Experiential Ecommerce: The Key to Winning the New Digital Consumer

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Our latest webinar, “Experiential Ecommerce: The Key to Winning the New Digital Consumer,” first featured an interview with Raj De Datta (CEO and Co-Founder of Bloomreach) on his new book, The Digital Seeker: A Guide for Teams to Build Winning Experiences. Next, a panel of expert retailers discussed best practices for the creation of personalized digital experiences for their customers. 

Read the recap here or watch the replay.

The Digital Seeker

Raj De Datta believes that appealing to the consumer that he defines as the “digital seeker” makes the difference in how the winners win and the losers lose in ecommerce. In accessing the digital seeker, retailers look to discover “the why behind the customer,” and provide experiences for this seeker that fit their ultimate goals. The central thesis of his book is the idea of the seeker and how winning over these digital seekers is  the best way to “win big” in ecommerce. 

Using the German soccer team, Bayern Munich, De Datta explained the digital seeker. The customer is the person buying tickets, but the club has moved past counting on this transaction after realizing the power of their massive global fanbase. The digital seeker, in this case, isn’t necessarily buying tickets, but wants to feel immersed in the team, as if they are there with the players. Bayern Munich has leveraged the use of the media to improve their fans’ digital experience, and in turn, their fans are more passionate and more likely to buy non-ticket merchandise, like a jersey.

B-to-C

When strategizing how to serve the customer versus a digital seeker, a brand can ask themselves:

  • (Regarding the customer)“How do I serve this customer?”
  • (Regarding the digital seeker) “What is that underlying need” of this customer and how can I provide an experience that targets this need?

B-to-B 

In a business-to-business environment, the digital seeker becomes more complicated. There is no longer one consumer attached to an experience. Representatives from the same brand are in the market for different products and seek different digital experiences. Though complex when in a business-to-business environment, De Datta sees commerce with this new framework of the digital seeker as a great opportunity for B-to-B transactions. 

Panel Discussion

After the interview, Raj De Datta joined Natalie Brown (Head of Marketing at Sur La Table), Jacob Rokeach (VP, Direct to Consumer at The Collected Group) and Katie Hunt (Co-Founder & CRO at SHOWFIELDS) to share what they’ve learned in experiential ecommerce on digital channels. 

Planning is a vital aspect of targeting the digital seeker. In order to implement an immersive experience for the digital consumer, all parts of the brand must be consistent in messaging for the campaign to be successful.  

Ecommerce leaders must be diligent in their research in order to access the digital seeker. As De Datta put it, oftentimes, “Not enough time is spent on what you’re actually doing with data in a practical way.” He’s found that so much time is spent procuring the data that sometimes it gets lost and is not applied in the desired manner, or not given to the correct practitioner. Data directly from the consumer is at the heart of every decision made in the experience-centric store SHOWFIELDS. 

In terms of measurement, the panelists discussed the varying techniques they use at their respective companies. Katie Hunt, at SHOWFIELDS, measures the success of their in-store experiences by dwell time in the store. At Sur La Table, sales numbers are paired with social listening to measure success. The Collected Group looks closely at the overlap between ecommerce and in-store retail customers, which they’ve found to be around 60 to 70%. 

When it comes to giving customers a personalized and interactive retail experience, brands must locate the digital seeker and meet them where they are to find their underlying needs beyond a simple transaction. With online shopping at its peak, all eyes are on customer experiences. For more ideas on implementing experiential ecommerce and perfecting your interactive retail experience, stay in the loop with all CommerceNext webinars and summits.

To get more insights like these, join us for our upcoming virtual events and apply to attend CommerceNext IRL today. The conference will take place on September 28-29, 2021 in NYC. Inc.com named CommerceNext one of "Top 5 ECommerce Conferences for 2019 and 2020." We hope you will join us for an upcoming event.

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