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Four strategies to future-proof your brand

Delivering a consistent customer experience and removing friction from the buying experience are the hallmarks of a brand’s future success, an industry leader told a Shopify event.

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The four tenets of a successful brand are simple, Mark Bergen, the head of growth at Shopify Plus told the audience at Commerce+ on Wednesday.

Delivering a consistently good brand experience across digital and brick-and-mortar, letting AI do the work they’re best at and humans do the rest, removing friction from the buying experience and experimenting with channels are key to future-proofing your brand, he says.

1. Deliver a consistent experience

The most fundamental tenet of a successful brand is consistency in the customer’s experience, Mr Bergen says.

This means delivering an experience that is seamless and delivers the same brand message across all consumer touchpoints, from the front to the back end, he says.

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Allbirds, a game-changing merino wool sneaker company which made $1 billion in just five years is a leading example of this, he says.

It’s the focus on CX that has driven the brand’s success, he says, seeing them“embedding” CX at every point of the journey, including into a groundbreaking mobile app.

“If you’re not starting mobile-first, you should be mobile first,” he said.

The brand’s focus on building community in-store through, for example, integrating a cafe into one of its flagship store has also been critical to its success,  Mr Bergen said.

2. Let computers do what they do best

Letting technology automate “mundane” or simple tasks to give more space for humans to do what they “do best” is essential for all brands to thrive, according to Mr Bergen.

“It’s about building customer experience and not just maintaining legacy tech platforms,” he said.

Tasks which are not “high value uses of your time” like inventory management should be automated to give retailers space for more valuable tasks.

3. Kill the checkout

With 65 per cent of consumers ending their purchase journey at checkout, it is absolutely essential that friction is removed from the checkout experience, he says.

“Anywhere there is friction in the buying process kill it. Friction hurts.”

This means doing everything to ensure a seamless experience, using automation to make the process as easy for the consumer as possible.

4. Experiment with channels (fast)

Finally, experimenting with the channels where your consumers are is critical to success.

Retailers need to think about how they can be where consumers are, Mr Bergen says.

“You need to be where the consumer is going to be – whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Ebay,” he says.

“Test them, use them, pay attention to them.”