CoreMedia Launches Next Gen Experiential E-com Tool

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A new tool aims to combine personalized content and online shopping into a visually appealing package that focuses on experience over mere transaction.

Most traditional e-commerce platforms aren't built for dynamic, personalized interactions that go beyond the purchase. It's no one's fault, per se—but if online retailers don't catch up, they risk alienating customers  now used to a certain level of customization and brand storytelling, namely millennials.

“Just selling a commodity is one thing, but customers today want to be inspired beyond the raw products for sale,” says Glenn Conradt, VP of global marketing at CoreMedia, which unveiled the next iteration of its LiveContext 2.0 digital marketing tool for IBM Websphere Commerce at the 2014 IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit today in Tampa.

“Products,” Conradt says, “need stories and context.”

Nearly 93% of shoppers say e-commerce design and attractive visuals top the list of factors that impact their ultimate decision to buy—a stat that should stop marketers in their tracks. It seems clear that e-commerce sites are missing out on an opportunity to serve their customers with relevant content throughout the discovery and shopping phase. But if you're not convinced, this stat should do it: According to Harris Interactive, 89% of consumers turned to a competitor on the heels of a poor customer experience with a brand, and a mere 1% said that their omnichannel CX-pectations are always met.

It's because most transactional stores are designed for what Conradt calls “spear fishing.”

“You take your spear in your hand, you see what you want, you throw your spear at it, and hopefully you catch it,” Conradt says. “But you also want to attract your audience through search and engage them emotionally before, during, and after the purchase—because people today have a lot of choice for where to look for a better experience.”

LiveContext 2.0 enables e-commerce sites to incorporate more visual elements, including slideshows, carousel views, image maps, and other rich media—what Conradt calls “immservice content”—that can then be integrated with product information in real time.

The upshot is e-commerce that meets, and pleases, the eye—and an increased focus on the consumer's entire lifecycle.

“As people move between various touchpoints, they might not necessarily buy online, but they most likely do go online as part of the discovery, comparison, and exploration process—and they expect to see one organization across all those touchpoints,” Conradt says. “An omnichannel experience provides brand equity and, obviously, generates revenue and loyalty.”

According to Gleanster, nine out of 10 CMOs admit that their company could do a “better job with customer centric engagement.” Marketers know what they have to do—now they just have to do it.

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