logo UE Guvernul Romaniei Instrumente Structurale

Join us for an insightful conversation with Brian Green, Adobe’s EMEA Sales & Marketing Director in Enterprise Software. With over 25 years of experience, Brian shares his expertise in driving digital transformation through innovative customer experiences and seamless e-commerce solutions. Discover how focusing on the customer journey and leveraging cutting-edge technology can differentiate your brand in a rapidly evolving market.

An image of a city with the words integrate the whole customer journey?.

Key Takeaways

  • Innovate for Differentiation: Focus on unique customer experiences to stand out.
  • Customer-Centric: Ensure a seamless and engaging shopping journey.
  • Use Off-the-Shelf Tech: Minimize customization to stay agile.
  • Positive eCommerce Outlook: Emphasize growth opportunities over market pressures.
  • Experience Matters: Memorable experiences drive loyalty and repeat business.

Welcome to Growth Interviews!

Welcome to Growth Interviews, the fun, stimulating, and engaging series of conversations driven by digital business growth.

Our mission is to provide insights and ideas from world-class professionals on the topic of growth and to cut through the noise of so-called marketing tips and tricks, revealing the money-making strategies behind e-commerce.

Each episode is an intriguing challenge involving an insightful expert who reveals some of their best-kept secrets, which you can use right away to boost your business. 

In this week’s episode of Growth Interviews, we invite you to join our conversation with Brian Green, Adobe’s EMEA sales & marketing director in Enterprise Software who is currently driving the adoption of a market-leading Digital Experience & e-commerce platform for building, delivering, and optimizing digital transformation.

With over 25 years of experience in IT Sales, Operations, Marketing, and Management, Brian has an extraordinary track record of success and leadership with Commercial and Public Sector customers in both the UK and across EMEA. 

Technology-minded, Brian Green is recognized as someone with a strong understanding of technology and how it can be used to address a customer’s needs at every point of the customer journey.

In the course of the interview, we spoke with Brian about customer success, retention, and growth and the methods merchants should apply to drive more revenue, better experiences, and better customer retention. 

We’re sure you’ll have lots to take in from our conversation and what is the new incremental value we can bring to organizations, so free up your next 10 minutes and watch this video.

https://youtu.be/oBZbgQbJnZE

We hope you wrote down Brian’s valuable insights, but in case you didn’t, you can read the full interview. Growth Interviews is about learning from the best in the field so, if you would like to know more about customer retention and lifetime value, make sure you check out our previous Growth Interviews as well.

Beginnings And Focus On Open Source Software

Tree illustration featuring various open-source software logos, including WordPress, MongoDB, Git, MySQL, and more.

What is your story of entering the digital landscape?

Brian Green: Okay, so most of my career, I’ve been in infrastructure sales. But clearly, I was interested in getting more into the application stack and I had an opportunity to join Drupal. And so that’s where I cover the evolution of my career to get into open-source software. 

I’ve been involved in Linux for years, and then Drupal also based on open source. I was involved in projects with those guys and I bumped into Magento. We started doing projects together where we were running Magento commerce as a back end to Drupal. And then over some time, Magento leadership convinced me to go and join Magento, and here I am.

How To Build A Good Perspective For An E-commerce Project

Diagram outlining stages of an e-commerce website project: team formation, topic selection, synopsis creation, requirement gathering, coding, testing, project presentation, and research paper submission.

How would you change the present e-commerce landscape?

Brian Green: When we’re making e-commerce projects, a lot of people are upgrading from a legacy project or they’re forced to look at e-commerce because of the physical retail pressure that everyone is under. So, sometimes, people get involved in e-commerce projects where the start of that project is negative.

I’d like to have a conversation with customers and merchants is to have a conversation about the positives. How can e-commerce which is now commerce. In my world, there’s no differentiation between e-commerce and commerce. 

And how we can look at, how we can evolve that business, do something new, see something positive, drive more revenue, drive better experiences, drive better customer retention. I like to look at what the new incremental value we can bring to organizations as opposed to having to react to a negative in the retail market.

eCommerce projects are affected by the legacy of their beginnings. The pressure in the retail industry can put a positive or negative mark on a project and that mark could be decisive for the success or failure of an eCommerce.

Focusing on the positive, on the potential developments of the business, and the new possibilities of a better connection with the customers and increased retention are key to the new incremental value eCommerce can bring.

The Way Experience is Driving Behaviour

Illustration of an e-commerce customer journey from product selection, online purchase, shipping, to customer satisfaction.

What is your take on customer experience?

Brian Green: Consumers have changed. Our demands are completely different. I can remember the evolution of Brian as a shopper. And I can remember when I was younger with my parents, I remember one story I’ll share with you. 

I went to a local butcher shop with my mom and dad and I used to walk in that shop and that butcher would know who I was and know that I like sausages. I liked pork and apple sausages. And that was a rare experience to the fact that possibly 40 years later, I can still talk about it. That was an experience. I mean, shopping almost changed.

It became much more convenient. You know, these big out-of-city retail parks came up and it is about driving greater choice. The choice now is enormous and very economical. But now, people have demands and robust and good value pricing is given. So, that whole experience, the one from when I was a child and I remember is now what’s driving my spending. 

If we look at millennials, we now probably spend more money on experiences than we do on a physical device or a physical object. I’ll give you an example which I use. I’m a coffee snob. Frankly, I learned that from my wife.

