In an interview with B&T following day one of the Online Retailer conference and expo, vice president, experience manager and commerce at Adobe Loni Stark discussed how the world of eCommerce will continue to grow and change in coming years, and how important creativity is to maintaining good customer relations.
Stark has been working with Adobe for over twenty years, having started as an engineer in 2000, and in that time has seen a number of changes in the mentality and focus of both the company and the sector itself.
“Three things have happened over the 20 years I’ve been Adobe. Firstly, we transitioned to a subscription-first model, and that challenged us to think about how we continuously offer value to our customers through our products,” said Stark.
“The second was really the data-driven era. We got much better at collecting data and useful ways that could offer greater value to our customers and really be able to scale up our business. And now I would say in the last three years we’ve been focused on the digital world that customers experience. So besides the products that we provide to our customers, we’re looking at the experiences on top of that to really deliver value.”
It’s a good thing that Adobe has a focus on customer experience, given the recent trend towards customer satisfaction and trust in eCommerce. A recent study done by Adobe – known simply as the Adobe Trust Report 2022 – revealed that 54 per cent of Australians would stop purchasing from a brand if they violate their trust, and over three quarters (76 per cent) say poor personalisation can erode trust.
“I think the personalisation is the biggest trend of the customer experience and sometimes people get stuck in the whole technology piece of it,” said Stark. “But fundamentally personalisation is about brands recognizing that their customers are diverse.
“But also, the past two years of the pandemic has made us more transparent and more human. I’m talking about long periods of working from home when colleagues saw the whole world around us – our kids, our pets, the messiness of our home. We became more human in our work, and in our interactions with brands and one another, and that’s why this idea of personalisation is something that has accelerated as a result.”
Stark herself is a self-described creative, and when asked about the importance of creativity within the digital space and media made it clear the relevance of imagination and creativeness when it comes to building a brand identity and consumer trust.
“Sometimes when people think about creativity, they think of it in the most limiting format, which is you have to be an artist, a painter or a creative professional. I think of creativity as really about the imagination,” mused Stark.
“I think that imagination and creativity are going to be so important because technology just provides the tools, however its imagination, our ability to think out-of-the-box, that is going to really unleash the full potential of these tools to be able to create amazing digital experiences.”
Online Retailer ran between Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 July, as the first in-person edition of the conference since 2019. It is expected to return in 2023.
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