It’s always been true that organizations don’t get a second chance to delight a first-time customer. But now, in a time of such disturbance on the market, many enterprises are competing to connect with anxious customers who are far less inclined to be engaged at all, let alone delighted. It’s as true now as it’s always been; brand experience is responsible for overriding consumer perception, and positive perception is everything – it leads to more conversions and loyalty. To stay relevant in the current climate, brands need to have a strong and relevant UX proposition, with frictionless UI, and to achieve this with reduced spend. It’s a big ask.
The pandemic has created a new normal; clearly, we now inhabit a different world, and organizations are urgently seeking ways to adjust to a new reality of dramatically altered patterns of consumer engagement. We are spending more time at home, and naturally we are online more. This is confirmed by the Capgemini Research Institute who in April 2020 surveyed more than 11,000 consumers worldwide and found that the appetite for online shopping has never been bigger and will continue to increase once the pandemic lessens.
The only way that organizations can react in time to their customer’s changing habits is by having instantaneous access to data so that they can adopt a UX that is highly adaptable, agile and coherent, one that’s capable of keeping pace with consumers, or even anticipating their needs ahead of time.
But raw data is itself meaningless. It only derives meaning from insights arrayed in combination, and in correlation. You need the ability to sift through rivers of data, see the patterns, and extract the golden insights. AI-driven customer behavior analytics provide the capabilities to sieve through the data to identify emerging customer segments and need states for improved targeting. This enables brands to develop new offers, identify new channels, re-engineer the customer journey to reduce friction, and build the consistency of the brand pledge. To ensure absolute coherence of the initiative with the reality and purpose of the company, UX design and strategy, with the CXO as conduit, must be brought closer to the heart of the function of an organization.
Home truths – experience is everything
In a way, during these challenging times, brands that have an online presence have something close to a captive home audience, but with all the uncertainty, an audience that is less likely to spend. It’s always been true and now more so – your UX and UI need to be as friendly as possible for consumers. We may be spending more time online but we’re still as impatient as ever with clunky experiences, and we, as consumers, still expect, not hope for, a seamless interface. If the features and functionality along the journey hinder rather than help, then people will quickly lose interest and perhaps never return.
But truly great UX is more than just customer friendly – it can be almost clairvoyant. By changing the content of the site based on the customer’s previous purchase history and browsing behavior (including on social media and search engines) it can offer the kind of personalized experience that makes a potential buyer feel that they are being spoken to as an individual, that their needs are being anticipated and met, on a 1-1 basis.
Strategize to harmonize
Organizations need the best strategy to entice consumers down the sales funnel and present a convenient and supportive experience in order to increase conversions. Any successful business plan must be iterative and agile, and so must UX strategy. It must be fully adaptable to help you build a relationship with your customers and build loyalty. By leveraging data-driven insights you can reinvigorate the customer journey. With tools like website usage analytics, heatmap analytics, real-time analytics, funnel analysis, and session recording you can get insights into how your user is interacting with your website/app, what your user workflow and behavior is behind every conversion, and how you can improve your interaction with them.
Great experiences are irresistible
Great experiences of any sort are shared. A well-crafted brand can elicit no less than an emotional response from a consumer, a fulfilment created via brand experience, and people will pass this on. Although a seamless brand should permeate through the entire enterprise from the storefront to the website, and from product to packaging, the world is shifting towards online commerce for speed and convenience. In a post-pandemic world, even more emphasis will be placed on the mobile first agenda. Having the ability to analyze consumer data in real time to extrapolate patterns and insights to improve UI will be indispensable to staying adaptable in the current environment.