Modern-day consumers are experience-driven, who are always on the lookout for fresh experiences. Businesses have to be consistent in giving them something new to be competitive in the market. We often find malls attracting customers with ingenious marketing efforts by engaging with them in various activities throughout the year.
With the advent of e-commerce, the need for good customer experience has evolved rapidly. Today, e-commerce serves millions of online customers daily, which has made consumers much more demanding. Customers expect an engaging yet seamless buying experience irrespective of the channel they are using to buy products. Marketers are left with this challenge of delighting new-age customers in an ultra-competitive environment. But one can stay in the game by adopting methodical approaches such as ‘Design Thinking’. Design thinking presents us with an opportunity to get to know our customers a little better and understand their pain areas. This leaves us in a better position to delight our customers.
The ideal way to delight customers is to anticipate their needs. Design thinking allows you to take a more human-centric approach, the idea is to develop empathy towards consumers and understand how they behave.
The concept of design thinking is not new and has been around for as long as products & services have been developed & sold. Today, there is a tonne of data that gets processed through A.I & M.L which helps us in understanding customer choices. This understanding helps us in curating personal buying experiences, which makes the whole buying journey that much more enjoyable. Hence today, Design Thinking is relevant more than it ever was and has now become a trend.
6 step approach to deliver a rich experience
Empathizing with the users is the first and one of the most important steps in Design thinking. Many businesses assume that they know what their customers want, but assumptions do fall short, more often than not. To succeed, we must understand what the users want and what motivates them, what are the features they like. Hence thorough research must be carried out to understand their behaviors, It is basically to get to know your customers as much as possible.
In this step, we note down all our findings from the research in the empathize stage and draw a few conclusions. Next, we identify what are their problems and lay down a plan accordingly, keeping the user in the center. We need to be user-centric and not business-centric.
The next step is to brainstorm and come up with creative ideas that can solve the problems identified. We should remain open to all ideas without being too self-conscious.
In this step, we put the ideas to action, we build a prototype and test it internally with a small set of users, it need not be the finished product or service yet. We take user feedback and improve on the prototype before testing.
In the step, we rigorously test and measure how the users are responding, we then take audience feedback and understand if it solves their problem and how we could improve. We need to make sure the solution is glitch-free.
This is the final and the most important step as we deploy the solution in a real-world scenario.
Ask yourselves and your team the following questions to make e-commerce more consumer-centric:
– Are we able to learn & react to consumer feedback instantaneously?
– What are the steps we have taken to build an emotional connect with the website visitors?
– Are we considering a great buying experience for the consumers?
– Do we have enough engaging product content to keep consumers informed?
Use design thinking to answer these questions and build an emotional connection with your consumers. Great products are built when we keep the consumer in mind.
If you are looking out on how to learn design thinking, look no further and start with Stanford GSB Executive Education’s Design Thinking course in collaboration with Great Learning.0