other departments.

That said, the priority for understanding and optimizing the customer experience is clear. Retailers are striving to maintain and expand their customer rolls while protecting already slim margins. Providing an experience that is reliable, easy and valuable is increasingly the baseline for leading retailers.

The next wave of CX goes beyond usability. Its focus is the individual customer and what matters to them. With each piece of data in the customer profile, marketers are better able to commit to a relationship built on value, trust and even delight.

Figure 13: How does the priority of customer experience relate to corporate strategy? – Those who selected ‘Strongly agree’

[Download PDF for charts]

The importance of customer experience as a strategic priority can’t be overstated, as its impact goes well beyond near-term goals, and even beyond the boundaries of marketing

Retail is one of the sectors that have been most affected by the digital era. Technology and culture have conspired to affect consumer behavior across gender, age and income. Retailers are responding by actively attempting to evolve their organization to better meet these needs, but it’s difficult, expensive and often a tough sell internally.

There are many elements to corporate transformation, but one key challenge for many is to achieve buy-in across levels and departments. The drive to understand and improve customer experience has proven to be a catalyst for many respondent companies (49% of the sample “strongly agree” that this has been the case, with roughly 70% of those estimated to have undergone an organizational transformation).

Transformation is a profound change, so it’s prone to institutional resistance unless the goal is universal. If the organization has already bought into a customer-centric view, that universal goal is already on the radar. The reason this occurs is simply that as each department and leader refocuses on the customer, they inevitably begin to reassess their priorities for investment and typically evaluate departmental and team structures.

The modern view on the interconnection between brand and customer experience is another proof that CX is vitally important and therefore must be managed correctly

Nearly half of retailers strongly agree with the statement that “our customer experience is our brand” – a remarkable figure that balloons to over 80% when those who simply “agree” are included

The role of customer experience is vital across the different types of digital retailer;

  • Those in the pure-play ecommerce category have no choice. They must either be leaders in customer experience or see their business erode. For them it’s a defining characteristic and strategic advantage. They typically compete on the little things that are so important…speed, saved profiles, filtering options, how price is shown, educational content, etc…and which together make up the overall customer experience.
  • The challenge for bricks and clicks retailers is threefold; creating a great experience offline and online…and making sure the two work well together. Today retailers are emphasizing the cross-platform convenience of in-store pickup and other digital to offline features. After all, brands are defined by their weakest link and must be consistent For example, the online experience can’t be about “bargains” if the offline experience is defined by “luxury.”
  • It’s a new world for manufacturers with digital outlets. Companies that were long restricted to external partner channels now have a venue of their own. Their chief challenge is to compete with their partners without alienating them. They must deal with hard questions on pricing, product line allocation and content sharing. Customer experience is one place where they can safely compete.
  • For universal manufacturers who do not offer their products directly, the goal is to promote and assist. They don’t have to worry about the transaction process at their partners, but they should be intensely focused on the middle of the funnel, where their products are researched. The have control over their owned media, where much of that research takes place. They can help the sale by offering experience that is valuable and informative…and leave the sales pitch to their partners.
  • And everyone is a would-be service provider – every sort of retailer may also consider aftermarket, value-added service revenue. Warranties, enhancements and customizations offer a path to margins that have not been eroded.

For any company targeting service related revenues, customer experience optimization is the essential component. The customer’s adoption of enhancements has more to do with how they experience the product and the content surrounding it than price or push marketing.

Appendix: Respondent Profiles

Figure 14: What best describes your position at your company?

[Download PDF for charts]

Figure 15: What is your annual company revenue?

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