Making Sense Of Round One In The eCommerce War During The Festive Sales Season In India

Satish Meena

The first week of October witnessed the start of the holiday sales season in India as the big three online retailers — Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal — launched high-profile sales. Originally started by Flipkart in 2014 as Big Billions day, this week witnessed a discount-driven war among the top three players.

Online retail in India has witnessed significant growth during the past five years, powered by highly funded online retail companies that bought growth through discounts. This gross market value (GMV)-led growth led to very high valuations and burn rates for retailers, leading some investors to question their long-term profitability. This has led to a slowdown in funding as well as cost cutting by online retailers in the past six months. Before the start of the festive season, Flipkart was looking to maintain its market share; Amazon was looking to take market share from Flipkart, Snapdeal, and smaller players; and Snapdeal was looking to find a place in the changing dynamics of India’s online retail market. 

Here are some of the key lessons from this festive sales season for the key players in the online retail market in India.

Read more

The Data Digest: Do You Know Your New Technology Buyer?

Tyler McDaniel

For years, technology purchasing has been moving away from a central IT approach and into the business. Forrester Data shows that in North American enterprises, 73% of technology spending is either business-led or the business provides significant input into IT’s purchase — up from 71% last year. 

Clearly times have changed when it comes to technology purchasing, and business decision-makers (BDMs) are more critical to the process than ever. For example, North American enterprise BDMs reserve 41% of their respective budgets for technology purchases and expect to increase their total spend by 5% over the next year. 

When asked why they are spending more of their business budget on technology, North American enterprise BDMs cited three critical reasons. First and foremost, technology is too important for the business not to be involved:

Second, the rising expectations of customers require the business to push IT to keep technology current. And finally, business executives’ understanding of technology is increasing; so, they can interact more effectively with IT.

Thirty-nine percent of North American enterprise BDMs believe that “software is the key enabler for their business,” and helps them to engage with customers. This trend is even more prevalent in Europe and Asia Pacific, where 51% and 58% of BDMs, respectively, believe the same thing. This significant attitudinal shift will continue to shape how software is acquired, deployed, and used to drive business success.

So how can you capitalize on the widespread and significant changes to the B2B technology landscape?

Read more

A Few Good CX-related Book Recommendations For CX Day

Tony Costa

As analysts, we frequently get asked by clients and practitioners to recommend books they can read on various CX topics. So, in the spirit of CX Day, we (the CX analysts at Forrester)  assembles a list of some of our favorite CX-related books to share with the A fewCX community. We hope you find them as inspiring and helpful as we have. Enjoy!

General CX

Read more

Customer Experience Q&A with Scott Jones, VP, Global User Experience Design, Expedia Worldwide

Harley Manning

In its early days, the online travel industry focused on speed, ease-of-use, and cost-effectiveness. That was a great start but it didn't go far enough:  Travel is a complex and often daunting purchase decision -- one layered with conflicting emotions like aspiration, excitement, and even fear. How has the industry evolved to deal with the emotional aspects of the travel experience? 

Scott Jones is head of user experience design for online travel giant Expedia.  Scott will be one of our featured presenters at our CXSF 2016, October 20-21. In advance of the event, we sat down with Scott to explore some key aspects of his role and Expedia’s CX strategies.

How has Expedia evolved its user experience to address the complex multidimensional context of travel planning?

Jones: Several years ago, in the wake of a rapidly changing consumer tech landscape, we recognized the critical need to make heavy investments in new technology and intelligence to stay innovative, relevant and nimble.

Since then we implemented a “test-and-learn” approach, which allows our teams to propose an idea, build the hypothesis behind it and implement a small test to understand the customer response. This approach, coupled with our expanded user experience research capabilities, has allowed us to learn faster and better understand the “why” behind our customers’ behaviors.

We have also built an innovation research lab on our property to conduct tests directly with customers. Using eye-tracking and facial-movement technology, we can now measure what and where people look at and why. This allows us to get a more nuanced understanding of what customers want and how to move them from browsing to booking.

Read more

Why CX? Why Now? Happy CX Day, 2016!

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

Happy CX Day! As part of our CX Day celebrations, which include a very special episode of CX Cast, and a comprehensive CX reading list that doubles as a holiday gift buying guide for the CX pro in your life, we are launching a new report: Why CX? Why Now? 

In collaboration with my colleague, Sam Stern, we looked at why now is the time for CX pros to convince executives and colleagues at their organizations to double down on improving the customer experience. To make it a lot easier for you to message this across in your firm, we included an infographic that:

  • Conveys without a doubt how urgent it is to invest in CX because your customers, competitors and employees are changing!
  • Gives you six tangible business benefits from improving customer experience that will help you make the case for why CX drives business results. For example, Southwest Airlines, a consistent CX leader, has been profitable for 43 consecutive years, in an industry better known for red ink and bankruptcies.
  • Tells you which challenges most companies (and probably yours) face on the road to better CX. One example: More than half of CX pros said that their organization's culture impedes their success.
  • Shows the path to improving CX, starting from a CX vision, continuing with building CX competencies and strengthening your business technology foundation. 
Read more

The Canada Customer Experience Index For 2016, Part 2: Emotion Holds The Key To CX-Fueled Loyalty

Roxana Strohmenger

Last week, my colleague Rick Parrish discussed the stagnation in CX for Canadian brands from our Canada 2016 Customer Experience Index™.

