Creative Commerce Is in Every Brand’s Future

When consumer behavior shifted online in 2020, what separated the leading businesses from the followers? The answer: managing the yin and yang of a great omnichannel customer experience (the exciting stuff) and successful fulfillment (the behind-the-scenes stuff). Going forward, industry leaders will need to do even more to master the entire customer journey online from awareness to purchase – what we call creative commerce. 

For the past few years, many brands have been figuring out how to connect with consumers at key parts of the digital journey, and in 2020 the need to do so became more urgent. With creative commerce, brands need to take the extra step of creating relationships – valuable, profitable relationships – everywhere on a digital-first customer journey. That means using the power of digital creative to develop an emotional bond with people where they are online and convincing them to purchase – and then managing the back-end seamlessly. 

Here’s what brands need to do to succeed at creative commerce:

1. Take a Fresh Look at Your Customer in a Post-Pandemic World

What emotional drivers are motivating your customers right now? What does their customer journey look like in a digital-first world, and how do emotional drivers influence that journey? Tools such as Isobar’s MindSight can help businesses understand and answer these questions. For more insight, read our opinion on how brands can understand consumer preferences in an age of the new normal, written by our Vice President of Marketing Intelligence, Alex Howson. 

2. Meet Shoppers Where They Are

The digital journey in a post-pandemic world may – or may not – lead to your website. Brands need to be ready to convert shoppers everywhere, both on the site and off. For example, we recently blogged about the rise of live commerce, in which brands rely on live streams to sell products on platforms ranging from Amazon to Instagram. These super power sites will continue to build out robust live streaming tools that make it that much easier for brands to catch consumers where they’re hanging out, which is especially relevant to the surging Gen Z population that lives on TikTok. 

3. Connect Emotionally with Digital

How do brands build emotional trust with consumers when they cannot be in the same room together? Creative commerce addresses that challenge by relying on the more immersive elements of digital to deliver a superior customer experience. For example, General Motors recently asked us for a new way to generate excitement for an upcoming Chevrolet Silverado launch. We brought to life a first-to-market extended reality (XR) shopping experience that gave shoppers the opportunity to learn about, interact with, and customize a Silverado in three immersive environments — across three distinct trim choices — on their own time and from virtually anywhere. Creative commerce is also taking hold in virtual showrooms, which are only getting more popular. What’s really exciting about these kinds of experiences is the potential for expanding them across the entire journey – say relying on 3D ad formats at the awareness stage and augmented reality for high-consideration products that shoppers want to experience from afar before buying. 

4.  Manage the Heavy Lifting behind the Scenes

Succeeding with the “commerce” part of creative commerce requires orchestrating complex moving parts behind the scenes. Many retailers struggled to keep their supply chains and order fulfillment functions responsive amid the surge in demand. A McKinsey study revealed that 85 percent of supply chain managers struggled with inefficient digital technologies in their supply chains alone. Long term, succeeding with creative commerce will likely mean relying on smarter, AI-infused technology that makes it possible for businesses to adapt to the dynamic nature of the online customer journey. Our dentsu Commerce President Jon Reily gave his suggestions on how brands can manage all the moving parts of curbside pickup here

What’s Next?

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your succeed with creative commerce, contact Asher Wren to schedule a free consultation.

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