Scoring big and scoring well in digital commerce is all about creating positive customer experiences (CX) that reinforce loyalty and retention. There are no two ways about this. Simple as a concept, creating the right experience, however, involves a lot more nuance than what first meets the eye.
One needs to look no further beyond Product Experience (PX) and User Experience (UX) to get a hang of these intricacies. At first glance, UX and PX appear to be integral, yet disparate disciplines of customer experience design – two practices that seldom cross paths. While user experience is usually defined as the experience a user has with the overall brand, product experience is narrowed down to one’s interaction with a specific product or service.
The success mantra in digital commerce lies in the coexistence and correlation of these two systems (PX & UX). Without a foundational understanding of one’s product data, and the subsequent product experience one is looking to create by leveraging this data, user experience design can never really kick off on a good note, and customer experiences fail even before they begin. Similarly, without the larger intent of creating positive user experiences, all the riches of product data and assets either go unutilized, underutilized, or incorrectly utilized.
The common assumption that product data and product experience management (PXM) are important merely at the customer-online product interaction phase is not just inaccurate, but also detrimental to all foundational efforts related to customer experience. In fact, product experience management should be taken into consideration right at the start, when a business begins to strategize the first ever interaction with prospective customers, whether it’s through search, social media engagement, or traditional advertising. Whether it’s SEO and keyword research or target audience identification, the PXM perspective can lend valuable direction to your efforts.
This is just the first step in creating the perfect UX story. Product data and PXM plays an equally important role in determining website taxonomy, attribution, and faceted search to ensure that customers land up with relevant results. If the customer finds what he/she is looking for without a hassle, it’s a big win. On the other hand, if the first few steps are counterintuitive, the customer lifecycle ends prematurely.
As the customer lifecycle progresses, the relevance of product experience management increases exponentially. In the above scenario, a well-rounded intuitive search result needs to be backed up by complete and relevant information that does justice to your product. While one product may require a ‘how to’ video, another one would be better served by a structural diagram. The art and science of PXM lies in knowing how to leverage product data and digital assets in a way that serves the customer best.
The value of PXM doesn’t end here. Even after the prospective customer has positively evaluated your product and the subsequent user experience, tying it all together as a favorable customer experience needs a little bit more. While user experience may end once the online purchase is made, product experience lingers on through conversion and fulfilment. Product data, the product experience promise, and eventual product need to be aligned to go truly beyond a positive online experience towards a flawless customer experience.
The end result of PXM that is integral to customer experiences is how well product data and product experience management was leveraged to not just influence conversion, but also enable transition of first-time users to repeat customers.