Hansen Lieu, Senior Director of Solution Marketing for Commerce at SAP, described the importance of beginning digital transformation by focusing on customer experience and commerce.
Lieu began his thought leadership presentation at the 2017 Leadership in E-Commerce Forum held on May 23 in Dallas by noting, “There are big forces influencing the enterprise. Customer experience is a big differentiator—it can make or break a company. We talk about agility—faster and faster and faster. For example, Amazon now has one-hour delivery. To keep up, we need to have some form of digital transformation.” Lieu pointed out that a leader in customer experience can almost double its revenue in a three-year period. “The reverse is also true; if you don’t get customer experience right, you lose money. In our own studies, we’ve found that 91% of customers will switch to a competitor if they don’t have a satisfactory experience,” he said.
“Customer experience is a big differentiator—it can make or break a company. In our own studies, we’ve found that 91% of customers will switch to a competitor if they don’t have a satisfactory experience.”
“Amazon is setting the bar. We need to respond more and more quickly to our customers. Even revolutionary products like the iPod have only two years before alternative or competitive products emerge. This type of disruption is driving the need to be agile.”
Lieu pointed out that digital transformation is happening everywhere, from retail to B2C to B2B. Store closings are accelerating. IDC predicted that by 2019 there will be three times the investment in digital transformation. “That’s where growth is,” stated Lieu. “The money for this growth is coming from the retail store. The customer mantra these days is, ‘I want it and I want it now.’”
Lieu continued, “Digital transformation is a multi-year journey, but where do you start? We believe you start with commerce—the front-end, customer-engagement platform. We win with commerce by becoming an omni-channel business.” This means:
• Conducting commerce on all touchpoints where the customer is and wants to be. “Make it easy and seamless for the customer to engage and transact with you. Yesterday this meant the Web; today it means mobile; tomorrow it means chat and other new channels that will be coming in. At some point, bots or sensors will be doing the ordering for what the customer needs,” Lieu noted.
“Digital transformation is a multi-year journey, but where do you start? We believe you start with commerce—the front-end, customer-engagement platform. We win with commerce by becoming an omni-channel business.”
• Speak your customer’s language. Each customer is unique and expects to be treated as such. This means being able to meet their specific industry, local, and regional requirements.
• Innovate and differentiate so you can address customers’ changing needs and wants. “Customers are finicky. When they change, you need to be able to quickly address and meet those needs. If you do, you’ll win.”
“Customers are finicky. When they change, you need to be able to quickly address and meet those needs. If you do, you’ll win.”
The next pillar of winning with commerce, said Lieu, is delivering contextual customer experience. This involves:
• Gaining customer intelligence. “Knowing and understanding your customers enables you to provide what they want and meet their expectations. You have customer data in your system, but it may no longer be relevant,” he said. “You can’t deliver the right customer experience by guessing what they want.”
• Engage your customers on their journey. Trust is the real currency. Engage with your customers to help them build relevancy, relationship, and, ultimately, trust. Engagement must be done consistently anywhere and anytime because your customers use many and all channels. They expect you to be there whenever and wherever they are.
The third pillar of winning through commerce is agility—responding to the market faster. This can be achieved by:
• Empowering your business users so they innovate to drive business. “IT resources are scarce, so you want to invest them in the right way. You want to leverage the business to drive innovation. The key is to provide tools that are easy to use yet powerful and flexible to support new ideas,” explained Lieu.
• Reduce the complexity of your business process, your operations, and your systems. When your business is supported by many niche systems cobbled together in an ad hoc manner, you can’t act quickly nor deliver great customer experience. Making it difficult for customers to buy from you is the last thing you want.
• Build on best practices learned from experience.
ABOUT HANSEN LIEU:
Hansen Lieu is a Senior Director of Solution Marketing for Commerce at SAP Hybris. He’s passionate about using technologies to help organizations win. Hansen has over 24 years of experience in the software industry, working with organizations to help them gain competitive advantage. In his current role, Hansen is responsible for position and messaging, thought leadership, go-to-market strategy, and execution on the topic of commerce.