As business strategy becomes more vertical because of the demands of good user experience, so too must your outsourcing partners.
To avoid the eCommerce kiss of death, which is downtime, it is essential to have all the right tools in place for your online business. That means lining up a technology provider who provides a seamless experience for your users.
Increasingly, however, successful eCommerce is about more than just keeping things functioning properly and minimizing downtime. To remain competitive, companies must consider user experience (UX).
The question is: where can companies turn to get help with that?
User Experience Is Key
User experience encompasses several factors, ranging from how well an eCommerce store loads to how easy it is to navigate from social media back to the website and vice versa. It is how well the consumer knows the brand and how that translates into loyalty. It is whether or not social media marketing campaigns translate into actual sales and not merely a whole lot of “likes” and “follows“.
Therefore, companies need to think about their customers as they exist across a multi-channel platform, not just how easy it is for them to navigate the company website.
Companies Expect Their Technology Providers To Help Them With UX
That’s why businesses are increasingly asking for more than technology support from their outsourcing partners. These businesses are focusing on developing a higher level of customer loyalty and the resulting brand domination that comes with it.
For that, they need eCommerce development strategy that is derived from deeper insights, and they expect an outsourcing partner to provide that for them. In short, they expect nothing less than vision so they can provide the best possible user experience.
They seek what’s called Global Service Commerce Providers (GCSP).
GCSPs provide more than technical assistance with infrastructure development. Think of them as a blend of IT technology support, management consultancy, and top-level marketing strategy.
How Can A Global Commerce Service Provider Help With User Experience?
Upgrading UX is no small task. It requires a thorough, insider’s knowledge of company culture, a genuine feel for the products or services offered, and most importantly, a data-driven understanding of the customer base as well as the current and potential market. And of course the bedrock of everything is a solid IT partner who will develop the business according to an all-encompassing strategy.
That is quite a bit more than your average IT company has been expected to deliver…up until recently, that is. As with everything else in commerce, their world is changing too. They are increasingly being asked to incorporate a more vertical approach to their services, which means branching out into new areas.
Traditional IT outsourcing companies are now venturing into organizational design and marketing, two areas which have until now have usually been done either in house or by separate outsourcing partners. It is a more integrated approach, and it is the only way to help clients improve user experience.
Here’s What Good Omni-Channel UX Looks Like
This highly vertical, integrated approach is required because improving customer experience means tracking UX in several dimensions:
- across multiple platforms (social media, websites, etc)
- across multiple devices (you guess, tablets, cellphone, desktop…)
- across the globe
- across multiple languages
- across multiple currencies
And across all those “barriers“, users want constant, accurate access to inventory and pricing. They want loyalty programs that work and which follow them no matter how they access the products. They want Nordstrom / John Lewis-level customer service, and they want perks.
All this requires companies to become as digital as possible. Many, however, are stuck with legacy systems…customized systems they spent a fortune on, and which they are reluctant to scrap. Unfortunately, these systems are tied to outdated interfaces, inefficient payment systems, or clunky performers that don’t lend themselves well to good UX. As you can see, all that has to change.
To compete in business, we all know it’s not enough to simply have a website that works. Users demand a rich, interactive experience from a company they trust and love. They want access to that experience any time, and from anywhere.
It’s easy to forget about UX and focus on technical issues of ecommerce, letting the marketing department take care of their end of things, while leadership covers vision and strategy. However, to improve UX you need all those functions to come together under one holistic roof. Companies who outsource IT and management consultancy will need a company that does both those things, plus marketing. That’s called a Global Commerce Service Provider.
From 2016 Forward…
Since UX requires not only technical impeccability, but also clever strategies designed to influence user opinion of the brand, this new brand of GCSPs will play a larger role starting this year and beyond.
And the role of the GCSP will broaden, too. They will increasingly be asked to advise on hiring, organizational design, growth strategy and more. As companies tune into the importance of UX and how it’s vital for the health of the business, technology solutions will become just a small part of what outsourcing partners are expected to deliver.
Failure to recognize the role of UX on the bottom line now can affect the health of your company for years to come- a GCSP can help set you on the right track, where customer relationships are key in everything you do.