Customer Loyalty: Why the Web Experience Matters

Michael Neubarth

By Michael Neubarth

The Web is a primary channel for interacting with customers and driving customer loyalty. To engage today’s consumers—as both customers and potential brand representatives—organizations must deliver a highly relevant and interactive online experience that is personalized to visitors’ needs and interests, and provides the platform and tools visitors need to become advocates for the organization’s products and services. Web Experience Management (WEM) solutions are the critical set of capabilities required to address these needs.

What Is Web Experience Management?

Web content management (WCM) tools are used to manage, edit, and publish Web content, and these tools are also the foundation for WEM. However, WEM goes well beyond these capabilities, providing solutions to manage the entire experience customers have online with targeted content and campaigns; rich media; analytics around Web content; and social computing capabilities that enable site visitors to interact with one another and with the organization. It provides marketing and line-of-business staff with capabilities they can use in their daily jobs to effectively and efficiently manage Web-based communications and campaigns.

WEM enables organizations to take full advantage of the Web as a primary communications channel and a primary business channel for driving sales, customer loyalty, and business efficiencies, through empowering them to:

Conceptualize: Creative collaboration is essential to creating compelling Web campaigns and content that will keep site visitors coming back. With the right tools, organizations can enable team members from across the company and the globe to collaborate and share content in a team-based online space. With easy-to-use tools such as wikis and blogs, and powerful capabilities for managing digital assets, teams can improve their productivity and content reuse in support of the Web. Content from collaborative spaces must be easily accessible by the WCM system when it is final, for use on the organization’s Websites.

Author: Robust WCM tools make it easy for marketers and business users to effectively and efficiently manage their content and campaigns online, so they can provide site visitors with a fresh and interesting experience on the site. These tools shouldmake marketers’ jobs as easy and efficient as possible by offering the ability to manage multiple sites in multiple languages and by easily accessing and using a high volume of content assets.

FatWire Web Experience Management

Design: Business users should be able to control the layout of Web pages with easy-to-use layout selection and drag-and-drop content placement capabilities in their Web content authoring environment.

Publish: Organizations also must be able to manage content publication via a reliable and transparent system. Robust workflow is also essential to ensure content goes through the appropriate steps and gets designated approvals prior to publication.

Target: Customizing content for specific audience segments is essential to engaging, converting, and retaining today’s consumers. Business users should be able to create user segments that are identified either explicitly (via login or self-identification) or implicitly (via the user’s online behavior and navigation). Simple interfaces then should allow them to quickly set up rules to define what recommendations or promotions will be delivered to each customer segment online.

Deliver: Providing an engaging Web experience requires rapid and seamless delivery of content to site visitors. WEM solutions, therefore, must be able to offer dynamic delivery of personalized and multi-lingual content, assembling pages from cached and dynamic content as visitors request pages, across even the largest and most dispersed Web presence. WEM solutions also must enable delivery via additional channels such as mobile devices and print.

Analyze: Feedback is essential to optimizing any online campaign or communication. To support sites with dynamic or targeted content, WCM systems must deliver tracking and reporting on individual assets, promotions, and visitor segments. Marketers then can optimize content and campaigns to maximize site visits and drive customer engagement and loyalty.

Participate: Consumers today expect to be able to actively participate in a dialog online with the organization itself, like-minded customers, and more. Visitors must be able to share their perspectives and interact through social computing tools such as blogs, comments, ratings, reviews, and more. And enterprises also must maintain oversight and moderation of user-generated content to ensure that online dialog remains helpful and drives brand loyalty.

Driving Customer Conversion and Loyalty with WEM

Using the advanced capabilities offered by WEM, companies can create long-lasting relationships with customers that truly benefit their business, by:

  • Increasing return visits and loyalty.  With relevant content and an engaging and interactive Web presence, organizations can influence prospects, customers, partners, and other site visitors to return more often and recommend the organization’s products and services to others. This drives prospects to become customers, and encourages customers to make repeat purchases.
  • Increasing online conversion rates.  Through enabling targeted content and campaigns—and making it easy to optimize these campaigns regularly—WEM can help increase conversion rates, as well as up-selling and cross-selling. With targeted promotions and recommendations, organizations can provide site visitors with the most relevant information based on their preferences, needs, or stage in the sales cycle, making them more likely to register or buy.
  • Improving time to market.  By launching new online content and promotions quicker, organizations can realize the gains from their programs sooner, as well as respond rapidly to new developments or market changes. For example, an e-commerce product company that can get a new product or special offer to market online faster can drive sales quicker.

With such comprehensive capabilities for managing customers’ entire experience online, WEM can help companies drive revenue and customer satisfaction, as well as produce operational cost efficiencies. Because of these strengths, WEM solutions are becoming the essential tool kit required by enterprises to succeed in marketing, customer communications, and online business. Implementing WEM has helped customers from all industries to use the Web to its fullest potential as a channel for creating lasting relationships with customers, leading to business success.

Michael Neubarth is manager of product marketing for FatWire Software ( FatWire provides WEM solutions that enable organizations to deliver a rich online experience to users and simplify management of their Web presence.