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According to Walker Information, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020.1 There’s no debate – engaging experiences are what bring customers back time and time again.
It’s simply no longer enough for a brand to provide the basics of eCommerce. In fact, it can be argued that a properly tuned, streamlined eCommerce experience is the minimum expectation your customers have today. Customers are not tolerant of non-standard eCommerce flows. They want to search, view, add to their carts, and checkout, as quickly and painlessly as possible. The eCommerce process has become a commodity of sorts, everyone has it, and almost every company’s experience looks the same. For most, it is a standard script: search/browse, display product, add to cart, buy. With most eCommerce platforms, this approach is tightly coupled to templates or pages, making it hard to innovate, and forcing a cookie cutter experience.
However, when the script is fully separated from the experience, this very dilemma presents a significant opportunity to stand out from the crowd. When the platform provides flawless execution of the script, your team is free to spend time working on what really matters, crafting unique and memorable experiences for your customers.
Find the Right Platform to Quickly and Easily Deliver Unique Experiences
The platform of the future needs to enable marketers to easily deliver these experiences. “How then”, you ask, “does it do this?” Headless API driven commerce is the key to unlocking a brand’s creative potential to present itself in new and exciting ways that delight customers and drive additional revenue through repeat sales. Through a curated set of APIs, IBM’s Watson Commerce portfolio is enabling these powerful experiences to come to market quickly and cheaply.
As proof of this, I offer you a sample microsite built on Watson Content Hub and IBM’s multi-tenant SaaS-based commerce platform, IBM Digital Commerce (IDC). Using the new Watson Content Hub APIs and IDC’s robust set of REST APIs for commerce functionality, a team of two developers was able to build a fully functioning, content-driven, commerce site with all the functionality and reliability of IBM WebSphere Commerce. The site supports the entire happy path for product purchase, and was developed by resources with zero working knowledge of WebSphere Commerce. What’s more, I was able to stand this up on a fresh instance of Watson Content Hub, using a completely out-of-the-box instance of IDC, in less than 48 hours, AND I made ZERO configurations to either of those instances. I didn’t have to involve a developer, an engineer, or a sys admin.
This is revolutionary for marketers. It allows them to build mobile apps, micro sites, and other experiences without the need for commerce platform expertise while still being able to support a path to purchase as part of those experiences. Not only is this API-driven approach key to delivering on the omnichannel opportunities of today, but it is a solution that is future proofed for devices and channels that are still on a whiteboard in a Silicon Valley garage. The future of commerce has already arrived, and IBM Digital Commerce has the platform to deliver it today.
Want to learn more about how to quickly be on the path to building completely customized experiences for your customers? If you’re attending Think 2018 this year, please make a note to attend the session I’m co-presenting with IBM’s Alex Shum on Wednesday, March 21st, “External Customizations (xC)—A New Programming Model for IBM Digital Commerce.”
In the meantime, learn more about IDC.
1 Walker Information, “Customers 2020: A Progress Report,” October 2017