Why technology is not the answer to a super e-commerce CX

“Step out of your professional personas and think like consumers,” said Nicholas Kontopoulos, regional head of APAC commerce marketing at MagentoLive in Barcelona.

As technologies, brands and markets have developed in recent years, so too has the marketing approach, from single channel in the 1970s to multichannel and omnichannel in the 2000s and 2010s and, Kontopoulos dramatically coined, channel-less in 2019.

“2007 was a pivotal year for me,” said Kontopoulos. “The iPhone launched signifying a convergence of technologies – WiFi and 3G and state of the art hardware.”

But that reliance on technology alone within e-commerce could be about to come to an end, he said.

“Transparency and trust is now paramount to consumers more than ever and consumers are demanding immediate value from brands. If your brand can’t provide it, they’ll go to another brand because there is so much choice.” Said Kontopoulos, calling it a kind of digital Darwinism. 2018 is no different with two landmark legislations, GDPR and PSD2, plying pressure on the payments industry to improve accountability and tack technology.

Despite this, Kontopoulos believes e-commerce companies have adapted: “Brands are chasing consumers and they’re becoming smarter to adapt to the new world of trust.”

Part of that adaptation means shedding legacy models, not simply “retrofitting” but more wholesale, business-wide change.

“Does anyone want to guess when the sales marketing funnel was devised as a concept? 1898. Companies are wired into transactions, not customer journeys. That should change,” said Kontopoulos.

But for Kontopoulos, technology is not the answer: “If you start with technology, you will fail. People approach technology like a diet pill. It’s about people, process and technology combined.”

The answer lies in a holistic view of the customer journey, viewing the online customer experience not as a window into the brand but as an integrated digital ecosystem.

“I call this channel-less,” said Kontopoulos “it is integrating the back-end and front-end seamlessly to create a connected and contextual customer experience.”

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