But the issue with coffee is you can make a cup of coffee at home probably for 10 cents or a very small amount of money in the scheme of things. But we all go and pay 5 Euros for a coffee, 5 pounds for a coffee, 5 US dollars for a coffee and we sit down and enjoy that experience in a very different way than just throw some instant and make it in a cup with hot water on it. 

So, that experience is driving behavior. And of course, now, the challenge for us as we transform our businesses digitally is to provide that same experience in a digital medium that we expect in a physical medium. So, it is amazingly creative, very engaging creative, awesome content just delivered to you irrespective of where you are and what device you’re engaging with me from.

Retail developed and so did the consumers and their shopping habits and in the short history of  this evolution we can see how everything is interlinked:

  • ? The old retail was based on quality products, direct recommendations in the store from the sales personnel, and the development of a personal relationship that created a great experience for the customer and consequently fidelity.

  • ? The market increase drove systemic transformations in retail which created an incredible product choice with an immediate availability at great prices.

  • ? Experience is in the present the most important differentiator that is driving spending and fidelity.

Creating Experiences Through Innovation

Corporate Innovation Strategy Framework diagram showing four quadrants: Optimize internal operations, Reinvent business model, Create future opportunities, and Improve user experience.

Are mid-range eCommerce players engaged in creating a better customer experience for business growth or is it still a ‘nice to have’?

Brian Green: I’m very fortunate at Magento. I have had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of e-commerce merchants every single day in my career at Magento. And I have to say some of the amazing innovations which are probably leading the world is what I call “mid-market”. There are very large organizations that are transforming retail. 

Probably the most obvious one that we all talk about is Amazon. They’ve now raised the bar in terms of what people expected. And I think I mentioned yesterday in my keynote here in Poland that Amazon has almost become the Google of shopping.

However, I also said yesterday about a very small pizza delivery, a company that’s created an app that knows where I am, it knows my behavior, and it would automatically deliver a pizza to me based upon the time of day I hit a particular location. That type of experience innovation is coming from the mid-market.

If we develop in a very agile way, the speed to market is so much faster than any enterprise. And if you have that agility and creative thinking, you can innovate faster than a large company. And therefore, quite frankly, you can take advantage of that window of opportunity between your innovation and the large corporate sector. That’s the opportunity for those small businesses to grow and frankly make good margins.

Creating experiences through innovation is the most important aspect on which mid-range eCommerce companies should focus as a main driver of differentiation from the competition and as a window of opportunity to get ahead of the big players in the industry.

Growth Strategies for Mid-Sized Companies

Diagram of growth strategies including viral loops, in-person outreach, market penetration, market development, product development, zig-zag, word-of-mouth, milestone referrals.

What growth ideas would give to mid-sized companies willing to grow in this economic landscape?

Brian Green: I’ll probably say two things. One of which is to focus on that end-to-end customer journey. From a commerce standpoint. Let’s think about that clean content-driven, amazing creative to engage, to attract that audience. Look at the shopping experience and make it as frictionless as possible; a great checkout, taking advantage of all the modern paying networks, also linked to shipping logistics. 

What I mean by that is, that I make procurement decisions based on the absolute delivery date because I’m possibly doing things at the last minute. You have to look at that integration, so you’ve got a whole customer journey integrated. I would certainly recommend that because they become the most engaging experiences. 

And then, you also want people to come back again and again and again. And if you’ve got a great experience, people will probably know. If we go to a great restaurant in our local town, they give us great food with great service, we go back. The same is true in the digital world. So, I’m asking people to focus on that.

The second thing I would always stress is when you’re innovating today and when you’re designing technology, there is a sense to innovate yourself. And I think there are amazing tools, amazing content creation tools, amazing creative tools, amazing commerce tools, amazing shipping tools. 

I would urge people to look at how they can use off-the-shelf technology to build the platform so that they can innovate around the experience, around the customer journey rather than innovation around the app or developing a platform. The reason I say that this market is changing so fast, and the less amount of customization you do inside your own business, the better.

I’ve seen so many examples for the right reasons when commerce started, we all developed software and then we customized it to meet a particular need in the market because frankly, enterprise software companies like Magento were not in front of that. I think we’re now in a much stronger position with Adobe to avoid the need to do customization. 

Customization can become expensive. I’m less concerned about the expense. I’m more concerned about shutting the door on what the next innovation will be. In particular, in the mid-market, the speed of innovation is the speed of differentiation, and differentiation is an opportunity for your brand to become internationally recognized and for your business to grow. 

Strategies for mid-sized companies willing to grow:

Conclusion

Innovation around customer experience, the integration of the whole customer journey, and the creation of the most frictionless shopping experience are the main factors driving success for mid-sized companies.
For more valuable insights, make sure you come back to check out our next Growth Interviews as well. 

proiect cofinantat UE

Frequently Asked Question

How can small e-commerce businesses compete with giants like Amazon?

Small e-commerce businesses can compete by focusing on personalized customer experiences, leveraging agile and innovative solutions, and building strong customer relationships. Emphasizing unique products and excellent customer service can help differentiate them from larger competitors.

What are some effective ways to integrate customer feedback into e-commerce strategies?

Collect customer feedback through surveys, reviews, and direct interactions. Use this feedback to improve product offerings, optimize the shopping experience, and tailor marketing strategies to better meet customer needs and expectations.

How important is mobile optimization for e-commerce platforms?

Mobile optimization is crucial as a significant portion of online shopping is done on mobile devices. Ensure your e-commerce platform is mobile-friendly, with fast loading times, easy navigation, and a seamless checkout process to enhance user experience and drive sales.