How to deliver digital excellence for the personalised experiences consumers now crave

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How to deliver digital excellence for the personalised experiences consumers now crave
Creating engaging content that appeals to customers can be a lengthy and high-cost process.
Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

In an ever-evolving digital world, consumers’ expectations of customer experience have never been higher.

With choice in the marketplace growing exponentially, organisations must be prepared to pivot their approach when it comes to engaging with customers and employees. Focusing on a personalised and streamlined user experience can be a sure-fire way to offer a competitive advantage, especially when a business targets the right areas for maximum results.

Ten years ago, a well-designed webpage or product interface was enough to convince consumers of a business’s capabilities. In 2021, the emphasis is not so much on the product offering, which consumers assume is fit for purpose at a minimum, but on the hyper-personalised user experience. Users know what they want and would prefer it to be delivered to them instantaneously. Along with fast-paced service delivery, the modern consumer also expects the organisation to provide a meaningful service; one that spans a multitude of touchpoints and ultimately emphasises the worth of the individual.

But how does a business keep up with consumer demand? It’s important to build a digital ecosystem that comprises various technologies that can work together to deliver a truly individual experience that resonates deeply with each person.

The impacts of COVID-19 across the world have reinforced the need for a strong and flexible digital strategy to prepare for the unexpected. This unforeseeable obstacle was the catalyst for many businesses in updating their practices and implementing new strategies that aligned the brand, people, and technology seamlessly. Only when an organisation is united can it then begin to transform the way consumers interact with it and ultimately deliver the benefits of personalisation.

To deliver modern and personalised experiences, organisations should consider the following four pillars:

1. Digital experience platforms that use data to deliver rich personalisation

Digital experience platforms (DXP) combine technologies to deliver a rich user experience. A DXP will let marketers create messaging and share content across multiple touchpoints. One of its most important features is the ability to learn customer preferences and recommend relevant content in the right context, at the right time, at the right scale. Then, it can measure this content and optimise it over time. This is where businesses start to see the greatest return on investment.

The ability to deliver a personalised experience rests on the quality and relevance of the organisation’s customer data. Hence many organisations are including a customer data platform (CDP) in the mix. This delivers a single source of truth and can be more reliable and specific than third-party data.

2. Seamless user experiences that put the customer at the heart of the process

Using smart technology is critical to creating modern experiences with an omnichannel approach. Having users at the heart of the process can emphasise the details that make an experience enjoyable. Addressing specific customer concerns through design can let the business build a strong platform and create a more seamless, engaging experience.

3. Artificial intelligence to deliver engaging content at the right time, at scale

Creating engaging content that appeals to customers can be a lengthy and high-cost process. However, if this content isn’t shared at the appropriate times and across the right channels, then it is rendered useless.

Using artificial intelligence (AI), DXPs can learn what content is most likely to resonate with users then serve it up to them at the appropriate time, in the appropriate channel. This eliminates the need to manually tailor content to different audiences and maximises the value of the content that’s available. And, as the organisation grows, the solution can continue learning and delivering the right content to the right audiences at the right time, delivering a powerful way of building relationships.

4. A redefined e-commerce experience

With much of the country having experienced or currently experiencing stay-at-home mandates, e-commerce has had to step up to meet an unprecedented consumer need. This is, of course, on top of the ever-evolving shopping habits of customers who expect their expectations to be met each time they make a purchase. This means online shopping platforms to provide the shopper with an unmatched omnichannel experience, one that can rival and even supersede that of an in-person retail interaction. It’s also essential to ensure that the e-commerce platform works seamlessly with other platforms in the ecosystem, regardless of whether it’s a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, the e-commerce capability within the existing DXP, or a headless commerce platform.

The evolution of the consumer from internet sceptic to novice and now expert has inspired organisations around the world to step up and explore new and exciting technologies. With each positive online experience, the consumer becomes more versed in the interaction and increases their expectations. It is this cycle of improvement that will continue to shape the businesses and consumers of the future.

Kevin Miller is head of digital, solutions and sales at Empired.

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