Smart Commerce Nordic 2023: Emerging trends and top tips for eCommerce businesses

Smart commerce 2023The 5th annual Smart Commerce Nordic event took place virtually on the 1st of February 2023.

The day was full of truly inspiring, innovative and expert discussions. To recap, in this article, we summarise the key insights and industry tips from the event.

The moderator and host of the event, Peter Nyman, started the day off by introducing the three themes of the day: the race for innovation and technology, a seamless shopping experience, and adapt and be accountable.

Then it was time to dive deep into the sessions. The discussions touched on the common challenges, possibilities and opportunities that businesses can explore to accelerate their digital change, and move towards customer-centric, data-centric, brand-centric, and experience-driven models.

Taking on a customer-centric approach

One of the most discussed topics on the day was the increased importance of customer experience, expectations and understanding how they can be built to provide maximum value.

Henrik Feld-Jakobsen, Chief Strategy Officer at Vaimo, opened the discussion by demonstrating how many products and services contribute to only a small fraction of the customer's everyday life.

addressing customer needs

The tools often address only a very specific problem at a brief moment in time. Whereas in reality, there are many more touchpoints that businesses can address to make themselves more relevant to the customer. This highlighted the importance of evaluating whether what you’re doing is really for you or the customer.

"We sometimes put ourselves as the centre of everything, but in reality, we just have a very small fraction of engagement on the day-to-day with the customer."

Feld-Jakobsen brought up examples like Bauhaus and Audax, who do exceptionally well in utilising customer data to provide value to the customers and proactively prioritising what’s important to them. Essentially highlighting strategies that cater to a wide range of customer needs as the centre of good and efficient customer experience.

The second keynote speaker of the event, Timo Raab, the Global eCommerce Director at L’Oreal discussed this in the context of using personalised services to capture first-party data. And this way build a brand that customers get to know and trust, as they move along the customer journey.

customer experience

At the bottom of all this, Raab highlighted the importance of brand awareness and building towards a consistent signature brand experience that can't be found elsewhere. So understanding the customer and offering what they are looking for across channels, is more and more important for becoming relevant and essentially ensuring long-term success.

Customers reward innovation 

What was evident throughout the discussions was the unanimous view to use unique experiences to make the most out of your brand, stand out, and ensure you add value. But how are businesses doing this exactly?

During our session with Kronans Apotek's eCommerce Director, Lina Hasic explored their best practices for offering seamless shopping experiences. Their use of customer support live chat and soon one-to-one video calls ensure each customer can communicate and interact with the brand in any way they find suitable. 

“It’s important to understand that it is not about the same offer or the same communication in each channel. It’s about meeting the customer's specific needs wherever we meet them.”

In 2023, people are no longer satisfied with passive one-size-fits-all content. In the same way that we adapt our physical environments to be accessible and inclusive to different target groups - why don't we do this online as well?

To stand out in today's competitive market, making sure the online experience responds to your audience's interests and needs is key to keeping and building loyal customers. Whether it's through chat, shoppable video, quizzes or simple pop-ups.

One effective way to engage and cater to your audience in a modern way is through gamification. And this is something giosg's Sofia Correnti, Playable's Country Manager Max Söderholm, and Timo Raab definitely got all the people at the event talking about.

In his presentation, Söderholm highlighted particularly interesting insights into the impact of games on performance and sales. According to him, the way gamification works is it requires physical attention from the customer and because of this is more memorable. In fact, he highlighted how consumers are 56% more likely to click a gamified ad. This type of content also had a higher time viewed with an average of 65 seconds.

And essentially, customers who had played the game before their purchase had a 22% higher conversion rate and purchased 11% more than people who had not engaged with the game.

Giosg's recent case with the Swedish brand Ida Warg Beauty, saw a similar effect. They implemented a quiz on their website which was also linked to their social media, where they asked their customers for their favourite products. Their campaign also included a contest where customers had a chance to win the products they voted for once they filled in their contact information to participate in the draw.

Seamless shopping experience

The quiz had an astonishing 31% conversion rate and on top of this managed to increase a sense of community and trust in their customers.

L'Oreal similarly used gamification with their brand Kérastase to recreate their offline hairstylist experience online with an interactive quiz. In the quiz people filled in information for example about their hair type and what they were looking for in their haircare products.

The quiz engaged the customer to actively interact with the brand. And after the quiz customers were also offered relevant product recommendations to mimic the service they would be receiving from a professional hairstylist offline.

This emergence of such an omnichannel approach blurs the line between commerce and eCommerce, and the physical and virtual customer experience. But what does this mean for the future of eCommerce as we know it?

What does the future of eCommerce look like?

In the first session of the day, Rafael García Roldán, Metaverse Senior Project Manager at Hugo Boss explored the emerging concept of virtual realities and their impact on eCommerce now and in the future.

"Brands are entering the virtual worlds."

Although the adoption of 3D realities like virtual stores and online avatars and other immersive technology is still in its infancy, Gracía Goldán together with Raab saw this as a very real and prominent feature that we will be seeing increasingly more with many companies.

future of ecommerce

As we mentioned, the omnichannel approach is also making its way into the world of commerce. Customer experiences are no longer just limited to one area, physical or virtual, but they're all connected and interchangeable.

"Conversion is not only about conversion."

The two charming Strategic eCommerce Experts at nShift, Mats Fischerström and Axel Lindgren stated this in their discussion about the importance of understanding the customer journey. And how people take different actions that lead them to a possible final purchase, and without knowing what these steps are you won't be able to guide them through it.

So offering support at every touchpoint all the way from the first interaction with a game to a seamless checkout process and website product recommendations can really have a huge impact on your business. Especially as we're going towards an even more interconnected world.

By the end of the event, the message was clearer than ever.

There is an emerging need for businesses to gather and incorporate customer insights and use them to understand the problems customers are facing. And customer needs will continue to evolve so keeping up with them is essential for remaining on top of the mind of the customer.

In 2023 insights and one-of-a-kind customer experiences will be the key to truly being able to guide your customers through their journey across channels - physical or virtual.

We want to thank the organisers at Business Insight Group for the great and inspiring event!

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