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Customer Experience is King in the World of Brand Affinity

What drives consumers to buy their new sneakers from Nike over another company, when the function of the product is essentially the same? It is all about the experience. In a recent study conducted by Merkle, over half of consumers said that the experience they had on a website was more important than the price of the product. Companies like Nike, and the other brands uncovered in the research, are in the forefront of consumers’ minds because of their industry-leading personalized customer experiences. It has left many marketers wondering how to keep up with this increasingly customizable shopping experience.

How Does a Brand Get to this Prowess?

Recently, while on the hunt for new glasses, I narrowed down my choices to two options. Regardless of which company I went with, I would’ve paid the same price and they would have offered similar styles, quality, and special features; however, Brand A allowed me to ship five try-on pairs to my house and send them back for free. I could even take a quiz that narrowed down my options for me. If I ordered from Brand B, I would have to hope that I looked like the model on the site (not likely) and sift through the entire catalog. Brand A stood out to me because they went to the next level to make sure my online shopping experience was as convenient, personalized, and simple as possible. The shoppers in Merkle’s study echoed the same sentiment: make things easy. Consumers want a shopping experience that does not come with an obstacle course of bad links and irrelevant product suggestions.

A Stellar Customer Experience

So, our next question is: How do companies capture what audiences want? How do you deliver these amazing customer experience moments to them? There is less guesswork involved in this than you may think. It starts with an in-depth understanding of the market, your customers, and their motivations, and it continues with knowledge around the data, analytics, and technology required to build the experiences that meet their needs. Investing in digital experience like user experience (UX) and market research can help brands compete with the industry leaders discussed in this study. To get an idea of what customer experience can uncover, check out a case study on how Merkle helped Exclusive Resorts deliver an experience that drove a 292% quarterly increase in digital marketing leads.

Get the rest of Merkle’s customer experience research results in “The Experience Impact,” available here.

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