Vince Vachio, President of VSG Commerce, shares trends in design and implementation of personalized B2C, B2B, and B2E ecommerce websites, and talks about a new Oracle Commerce user group, Pipeline Pros.
In this recorded Facebook Live, Vince is interviewed by Mia McPherson, Editor-in-Chief of SmarerCX.com, at Oracle OpenWorld.
Vince Vachio: I’m doing great, Mia. Thank you for having me today.
Mia McPherson: Vince, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and about VSG Commerce’s work with Oracle?
Vince Vachio: Absolutely. VSG Commerce is a company that focuses in on design, development, and managed services, providing everything from exceptional creative design, usability, to implementation and quality services that are on time, and on budget every time that we work with our clients.
Mia McPherson: What have you been excited about here at OpenWorld so far?
Vince Vachio: You know, I think OpenWorld has been fantastic. Every year that we come we learn a little bit more by walking through the show and seeing the case studies that are here. It’s obviously getting smarter.
Every time that we’re here it’s amazing to see the CX products all coming together. Obviously our focus is on Commerce, but we’re looking at ways that we can tie in the different solutions to be able to support our customers.
Mia McPherson: You are also involved with something exciting called Pipeline Pros. Can you tell us about it?
Vince Vachio: Absolutely. As a founding board member of Pipeline Pros, we saw that it was very important for Oracle Commerce customers to have the ability to work with their peer groups. So, even though we’re vendors, we found this as very critical and important to the success of our clients. What we’ve done is we’ve built out an organization and we’ve had our first show in Chicago this summer to bring people together. And we’ve also brought in other vendors like VSG Commerce that are well-established and trusted, in order to deliver more value to existing Oracle Commerce and Commerce Cloud clients.
Mia McPherson: I’ve heard from so many members of your user group and other user groups that say there’s really no substitute for getting together with your peers, seeing how other people use the software, and just learning from others’ experiences.
Vince Vachio: Yeah, it’s been fantastic. Prior to starting VSG Commerce, I was fortunate enough to actually be a client using these products. So I got to learn over time with a large global implementation what it really took, and how that pure interaction and working with folks at other companies that were doing the same things was important. Now with VSG Commerce, I’ve been able to take that same experience and bring that to our clients so that when we work with folks, our experience in that area specifically shows.
Mia McPherson: One of your areas of expertise is helping organizations build ecommerce websites. So, let’s say I’m a customer and I’m looking to build an ecommerce website. What advice would you have for me?
Vince Vachio: Well, the advice we have now for our customers is to think about what that 12 to 18 month roadmap looks like online focusing in again on commerce, service, and support. We take a look then at tactical plans over a 3 to 4 month timeframe because we all know the value of implementing something in a timely fashion so that the organization can see the results and see the impact to the business. We spend a lot of time with our clients making sure that we have that plan put together and then we evangelize that plan throughout the organization so that people understand what we’re going to be doing and how ultimately it’s going to impact the entire team.
Mia McPherson: Your organization implements B2C, B2B, and B2E websites. Is there a difference?
Vince Vachio: Yes, absolutely there are some differences. But let’s start with the good part. First, the Oracle Commerce solutions are able to do the personalization that’s needed to support all three of those different types of stakeholders.
On the B2C side, we work with a lot of clients who have consumer initiatives and we’re working with those folks on their branding, on usability, on marketing automation, on how to be impactful and drive traffic to their sites, and then conversion once people get to their sites.
On the B2B side, we focus more on the functional design and the impact within the organization to be able to optimize certain processes that are critical to success.
And then on the employee side (B2E), we work with sales teams, marketing, merchandising teams, and the customer service groups to make sure that their jobs become a little bit easier by using these same solutions that we’ve rolled out to other end users and stakeholders.
Mia McPherson: Can a customer have more than one? Can they have B2C, B2B, and B2E?
Vince Vachio: Absolutely, great question. We have several different customers that have all three of those. And what we do for those customers is we make sure again that we have that strategic plan and that roadmap in place to make sure that as we launch something for one or multiple groups, we’re able to bring in that third group so they can see the value along with everybody else. So yes, we do have several clients working in that area.
Mia McPherson: Can you tell me what trends, technology and otherwise, do you see making an impact on businesses in the next five years?
Vince Vachio: I think today, just like in the last probably 3 to 5 years, we’ve seen a tremendous impact on customer experience and personalization. And in the online area, we continue to focus in on those things. Now there are different technologies coming out, like beacons if you’re in a store. If you’re taking a look at AI and the impact of artificial intelligence, take a look at what’s happening even with automobiles today. We’re starting to see, and we feel very strongly, that there’s going to be a convergence there. The impact that your phone has – if you think about the last 3 to 5 years there, we think in the following 3 to 5 years what you do on your phone, you’re going be able to do in your cars. And that’s going to help our retailers so that as you’re doing something and you’re driving down the street, they’re going to be able to personalize, be able to tell you where to go to eat, where to go to shop, what’s on sale, where the inventory is at a specific store. We feel that’s what the next 3 to 5 years is going to look like.
Mia McPherson: That sounds really exciting. And as I hear you and some others talk about trends, I think, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know that I wanted that, but now I do.’
Vince Vachio: Exactly, because you see things, I think in a different light once you start to put together your profile. And so everything that we do online is based on the profile of that person who logs into the website. The same thing’s going to happen in other parts of our lives because we all want convenience, right? Nobody likes to be online shopping for something or going to the store and not being able to find what they want or thinking it’s going to be there.
Through this technology, we’re going to start to see that as you allow retailers and other companies to know more about you, they’re going to be able to provide services in different ways.
Mia McPherson: I’ll be looking forward to that. Vince, how would you define customer experience?
Vince Vachio: For me, customer experience is a very personal thing. Like I said, having worked in large corporate environments before, I understand the importance of a team made up of different types of subject matter experts all throughout a company. And each one of those people have tools or need tools to do their job a little bit better. And the smart part about the CX that Oracle has rolled out – not just Commerce – is that we’re able to impact many different areas of every company and we’re able to give them the tools that they can use to be more productive on a day-to-day basis. So those are the things that we see as impactful in that area.
Mia McPherson: Can you tell me of a time when you personally had a memorable experience?
Vince Vachio: Absolutely. And it comes right back to Oracle OpenWorld last year. We launched a very large website for one of our customers, The Chefs’ Warehouse. They provide home chefs, and restaurants, gourmet food items.
We were at a dinner, and our business stakeholder looked over at me, handed me his phone and said, ‘Please read this email.’ It was from their customer service team. And the remarkable part about it was earlier that day, as we were at OpenWorld, a brand new customer – the site had just launched within days of OpenWorld – a had found the site, became a customer of this B2B organization, and literally had ordered a very large order for their first order. It was a small bakery and they had ordered a very large amount of items to be delivered that day.
It was just incredible for us to see what it had done for that bakery, and the impact we had because they really needed these products to run their business. And the impact it had on our clients was something that was very gratifying for us.
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