In this post, I’ll explore another big finding from our research: The way an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than the effectiveness or ease of the experience.

CX professionals often think that getting emotion right is simple: Make your customers happy, not angry. However, we find that anger and happiness do not have a very strong influence on customer loyalty. What does?

·         Making customers feel appreciated, confident, and respected drives loyalty. On average across the industries, if you make customers feel appreciated, for example, we see that 80% of them will advocate for the brand, 70% will stay with the brand, and 68% will increase their spending with the brand. In stark contrast, only 2% will advocate, 13% will stay, and 8% will increase their spending with the brand when they don't feel appreciated.

Read more

Digital Government: Digitally Enabled, Not Necessarily Digitally Delivered

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

The new eGovernment Benchmark 2016: A Turning Point For eGovernment in Europe? was published this week. Although many countries show progress toward the goals, the transformation is not happening as quickly as expected.  Public services are increasingly accessible, with 81% available online. However, one area that disappoints is user-centricity. While business-related services have improved significantly, citizen-related services lag particularly in ease and speed of use.  Results, however, differ by geography as delineated by a “digital diagonal” running from south-west to north-east. Those countries running diagonally through the middle of Europe seem to be digitizing more effectively. (See the figure to the right). Not all countries are transforming at the same pace – and not surprisingly.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “e-government” and “digital government” these days, and one thing bugs me: the push for online services. Yes, I like the convenience of being able to get things done online: renewing driver’s licenses, requesting permits, paying fines. But I also recognize that there are some things that might be better done in person. Yet not everyone has easy access to a government office.  My own regional administration is over an hour away by car, and I certainly don’t want to have to go there to get things done.  Therein lays a tension that isn’t necessarily solved by “digital services” but that can be addressed by “digital government.” 

Read more

Salesforce Closes their Marketing Cloud Gap with Krux

Susan Bidel

Posted in collaboration with Richard Joyce and Joe Stanhope, with Melissa Parrish.

 

With 150,000 customers, Salesforce, one of the world’s largest providers of customer relationship management (CRM) technology, is a trusted steward of its clients’ first-party customer and sales data. In acquiring Krux, a data management platform that ranked as a Leader in Forrester’s November 2015 Data Management Platform Wave, Salesforce supplements its capabilities with more substantial analytics, artificial intelligence tools, marketing data, and digital audience capabilities and positions itself as a significant competitor to other marketing cloud vendors like Oracle and Adobe. This is a smart acquisition for Salesforce, as Krux is a well regarded vendor in the DMP space, and it fills in a increasingly obvious hole in their Marketing Cloud offering.

The Krux buy, came in at a reported cost of $700 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.just about double the cost to Oracle of BlueKai 18 months ago. The DMP aggregates, normalizes, segments, and syndicates data for approximately 200 marketers and publishers, making 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data available for marketing and advertising .

Read more

How Do Buyer Journeys Relate To the Customer Life Cycle?

Lori Wizdo

At Forrester, we’re pretty zealous in our recommendations that B2B marketers must shift their marketing focus from a product and channel centric approach to a customer-centric approach, using the customer life cycle as a design framework for company-wide engagement. The customer life cycle is simply the enterprise’s view of the phases a customer passes through in the course of an ongoing relationship with a company.  This shift triggers a number of pivots:

  • From “what we do” to “what your customers want”  
  • From your process to the customer’s
  • From one stage (e.g. acquisition) to the entire life cycle  
  • From “transactions” to “relationships

In our B2B research, we also evangelize about the importance of buyer journey mapping.   Conceptually these two customer processes seem very similar, and I often get this question:

Q: “How should we use Customer Lifecycle when thinking about Buyer Journey? It feels like two different (similar models)”

A: Well spotted!  They are two different models. The Buyer Journey is about one particular decision journey.  There will be multiple buyer journeys throughout the typical customer life cycle, such as:

  • Initial purchase decision
  • Decision or renew (or expand)
  • Entirely new purchase decisions for entirely new stuff (cross-sell/upsell)
Read more

The Canada Customer Experience Index For 2016, Part 1: A Year Of Stagnation

Rick Parrish

I’m happy to announce that we just released this year’s Customer Experience Index report for Canadian brands. The report is based on Forrester's CX Index™ methodology, which measures how well a brand's customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers. We use this methodology to create an annual benchmark of CX quality at 193 Canadian brands.

We found that between 2015 and 2016, the Canadian customer experience stagnated.

  • Score changes at the brand level were remarkably minimal. Only about one-quarter of brand scores changed at all, and those changes were small across the board. A similar number of brands rose as fell.
  • Fourteen industry averages showed slight movement. Four industry averages rose and 10 fell. However, these movements were usually very small and rarely changed the rank order of industries significantly. Only two industries’ performance changed substantially: The wireless service provider industry rose, and the PC manufacturer industry fell.
  • Leaders and laggards by industry were mostly unchanged. Within the 18 industries we studied, 12 industry leaders and six industry laggards held their positions. However, some top and bottom spots changed hands only because we added new brands this year that scored higher or lower than last year’ languishing leaders and laggards.
Read more