It's Time for Embedded Commerce as Part of Your Service Strategy

Customer service organizations today are challenged to strike a balance between increasing efficiency while creating more engaging and personalized customer experiences. However, that experience is often disrupted when customers go to buy products, whether online or from physical stores. Embedded commerce, which puts buying experiences directly into different channels of customer engagement, enables companies to engage customers with buying experiences wherever they interact with them.

Once thought of as the realm of the e-commerce or sales folks, embedded commerce is increasingly becoming part of leading companies' service and engagement strategies, and it's an area at which service leaders should be looking to increase efficiency and reduce friction for their customers. Here are a few examples:

  • A customer submitting a service request via a self-service bot or e-mail discovers a product needs a replacement part. Rather than being directed to an e-commerce site to order it, they receive a link directly to an order that they can approve and buy.
  • A self-service order portal enables customers to see their order histories and reorder items with one click.
  • A field service app provides a customer with a link to an invoice for payment linked to the work order when the field service visit is completed.

Simply put, embedded commerce reduces the number of steps customers have to take to buy from you and reduces the risk that they'll disengage with you at each step. Beyond the benefit of providing a more streamlined experience for your customers, embedding commerce in service processes can increase agent efficiency, accelerate customer payments, and increase revenue and profits.

Are you ready for an embedded commerce strategy? You'll want to start by looking at how many and which type of customer service interactions end by sending customers to other departments, websites, or channels to complete their transactions to determine the high-volume targets that are likely to deliver the greatest benefit. You'll also want to think about the following:

  • Collaborating more closely with your e-commerce team. Although they might not be using technology today that can be embedded in service processes, they're likely looking in that direction and can likely share their commerce experience with you.
  • Looking to cloud providers with open APIs and prebuilt integrations to commerce, inventory, and accounting systems that will enable rapid building of embedded commerce capabilities for new and evolving channels.
  • Thinking about all your customer service and commerce touchpoints, not just the electronic ones, and how the data from embedded commerce and all customer interactions can provide a more complete view of customer preferences to drive even more personalized, frictionless interactions.

Beyond efficiency, optimizing customer service is about prioritizing the customer. Embedded commerce ticks both boxes, driving more frictionless customer experiences and more efficient engagement.

Rebecca Wettemann is founder and CEO of Valoir.