For the last five weeks, we’ve been welcoming digital leaders from top brands like Tile, Walmart, Columbia Care, and e.l.f. Cosmetics to discuss all things customer experience as part of our Summer Camp series (mosquitos not included).  Our digital experts shared what they think the future of digital holds for eCommerce, how their companies and teams are adapting in uncertain times, and tips on how to digitally transform your business

Whether you’ve been following Contentsquare Summer Camp since day one or are just joining the adventure now, here’s a recap of what we learned along the way:


1. Understanding Customer Needs and Expectations

with Head of Category Management Paloma Garcia de Letona Ysita and Head of eCommerce Trade Marketing Olivia Urriolagoitia of Walmart

The team at Sam’s Club Mexico relied heavily on data to inform their strategy during the pandemic. While grocery delivery had always been on the company’s roadmap, the team worked to speed up the service rollout to help customers get necessities from the comfort of their homes. Based on the early success of the program, Sam’s Club expanded the service to serve 117 stores, instead of the original 60. 

So how did the team achieve such a swift and seamless rollout?

When it comes to building an exceptional customer experience, the trick is understanding customer needs and expectations. “We put ourselves in the place of the customer to address their pain points,” Paloma and Olivia explained. “Thinking about how people were actually using the site helped us improve the user flow.”

Paloma and Olivia said the speed and success of the project wouldn’t have been possible without support and buy-in from teams across the organization. “Everyone is involved in decisions. It gives us the ability to shift and adapt,” said Paloma. “We approach decisions as a business, not just as an eCommerce business.” 

A consistent brand experience, team alignment, and reliable customer intelligence are some of the ingredients that go into Sam’s Club formula for digital agility, and that have helped the business meet their customers’ needs over the past few months. 


2. Using Data to Inform and Evolve Your CX Strategy

with Kathy Ando, Head of Growth Marketing, Direct-to-Consumer and CRM at Tile

Covid-19 has made it more apparent than ever than brands need to be able to pivot and react to changing customer behaviors and needs at the drop of a hat. For Tile, the creator of Bluetooth trackers that help you keep track of your belongings, digital agility is second nature. Their secret? Data. 

In her session, Kathy urged businesses to invest in tools that give teams constant access to reliable data. Only then, can teams make informed decisions and fix issues in real-time. “Coming in with an assumption never plays out — decisions need to be made based on data,” said Kathy. 

“Coming in with an assumption never plays out — decisions need to be made based on data.” — Kathy Ando

For her last tip on how to digitally transform your business, Kathy urged campers to embrace new metrics. “A lot of brands look only at sales results but the secret is understanding the middle part of the journey — the friction points, the frustration, the hesitation,” said Kathy. “In other words, the experience. That’s where the future lies.”


3. Shifting Your Digital Mindset to Be Customer-Centric

with Jesse Channon, Chief Growth Officer of Columbia Care, and Harvey Bierman, former VP Global eCommerce Technology & Operations at Crocs

Even before the pandemic, cannabis-based health company Columbia Care faced its fair share of challenges. Luckily, that’s kept the company on its toes so when the pandemic hit the Columbia Care team was ready to adapt. Even though cannabis was declared an essential business, many dispensaries were still shut down. “We had a decision to make: are we going to lose that engagement with our patients and customers or are we going to adapt?” said Jesse. “What we did was we spun up the virtual care platform, which is the only virtual shopping experience in cannabis.”

“Companies have access to data that shows us a more complete picture of the customer journey than ever before.” — Harvey Bierman

Harvey also thinks customer connection is all about providing the experiences your customers need and want in the moment.  “Where I see successful businesses moving is to what I’ll call a non-channel business or a customer-centric business. That’s really hard to do organizationally, technological, but not hard to do data-wise,” said Harvey.  The good news, he says, is that “companies have access to data that shows us a more complete picture of the customer journey than ever before.” Harvey said companies need to capitalize on this data to better target and personalize experiences for key audience segments. Identifying and resolving friction points along the customer journey is a key step in how to digitally transform your business and will help your brand deliver a seamless digital experience that inspires loyalty and repeat business.


4. Building a Lasting Connection with Your Customers

with e.l.f. Cosmetic‘s VP of Digital, Ekta Chopra

For those unfamiliar with the brand, e.l.f.—which stands for eyes, lips, and face—started selling high-quality cosmetics at affordable prices online. Few beauty brands understand the importance of digital as much e.l.f., which decided to close all of its physical stores in 2019 to focus on building a digital-only experience for customers. This digital-only mindset helped the team adapt quickly when the pandemic hit. 

For Ekta and her team, customer experience is always their top priority. “Data is the currency that drives the digital ecosystem. If you think of the three legs of a stool, they are your product, content, and consumer insights. You need all three to look holistically at the customer experience,” said Ekta. Only then, can you serve your customers in the way they want to be served.

To keep up with evolving customer needs and behaviors during the onset of the pandemic, Ekta and her team launched two new site initiatives: e.l.f. Cares and e.l.f. Discovery. E.l.f. Cares shared how the company took action to fight the pandemic, keep employees safe, and stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. While e.l.f. Discovery featured tutorials, lookbooks, application tips, and product finder quizzes to help customers discover and learn more about e.l.f. products. They leveraged their digital presence to bring about change, build a positive connection with customers, and give visitors the information they need to learn about and try new cosmetic products.


5. Personalizing Your Digital Experience

with Vab Dwivedi, the Director of Digital Customer Experiences at Dell

Personalization doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be intimidating, Vab urged campers. “Sometimes we think of personalization and the data that powers it as something that is straight out of the matrix or science fiction,” says Vab. While personalization is complicated, it’s not unattainable. Companies just need to take advantage of the wealth of customer and website data they have to build customized experiences for their various audience segments. 

If that still sounds intimidating, don’t worry. Vab shared a simple explanation: “Personalization is a collection of different actions and experiences that you set up for your customers so they’re seeing the most relevant thing, at the relevant time during their journey.” The website experience for customers simply learning about your brand, looking to make a purchase, or needing to contact support would all look extremely different. Showing customers what’s most relevant to them at that moment is what helps set your brand apart and give all visitors a great experience. 

Lastly, Vab left us with one piece of advice on how to digitally transform your business by increasing your digital agility. “You have to get in a mindset that your customer’s problems are your business problems” he said.

“You have to get in a mindset that your customer’s problems are your business problems” — Vab Dwivedi

In order to give your customers the most valuable experience you can, your business has to use data and user research to understand their perspectives, needs, and behaviors. Only then can you understand the underlying customer problems that are holding your business back and solve for them.

Craving even more digital experience insights? Lucky for you, all our Contentsquare Summer Camp sessions are available on-demand. Click here to view past sessions and start learning how to digitally transform your business today.