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Victoria Greendyke - 06.23.2017

Sagepath's 5-Step Retailer e-Commerce Tool Kit

Sagepath’s 5-step e-commerce toolkit provides our clients with the foundation for proven success. These five rules are Know, Plan, Invest, Execute, and Score. These rules underscore the importance of a sound, data-oriented and operational marketing platform that supports the online and offline customer conversion path.  Our process methodology is:

1. Know: Know your target audience.

As with most all marketing solutions, the first step is to understand your target audience. Who are they? Are they millennials, Gen-Xers, baby boomers or seniors? What do they like about your products and brand? How do they interact with your products and brand? Where do they interact with your products and brand? How often do they interact with your products and brand? What is the average lifetime value of a customer in each segment?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when defining your current audience. You can also augment your customer records with additional first and third-party data and cluster your target customers based on demographics, psychographics, geo-location and purchase behavior across existing channels.

2. Plan: Plan your omni-channel customer experience for commerce.

After understanding your audience segments and which segments generate the highest lifetime value, you must define the omni-channel marketing roadmap for your targeted customer journey. The marketing roadmap is built in a way that prioritizes the customer above the business' goals to map every online and offline experience. The 'happy path' of each customer segment is plotted against the conversion opportunities per interaction. The goal is to increase the value provided to each customer in every interaction along the path to purchase. A consistent brand experience across channels helps drive brand authenticity and value to customers. Brand value in turn drives customer perception of product and service offering value.

3. Invest: Invest in customer data and marketing systems to track engagement and commerce conversions.

Now that we understand our target audience clusters and have mapped the omni-channel customer experience, we need to ensure we have the right marketing technologies to execute against our strategy. Not only do you need a content management system and commerce engine for online transactions, but in order to track and analyze customers, you must invest in an analytics layer of software. Customer data platforms and data management platforms assist with this effort, but neither resolve the litany of data normalization issues you may have across channels. Investing in a multi-channel analytics strategy and supporting technologies is key for on-going customer management, segmentation, and optimization.  The analytics layer must be used to drive personalized experiences across each channel with business-defined triggers and actions.

4. Execute: Execute user experience by channel

From an implementation perspective, it is best to focus on 'quick wins' first in order to show improved customer experience and conversion in one or two channels. Based on data analytics and learnings from the quick wins, we recommend expanding the strategy to the entire customer journey by segment. This roll-out plan is dependent on marketing and IT technologies available as well as internal agreement by business owners of high value customer segments.

By distinguishing your targeted audiences, marketers are better able to understand which marketing channels should take precedent and the appropriate amount of marketing spend and effort per channel. Additionally, marketers are better able to architect solutions and content to personalize the brand message per channel per audience cluster. The goal is to humanize the customer's experience during all engagement points with the brand, focusing on customer value during the online and offline brand engagements.

 5. Score: Score conversions to better optimize omni-channel execution

The last step in the toolkit is the foundation for ongoing omni-channel maintenance for the strategies defined in steps 1-4. Sagepath recommends that all conversion types be tracked throughout the customer journey. Based on quantitative and qualitative findings from the analytics layer, you will be better able to target individuals with personalization, localization, multi-variate and AB tests across channels.