An Interview With Adrian Nash and Nuno Pedro

At SAP Customer Experience, Nuno Pedro is the Head of SAP Commerce and Adrian Nash is the Head of Strategy. Both have a passion for helping customers produce real value and solve business challenges.

“Technology alone does not solve industry challenges,” said Nash. “It’s having a solid strategy, people rallying behind the vision, and a method and plan which finally lead to how technology can help solve real business challenges.”

Pedro’s advice is that, “Topdown ambitious goals combined with bottom up [strategies] on how to best achieve those goals, is key to enable a large organization to successfully undertake transformational commerce initiatives.”

SAP is a sponsor of Simpler Media Group’s DX Summit Summer Session, taking place online on July 29. We spoke with Nash and Pedro on the topic of their DX Summit session, “The Next Commerce Frontier.”

The Future of Commerce

CMSWire: Tell us about the next commerce frontier of customer lifetime value.

Adrian Nash: It’s about how you need to build a deep customer understanding, with the customer in control, so you can engage and interact across any channel to nurture customer loyalty rather than losing opportunity with just conversation optimization, which is only part of the need.

Nuno Pedro: The session is focused on connecting the dots between some big market trends, what brands are experiencing with the pandemic and what it translates on how it impacts commerce and evolves the commerce practice to move from a very transactional motivated endeavor to a more relationship management, focused on data and life-time value business.

CMSWire: Why do businesses need to go beyond conversion rate optimization?

Nash: To build a resilient foundation of loyal customers which creates brand advocates and ultimate helps the company grow.

Pedro: With the shift to digital, customers are prone to use digital channels to purchase. That translates into a recurring customer interaction which ultimately makes the purchase frequency a key metric that companies need to consider, hence the need to optimize for customer lifetime value versus only optimizing transactional conversion rate.

CMSWire: What were some of the biggest ecommerce trends in 2020? How did the pandemic drive those trends?

Nash: Not only did the move to digital accelerate, but expectations accelerated along with the various timelines of the pandemic, which is still far from over. Being able to choose where and when you engage with a brand and always having the expectation of a relevant conversation. The need to pair your digital interactions with your in-person experiences became something we all expected brands to deliver.

Pedro: The shift to digital, the blurred lines between physical and digital, and the battle for customer attention — all three got amplified with the pandemic and they are the root for the need to adopt a commerce everywhere strategy.

CMSWire: How did the COVID-19 pandemic change customer lifetime value and how should businesses approach this metric in the future?

Nash: If you think about the monumental investment companies make in getting new customers to consider their products and services, it doesn’t make sense to focus on a single engagement (conversion). A much more sustainable business model is to nurture customer loyalty over time by offering relevant products and services on any channel, at any right time, specifically tailored to the customer. COVID accelerated the move to digital which meant that organizations truly needed to think about those omnichannel engagements and deeply understand, interact and engage at any point of time. Only with this can you nurture customer loyalty and increase the lifetime value.

Pedro: The pandemic accelerated the shift towards digital. While in the digital channels the data known about customer behavior increases substantially, so does the competition for customer attention due to the high volume of information overload that customers come across on a daily basis. On that note, for brands to consider how to improve and enhance their customer lifetime value is going to be paramount to be able to ride the wave of digital transformation and differentiate through a unique customer experience.

‘Technology Alone Doesn’t Solve Challenges’

CMSWire: Describe the path that led you to where you are now. When did you know you wanted to work in this field? Was there a pivotal moment that led you here?

Nash: I started my working career as a developer and did that for close to 10 years. After that I moved to professional services consulting as I loved to work with customers and help deliver on programs that added real value. During my time in services I joined a company called Gigya (which was acquired by SAP in 2017) where I became the vice president of product due to my collaboration with the Product and Engineering teams. This was really a pivotal change in my career which led me to today.

Pedro: I am an engineer by training with a passion for understanding how things work. Since my first job as a developer in a research institute, I always liked to understand how technology could solve different business challenges. After almost 10 years spent in consulting focusing on multiple CRM, BI and commerce areas, I moved over to the customer side where I started leading complex commerce transformation initiatives first with adidas then with PVH and Calvin Klein. The mix between development, consulting and running a business creates a unique perspective to take on my current challenge at SAP.

CMSWire: What is some advice or wisdom you frequently share? Was there an a-ha moment when a big idea clicked?

Nash: Technology alone does not solve industry challenges. It’s having a solid strategy, people rallying behind the vision, and a method and plan which finally lead to how technology can help solve real business challenges.

Pedro: Top down ambitious goals combined with bottom up [strategies] on how to best achieve those goals, is key to enable a large organization to successfully undertake transformational commerce initiatives. Change is never easy but it works best when looked at and considered in a holistic manner.

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The events staff at Simpler Media Group, publisher of CMSWire and Reworked, work to inform our readers and community on our two conferences, the DX Summit and the Digital Workplace Experience. Find out everything you need to gear up for two of tech’s premiere events.

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