Deliver exceptional digital experiences. It sounds easy enough, but to win in the age of the customer, businesses must realize that there is much at stake if they do not focus efforts on providing customers with a solid customer experience. Forrester even argues that, in the coming years, it’s the customer obsessed digital leaders who will push far ahead of their competition. But how can they get there?
To help digital leaders exceed the expectations of their empowered customers, Forrester has designed this week’s Digital Business Forum around how to build a strategy that works — now and in the future. Liza Landsman, executive vice president and chief customer officer of Jet.com will be on stage alongside Forrester analysts Stephen Powers, Adam Silverman and Alyson Clarke to share her experience in digital business transformation.
At Jet.com, Liza is responsible for producing a compelling end-to-end customer experience with the tools and technologies that drive growth. I’m happy to share the below Q&A session with Liza — I caught up with her in advance of her keynote, and she was kind enough to chat about digital strategy and customer behaviors, and the ways that Jet.com handles its competition.
Enjoy, and I hope to see you in Chicago today!
Q: Jet.com combines elements of an online marketplace like Amazon with the membership model of a Sam's Club. What are the new or evolving customer behaviors/preferences that make this kind of value proposition the right model right now?
A: Consumers are very savvy when it comes to online shopping. We know that feeling like you are getting a great value is a very powerful motivator in today’s shopping economy and have been thrilled with consumer response to our Smart Cart platform. It caters to emerging consumer preferences for transparency, control, and economic responsibility — all without having to sacrifice on elevated experience.
Q: Jet.com is notable for dynamic transaction models which reduce the prices consumers pay, based on how much they buy, how long they are willing to wait for delivery, or even how close they are to the vendor. What have you learned to date about consumer behavior when presented with these kinds of options?
A: It is important to understand – impacting what consumers pay is the direct result of how our platform actually removes costs from the system rather than a focus on price per se. From a consumer behavior perspective, all that supply chain optimization driving cost efficiency happens in the background. The “smart shopping” we are observing our members in engage in is buying way bigger baskets than is typical in ecommerce composed of items that cost them less when bought together by following the signals we’ve embedded into our experience. They are loving the great brands, great value and great consumer experience and returning to building bigger and smarter baskets over and over.
Q: A recent survey suggested that nearly half of US consumers go directly to Amazon when shopping online, bypassing not only other marketplaces but online search altogether. How does Jet.com divert that attention or change that habit?
A: We present a compelling alternative that offers brand and products not found on typical marketplaces with very compelling value all within the context of very modern experience. Part of that is ensuring awareness that consumers (at last) have a great alternative and we are doing that through a thoughtful multi-channel marketing campaign.
Q: Recent reports have suggested that only months after its launch, Jet.com may already be the 4th largest online marketplace, and may be on its way to becoming No. 3, after Amazon and eBay, sometime in 2016. But at the same time it’s not clear that your growth is coming at the expense of those other players. In order to grow, does Jet.com have to take share, or are you (in effect) growing the online pie in terms of either users or transaction types?
A: The e-commerce space is continuing to grow, meaning that online pie will be a lot larger in the years ahead. The data shows that there can ultimately be enough transactions to successfully satisfy multiple marketplaces, meaning we don’t have to be solely focused on taking share to be successful.