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Optimizing digital experiences will move beyond the marketing department in 2021

30-second summary:

  • Digital experiences have to be as seamless as physical ones to get the same results for customers and prospects.
  • In 2021, brands will need to perfect digital experiences as consumers get used to doing everything online.
  • The entire C-suite must be invested in digital platforms.

2020 was the year non-digital brands finally needed to go digital to deliver an effective digital experience, as long-standing trends were compounded by the rush of the pandemic to move business online.

Brick-and-mortar companies were building websites, restaurants were joining take-out and delivery apps, and existing e-commerce businesses were suddenly gaining a rush of competitors. In a post-pandemic world, customer experiences are different – and great ones are achieved through new strategies and success metrics.

Indeed, customer experiences – and satisfaction – are more important than ever. If the future of the business seems unclear and economic stability is not yet in sight, customer loyalty, consistent turnover and sales are the pillars of resilience and longevity.

Brands can’t risk bad online interactions with customers – usually through their website or app – and these interactions are what distracts sales. If 2020 was the year of rush to go digital, 2021 will be the year of perfection.

Brands will actually prioritize optimizing digital experiences in 2021

Yes, due to the impact of COVID-19, many more brands are now having digital experiences. However, executives quickly realized that these digital experiences had to be as flawless as physical ones in order to attract, retain, and retain customers and prospects.

At the very least, customers expect companies to provide online destinations that load quickly with intuitive interfaces regardless of the device – and that’s just the basics. To impress consumers, brands need to offer more personalized and engaging online interactions.

However, new research shows that all industries are still struggling to perfect the quality of their digital experiences. User frustration is widespread as measured by overt user behavior such as unresponsive multiple clicks where users tap or click at high speed on a specific area of ​​a webpage, e.g. B. on a broken link.

User interaction is also low. This is reflected in a lack of reading behavior, e.g. For example, when users are tracking content with the mouse or consuming content by scrolling the page in smooth, regular patterns.

These lackluster experiences are a long-term problem for brands. COVID-19 may have kicked off all-in-digitization, but even if a vaccine becomes widespread in the next year and people interact with brands both in person and online, digital experiences won’t go away.

Consumers will continue to use digital channels to connect with brands. Therefore, in 2021, it will be mandatory to make these digital experiences seamless. It will also become a competitive advantage for brands as more companies invest in their digital strategies and consumers get used to digital experiences.

Many companies that exist exclusively online (no brick and mortar locations) lead this race because their digital experiences are the only interaction they have with customers – so they have to be flawless. Brands that follow the example of digital experience and prioritize in 2021 will make a smart, necessary, and long-term investment in the vitality of their business.

The digital experience will go beyond the marketing department

At the start of the pandemic, consumers were using online and digital channels for information, connections, and daily transactions for retail, banking, and even restaurants – a trend that brands are expected to continue in 2021.

Because digital platforms are used so frequently and for a variety of purposes by consumers, they need to become a legitimate interest for the entire C-suite and each department. With regard to leadership teams, there will be a few changes with priorities at C-level:

  • CEOs need to understand how digital experiences develop as they impact a brand’s reputation and bottom line.
  • CFOs must pay attention to the brand’s digital experience as the overall quality has a direct impact on sales. Finance should also be kept informed of investments in the digital experience so they can budget for that priority.
  • CIOs have to be careful because digital experiences are technology-driven. Likewise, the IT department needs to understand what experiences are planned and executed to ensure that every element works smoothly.

By involving each department in the digital experience conversation, the marketing team can ensure that the digital experience strategy is successful. Even better, the potential impact and value of digital experiences are more likely to become a reality as the entire organization is aligned and working towards the same goal.

No matter what the world looks like after the pandemic, there will be a massive digital component. If brands don’t prioritize the quality of their digital experiences in 2021, they are ignoring an important future sector.

They leave loyalty, conversions, and sales on the table. Brands need to measure the quality of their digital experiences – from user frustration to engagement, to the end-to-end buyer’s journey.

By identifying strengths and weaknesses, brands can create digital experiences that can keep up with the quality of personal experiences. This translates into seamless interactions, more conversions, and more sales in 2021.

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