How to Apply the Latest in eCommerce Functionality and UX Design to Increase Adoption
Digital capabilities and payment technologies have changed the way consumers shop; your colleagues are no different. Yet many businesses struggle to keep current internal marketing portals (also commonly referred to as “marketing stores”) that offer some form of ordering/purchasing features. Legacy marketing store systems were often built without scalability in mind, and thus many remain in a form where orders still have to feed through to purchasing departments or internal marketing teams for approval and fulfillment. Not providing a fully self-serve, user-friendly environment makes it harder for marketers to leverage all of the assets they’ve produced, and low self-sufficiency slows down customer-facing functions.
The lack of investment in these systems is understandable; they don’t directly correlate to the bottom line. But if you take the long view, they’re invaluable when it comes to brand and sales enablement. Customer-facing teams are among your best channels for promoting your brand. And with marketing increasingly being held accountable for justifying every expense, it’s critical that what you produce is visible and accessible to stakeholders.
The good news is that big hitters like Amazon and Zappos continue to update and perfect eCommerce, so companies wishing to upgrade internally-facing purchasing systems can capitalize on what is already in existence.
User Experience Is Top Priority
Research is increasingly confirming that one of the most critical determiners of the success of a web application is the user experience.
User Experience (UX) comprises a site’s look and feel, architecture, overall ease of use, shopping cart experience, and more.
You can leverage these very same principles to optimize efficiencies in your brand merchandise and marketing content ordering and purchasing portals. The superior UX and secure, controlled online purchasing available via your favorite websites can now be safely – and more easily – applied to better serve business stakeholders such as sales teams, distributors, and field marketers.
A UX-optimized marketing portal can accelerate many basic sales and marketing functions:
- Increasing adoption and transparency: Pricing and inventory are readily visible and can be updated in real time. Purchasers are better informed, reducing the risk of order changes.
- Improving internal perception of the marketing team: Providing excellent customer service always makes a good impression.
- Speeding up purchasing, fulfillment, and billing: Put merch within users’ reach with features such as frequently purchased items and smart content: similar to what you see in eCommerce sites that feature product recommendations and related products.
- Expediting order submissions and processing: Whether you need to change a ship-to on the fly or quick-ship 50 different pieces of merchandise to 50 different clients, those options are easy to access and process.
One aspect of customer experience that seamless eCommerce functionality does well is convenience. Users want to find what they’re looking for quickly, receive it hassle-free, and pay with their preferred method. While many older systems take in static requests that have to be routed to marketing teams for approval and fulfillment, a more streamlined portal enables automation that empowers users to take care of these processes themselves – easily and quickly.
And importantly, today’s best eCommerce-centric online marketing stores let users upload mailing lists to attach to their orders, rather than offering only a few predefined ship-to address options.
The Personalized Shop…
The level of personalization and ease of use that an eCommerce-style corporate marketing portal provides does well for internal brand perception. Consumers still highly value relationship – strong customer relationships boost loyalty, improve net promoter scores, reduce acquisition costs, and increase the likelihood of conversion, upsells, and expansion. Again, your colleagues are no different. When your tech can support them in every step of their tasks, you are building internal loyalty and teamwork.
Further, because eCommerce is primed to handle large amounts of data with minimal risk, it’s the ideal space to deliver personalized content and services and test new strategies.
If you integrate your internal corporate marketing portal with a robust content management system, you can take your online ordering and purchasing well beyond a more dated inventory library. You can deliver engaging content based on user activity and other data points.
You can also use personalization to move the relationship across channels conversational (chatbot-based) ordering and other purchase-based trigger communications. Such technologies make processes seamless, hassle-free, and scalable into the future.
Ready to talk about taking the best in UX and eCommerce to your online marketing store? Contact us to learn more.
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