In a world where customers are increasingly considered stakeholders, cultivating a customer-centric culture is of the essence for any organization. Actualizing this aspiration through the elevation of customer experience was core to the 10-year vision of a newly appointed CEO in 2019.

A renewed focus on the end customer would be imperative for this global B2B2C company, which had traditionally placed emphasis on viewing operations through the lens of distributors. And achieving this mandate would require the rethinking of tools and technology historically envisioned to serve B2B users. This was of paramount importance due to ongoing development of a newly launched e-commerce platform.

Knowing the design of a digital experience that addressed end customers’ needs would depend on a deep understanding of their journey distinct from that of distributors, enterprise marketing and digital teams engaged Gongos in partnership. Together, we created a framework from which our client could map the customer journey to surface expectations and pain points at every step along the path to purchase. This qualitative research methodology applied UX principles, such as the use of “talk out loud” protocols, to the broader customer e-commerce journey and focused on identifying jobs to be done during the online shopping process.

Ultimately, this qualitative research, conducted in six countries, was integrated with a broader customer-centric perspective from parallel competitive benchmarking research and analytics of existing behavioral e-commerce customer data. These unified findings forged a clear roadmap guiding the future development and refinement of the digital e-commerce platform. Examples of the customer needs identified as part of this roadmap include improved search and navigational functions, a more intuitive cart experience, and simplified customer registration, just to name a few.

Based on this body of work, the digital and marketing teams were able to engage in an immersive learning and ideation experience, informing their development of annual operating plans. Research findings were socialized across the organization and continue to guide overall customer experience strategy, which has included further research into the customer journey. What’s more, the customer shopping experience garnered executive cross-functional alignment for implementation as a 2020 strategic investment and operating priority.

All in all, the opportunity to refocus the e-commerce business around B2B and B2C customer needs created a way to further develop digital as a primary channel for customer acquisition and retention, expand business prospects for distributors, and drive sustainability in an increasingly customer-centric culture.