Home Digital Delivering first class digital experiences in a world of heightened consumer expectations

Delivering first class digital experiences in a world of heightened consumer expectations

By Kirsten Allegri Williams, Chief Marketing Officer, Optimizely

by uma

Now more than ever, brands need to ensure that the experiences they offer consumers online are as seamless as possible. 

The pandemic has supercharged the already emerging shift to online shopping, with a recent survey from McKinsey reporting that consumers were three times more likely to use online channels now than they were in February 2020.

Despite the growing importance of digital, marketers are failing to meet consumer expectations. In fact, our recent research discovered that over three quarters of consumers believe brands need to do a better job at adapting online experiences to meet their current needs and preferences.

This isn’t a shock to businesses either as the same research found that while nine in ten business executives believe their company must be able to adapt – quickly and at scale – to drive value for their customer, less than half (46%) believe they are currently adaptive today.

The issue is therefore not a failure to recognise the problem, but rather a lack of understanding in how best to solve it, so they can become more adaptive and provide the high-quality digital experiences consumers expect.

With that in mind, here are three key starting points for businesses looking to create digital experiences fit for today’s consumers.

Establish an experimentation-led culture 

When it comes to delivering digital experiences, there are a range of different roles, spanning multiple different business departments that ultimately make this happen.

While the IT teams will in many cases do the brunt of the work, marketers, engineers, merchandisers, eCommerce specialists and content editors will all too undoubtedly play a key role.

Teams achieve better results when there is clear communication and understanding between individuals and departments, which means that having a connected workflow among digital teams is vital if their output to customers is to improve.

But to bridge these different departments in the first instance, businesses must establish a company-wide culture that embraces experimentation — encouraging teams to continuously test and learn.

That means working together to gather data about customer interactions, determining what works and what doesn’t, understanding why this is the case, and then personalising messages in a way that will ensure success.

 

Maximise your data

Another issue many businesses run into is failing to connect the data they collect effectively so that it can inform better decision making.

To get more from their data, businesses should audit their digital experience (DX) technology stack to identify which technologies connect and which don’t and examine how effectively data is being shared and where potential limitations lie.

It’s also important to recognise which data impacts the DX and then map the process

for where and how it is collected, stored and utilised to inform theexperience.

When undertaking an experimentation approach— giving different populations different digital experiences and then measuring the results — it’s important to consider how data retrieved from these continuous tests can then be used to help further optimise experiences, track data journeys and uncover silos.

Consistent testing and iterating will not only lead to strategies that are better informed, but will enable brands to drive stellar customer experiences and better business outcomes.

 

Create a common brand purpose

Although these considerations undoubtedly make up important parts of the puzzle, brands should also be prepared to consider how outdated cultural stances may be limiting the experiences they provide.

Our research found that 66% of global executives believe that they are not meeting their ambitions to adapt effectively to cultural issues.

Ultimately, businesses can only provide quality digital experiences if all teams are internally aligned behind a common set of values that the business stands for. Brands therefore need to establish clearly what this shared vision is and ensure that all employees understand the message and how it needs to be conveyed.

Businesses need to ensure they have an open internal dialogue where the brand purpose is communicated clearly, as it will ultimately impact how sincere their messages appear. Consumers will only buy into a brand’s message if the brand itself truly believes it too.

Create world class marketer experiences fit for the modern consumer

While modernising and being more adaptive can perhaps feel like a daunting task, taking simple steps such as bringing teams closer together, connecting data and having a unified and modern contemporary brand message, will go a long way to improving the level of digital experiences brands are able to provide.

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