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It’s all about the commercial experience

30 Nov 2018

Making the buying experience enjoyable is key to success in the smartphone era

While Go-Jek is most often described as a ‘ride-hailing’ service along the lines of Uber or Grab, regular users of its app will point that out as a mischaraterisation. On top of Go-Ride and Go-Car, the following are also available on its app: Go-Food; Go-Mart; Go-Send; Go-Box; Go-Clean; and even Go-Massage, amongst others.

The plethora of services available on Go-Jek is both a cause and effect of its explosive growth, growing from 15,000 monthly orders to 100 million in just three years. Go-Jek founder Nadiem Makarim’s realisation that the sheer number of ojek – motorcycle taxis in Jakarta, and the inspiration of the company’s name – riders were a ready-made distribution network made the expansion into food delivery and courier services look inevitable in hindsight.

Go-Jek, however, might not have grown this fast had they not perfected what Tuomas Peltoniemi of ad agency TBWA calls the ‘commercial experience’.

“One aspect of it is the customer’s experience with the brand,” Peltoniemi explains, pointing to the ease of getting whatever was desired delivered. Go-Pay solved the payment solution for the Indonesian market, where the percentage of adults with a bank account only reached 49 percent in 2017. “After Go-Jek developed their customer experience, they sorted out the user experience – the app is incredibly easy to use and you can get anything in once place.”

Upside down funnel

Now that the Go-Jek brand is so well-known, it is easily discoverable online and it then makes sense to spend money on creative marketing campaigns to drive awareness, such as the billboard ads the company put up in Jakarta.

By putting the awareness campaign last, Go-Jek is effectively inverting the traditional marketing funnel of ‘Awareness’ -> ‘Consideration’ -> ‘Conversion’ -> ‘Advocacy’. Peltoniemi advocates a bottom up model that goes ‘Commercial Experience’ -> ‘Conversion’ -> ‘Content’ -> ‘Awareness’.

“I argue in today’s world the commercial experience is everywhere, and it’s so invisible and frictionless, we should start off by with the commercial experience,” he elaborates at a recent SMU Centre for Marketing Excellence talk Commerce Revolution: Building Commercial Experiences in the WeChat Age.

“If you start off by building a commercial experience that people genuinely want to use and then you work your way up from there, and you make sure your conversion marketing is in place, and then you create content to create awareness for you, it will work. After that you can then have these creative experiences to get people to identify with your brand.”

Peltoniemi pointed to another brand, Nike, which understood the importance of a good commercial experience and delivering on it. The collaboration over the 2018 NBA All-Star weekend in February with Shopify and logistics specialists Darkstore made it convenient – “Just a couple of taps on the phone,” says Peltoniemi – to get their hands on the Air Jordan III ‘Tinker’.

While the chance to own a pair of the iconic shoes ahead of its official release on March 24 is lure enough, it is the partnership with Snapchat and the Augmented Reality (AR) feature that caught Peltoniemi’s attention.

“They based their commercial experience on a cultural moment, and that was the 30th anniversary of the Michael Jordan dunk,” Peltoniemi explains, referring to the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk contest. “They also had a novelty factor because, after all, this was the first AR e-commerce experience on Snapchat on this level, and Shopify was brought in to enable consumers to make that commercial transaction.

“First thing I found amazing about the AR campaign is: you don’t have to build everything these days. This is a collaboration between a brand, a product that people love, a social platform, an e-commerce platform, and a logistics platform. You bring everyone together who are specialists in their own right and the actual commercial experience is quite amazing.

“The customer experience is great because it’s not something you’ve seen before on Snapchat. The user experience is great because you can buy directly from the app. The discoverability is high because you are discovering the commerce opportunity right in the thick of it.”


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Last updated on 29 Nov 2018 .


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