If you're looking for the Cliff's Notes version of this week's Content and Commerce Tweet Jam, the title has it -- personalization good, silos bad.
But the panelists covered a lot more ground in the hour-long discussion of what it takes to stand above the crowd in the world of online commerce. Does your e-commerce experience make the cut?
Money on the Table
We kicked off by setting a baseline -- do retailers who fail to provide a seamless transition from discovery to purchase leave money on the table? The answer was a resounding "yes," with results including the short term loss of one specific sale, and the longer repercussions of loss of brand consistency and customer loyalty.
Show Them That You Know Them (But Don't Be Creepy)
People have expectations. People have needs. People don't care that your system that has the product description doesn't play nice with your system that has the inventory -- but they will notice if you make them click through five pages to get from one to the other. And if your site's search is subpar? You've lost them out of the gate.
Tools of the Trade
So what do businesses looking to excel at e-commerce need? There was overlap with the customer's needs: ease of use and personalization. The difference from the business user's perspective is how to deliver on this promise of personalization?
Remove the Silos
How can companies measure success in these efforts? The heading says it all: remove the silos. Shared goals, shared metrics and communication across departments should be standard practice.
Best of Breed vs. Platform
My nomination for most frequently mentioned adjective in software conversations? Agility. One solution won't solve all problems for any business, so one of our panelists suggested a "best for me" approach -- tailoring the technologies to the business's specific needs.
Still Needs Some Work
While the potential for delivering great customer experiences is out there, anyone who tried to read a product description on their phone that wasn't tailored for the device will tell you there's room for improvement. Businesses still struggle with consistency across channels, coordinating across departments and delivering messages in a unified brand voice.