How to make sense of trending commerce innovations

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    Whether it’s the metaverse, shoppable social, or cryptocurrencies, brands are racing to identify the trends that best fit both their technology prowess and their customer value proposition.

    In a hurry, it’s easy to misjudge how certain trends connect or don’t connect with your audience. For example, earlier this year, the hostess unexpectedly said, “$TWINK coinis a crypto-inspired coin-shaped version of the classic Twinkie Snack Cake.

    The hostess not only received backlash from the LGBTQ+ community for her careless use of offensive terminology, but it also severely confused customers. The relationship between the baked goods conglomerate and the cryptocurrency world was unclear in the announcement.

    That said, the hostess’s desire to insert herself into the often headline-grabbing crypto conversation was understandable. and saw success and positive headlines in the weeks and months that followed. But months after launch, no one but the hostess understands the point of the brand’s foray into cryptocurrencies, and I remember it being a failure.


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    Avoid innovation failure

    Interest in the aforementioned commerce trends continues to grow. In fact, metaverse-related companies $10 billion Last year, we nearly doubled the amount we raised in 2020. And the trend hasn’t slowed down. $700 billion By 2030.

    However, as has been proven, opting for these trends falls flat when they lack a clear connection to their brand or business model. In the Hostess example, even setting aside the aggressiveness of the campaign, the company’s product values, customers, and this new foray were still at odds.

    Meanwhile, Sephora successfully embraced the latest commerce innovations as part of its omnichannel experience. A beauty retailer has embraced technology that allows customers to make purchases, communicate with live reps, and access exclusive discounts, all on his mobile app.

    Across the store as well as the app, Sephora customers can enjoy benefits such as: Augmented Reality (AR) Find the perfect foundation shade for your skin tone with virtual try-on and Color IQ technology. Sephora uses data generated through both face-to-face and virtual interactions to deliver personalized communications, recommendations, and experiences to customers. This is the adoption of technology trends done right. Sephora prioritized customer behavior and pursued experiences that complemented their business model.

    To achieve similar results, organizations should analyze whether new innovations align with brand identities and customer behavior. Additionally, it’s important to build a company culture that prioritizes continuous experimentation.For example, Sephora innovation lab In 2015, we tested the in-store experience and then rolled it out broadly, getting real-world feedback while reducing operating costs.

    Prioritize brand authenticity and customer relevance

    Trendy commerce innovations are often striking, especially from a distance. However, it’s important to identify a clear business case before committing resources.

    Start by determining how new innovations drive revenue and enhance brand value and image. Equally important is making sure your customers care about, or believe in, the experience your innovation provides. Customer surveys, consumer personas, and other feedback mechanisms can help gauge your audience’s emotions and needs.

    on track to be number one digital connection By 2024, Gen Z will be drawn to engaging and relevant content. Growing up in the video-first social media and streaming era, we now have content at our fingertips.

    A good example of this is roblox 2020 Virtual reality concert with rapper Lil Nas X. The platform was built on the premise of community, social commerce and gaming, and wisely did not abandon these core elements that contribute to its continued success. Roblox stuck to what they do best, delivering an experience that viewers care about.

    Ultimately, integrating the latest commerce innovations requires both self-awareness and experimentation. Self-awareness of whether these innovations fit the organization’s brand and values ​​is critical to a successful rollout. The ability to experiment to determine if customers are interested in these innovations is key.

    Create a culture of experimentation and develop an agile tech stack to match

    A culture of trial and error is fundamental to successful commerce innovation. Suppose you are interested in implementing an NFT component into an existing product. In a piecemeal fashion he experimented with a few iterations of A/B testing rather than rushing to build NFT capabilities into the offering. Over time, this trial-and-error approach fosters an organizational culture of experimentation that increases the likelihood that innovation will resonate with both new and existing customers.

    But even with the right culture, a fixed tech stack can quickly stifle innovation. Conversely, an agile tech stack empowers employees to innovate by making it easier for commerce to launch, learn, iterate, and even scrap his innovations with minimal risk or loss. Allows you to prioritize. Additionally, Agile tech stacks typically include applications that require less IT expertise, allowing non-technical team members to fully participate in an organizational culture rooted in experimentation.

    Work smarter

    Despite the growing desire among brands to opt for commerce innovation, 45% The percentage of non-technical business decision makers allocates minimal annual budgets towards improving or expanding their commerce capabilities. This is especially interesting given that a majority (59%) of these decision makers said they would be more likely to shop with a company that offers a modern commerce experience.

    Closing this gap starts with evaluating current and projected commerce innovations and how they align with current technical capabilities, brand vision, and customer evolving needs. . By fostering a culture of agility and investing in the technology that enables that agility, organizations can relentlessly innovate and capitalize on the right commerce trends.

    Jen Jones is Chief Marketing Officer at commercetools..

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