Q&A with Ecommerce Consultant, Nicole Smelzer
4-Tell’s marketing team sat down with Nicole Smelzer – a trusted partner who has helped online merchants that are looking to create a better online experience connect with 4-Tell’s personalization solution.
Working as an Ecommerce Consultant with popular brands such as BB Dakota, Velvet and Manduka over the last 12 years, she has incredible insight into the state of online commerce, the problems merchants are continuing to face, and the tools and experiences online merchants must have to create a differentiated digital experience that drives conversion and revenue.
Here’s what we wanted to know about Nicole’s experience in online commerce and what she had to say.
1. When you first start working with clients, what are some common pain points they’re looking to solve?
One of the most common concerns my clients have is a lack of bandwidth internally to manage the manual features and functions required to run their business. They are also often looking for a way to make their experience more personalized for their customers.
2. We are almost halfway through 2018 – what popular trends are you seeing among the merchants you work with? What are some key focal points for their 2018 strategy?
A big trend I’ve noticed is that merchants are looking for ways to make the online experience feel more personalized to mimic the experience of being in a brick-and-mortar. The idea of clienteling in an online environment, where sales associates can offer 1:1 personalized experiences through a digital channel, is something I see as the next step in the online shopping experience.
3. In your opinion, what do merchants need to do to provide a good customer experience? What are some areas merchants should be more focused on to create a better customer experience?
Delivering relevant results and revealing new, relevant products quickly to help move customers through the sales funnel in an efficient way will ultimately keep customers coming back. Anyway a merchant can make the experience feel more personalized is going to continue to be important.
4. Of the clients you’ve worked with, what has proven to be the recipe for personalization success?
Working with 4-Tell has offered my clients a way to create a more personalized experience. Implementing 4-Tell reduces the manual work required to offer relevant product recommendations with better revenue-generating results. The enhanced on-site search feature feeds the algorithm shopper-specific insights that further improve the suggested products – the two tools bring together the critical shopper data that is gleaned from the distinct features to ultimately improve the experience for the customer. The ability to create dedicated personalized landing pages – through 4-Tell’s Your Store – is going to be a game changer for a lot of merchants.
5. When do you typically introduce 4-Tell’s solutions to your customers? In your experience, how do you see 4-Tell best deployed by merchants?
I try to introduce 4-Tell relatively early-on in my engagement. Many clients I work with either don’t have a solution in place for product recommendations or have a less than ideal solution in place. Suggesting 4-Tell as a new solution provider is a no-brainer for me.
6. Look into a crystal ball. In 2020, who are the successful merchants and what are they doing to be successful?
Merchants who are focused on mobile first and creating a more personalized experience will be ahead of the curve. The move away from traditional malls and brick and mortar locations will result in the majority of commerce being executed online. Competition will continue to be steep so the ability to differentiate oneself from the pack by offering a more personalized experience will improve the chance of success.