Top digital disruptions facing brands – and how to solve them

Digital disruptions brought on by COVID-19 caused huge spikes in web traffic for business of all kinds, leading to missed opportunities and unintended breakdowns. Leading consulting firms have suggested that most companies condensed a 5-year digital transformation plan into just 12-18-months to capitalize on this flood of digital consumerism. 

Even after brick-and-mortar stores re-opened and retail brands experienced the great rebalance, customers are increasingly relying on digital channels to explore new brands, shift purchasing activities, receive operational updates, get personalized help, and complete all activities end-to-end.  

Although listening to customers online through “always-on” feedback and digital intercepts is not a new customer feedback strategy, acting at scale is still a challenge for most brands. It takes a well-developed approach to behaviorally target customers who are abandoning their shopping carts or specific product pages, then retarget them effectively. 

Customer expectations have also significantly shifted. Shopping online used to be a secondary option, with brick-and-mortar retail as the primary shopping channel. With this shift in consumer behavior, a recent Deloitte study highlighted a few activity-based and emotional-based expectations: 75% of customers expect brands to know their purchase history, while 57% expect brands to know their service history. From an emotional relationship standpoint, 70% of customers feel a brand relationship includes feedback, while 53% want to provide feedback directly to the brand. 

In order for a brand to deliver on these digital expectations, multiple data sources will need to be integrated holistically, including transactional data, behavioral data, observed behavior, and customer feedback. All of these data sources will enable brands to meet these customer expectations while delivering positive business outcomes.  

How can brands achieve this goal? 

1. Optimizing marketing effectiveness on a reduced budget

Companies have invested significant amounts on campaigns to drive traffic both online and in-store. The goal is to utilize all customer data and feedback in order to optimize marketing spend, lowering the cost per acquisition while maintaining traffic counts. 

2. Delivering personalized experiences

Consumers are sharing a significant amount of personal data with brands they trust in exchange for personalized, high-quality experiences. Unfortunately, brands lack the data strategy to leverage this feedback and deliver on these expectations.

3. Redesigning and/or re-platforming website

As companies continuously react to everchanging consumer behaviors, digital product and eCommerce teams are undertaking website redesigns and even re-platforming their entire site in order to deliver on customer expectations. However, too many strategies are focused on the “what” in the analytics data without considering the “why,” which is the truly valuable customer feedback. 

4. Prioritizing highvalue website optimizations

Site speed, lack of product details and reviews, and search function accuracy are all examples of why customers will abandon your website if the slightest frictions occur. The pressure to continuously optimize a brand’s site is felt throughout the entire organization. Ultimately, the squeaky wheel gets the prioritization grease. Leading brands take action through prioritization by combining the EQ (customer feedback on why actions are taken) with the IQ (the analytics of what is happening on the website). 

5. Reducing customer frictions to increase digital satisfaction

A brand’s website and mobile app have become paramount to the customer journey. From discovering a brand to completing a purchase, these digital properties are key to winning customers. However, when customers experience frictions and challenges with a website or mobile app, their satisfaction significantly decreases, lowering the likelihood of a purchase.

6. Enabling customer self-service with loyalty accounts

Experiencing friction and not getting help from a brand to resolve the issue is one of the top reasons why customers churn. Brands have been focused on enabling self-service as a way to reduce customer frustrations and lowering their cost to serve. However, when frictions are encountered during the self-service process, especially with a customer’s loyalty account or profile, frustrations escalate. Customer feedback is critical to optimizing customer self-service channels. 

7. Driving repeat engagements and visits to the website or mobile app

Getting customers to visit or engage with a digital property once can be done with the right marketing or onboarding process. Achieving repeat and positive usage/visits is not as simple. We know that, for example, a high percentage of users  stop using a mobile app or uninstall it entirely after 90 days, because there isn’t a strong enough draw to keep people engaged. That’s a missed opportunity to foster loyalty that leads to repeat purchases and customer lifetime value.

Although the organization is usually aligned with the strategic business initiatives like increasing cart conversion by x% or increasing website traffic by x visitors, or even increase average cart value by $x, brands fail to deliver the expected digital experiences that enable brands to achieve their strategic goals. Brands lack a holistic digital experience strategy enabled by a customer-led innovation culture and aligned through digital experience systems to achieve these goals. 

Here are 5 common digital strategy challenges that prevent brands from achieving their goals: 

1. Not engaging the digital customer for feedback

Customer feedback serves as the “EQ” to the “IQ” for integrated systems. Too many brands do not incorporate customer feedback as a key data source, which gives them a lack of insight into why a customer took a specific action online or in-app. 

2. Customer data in siloed systems

Disparate data sources and event data without the emotional context prevent brands from seeing the customer journey across multiple channels (offline/online) and devices.

3. Unidentified broken digital processes

There is no easy way for digital or eCommerce teams to identify broken processes. Too often, web analytics tools are the primary source of data used to prioritize A\B tests or website optimizations. 

4. No clear focus or lack of prioritization

Brands are challenged with prioritizing website enhancements and optimizations without understanding how the dots connect between what happened, why it happened, and the impact on the business metric in question.

5. Rapid change in consumer behavior/needs/expectations

Digital and eCommerce teams lack a technology strategy and/or solution that enables them to proactively innovate and optimize, leaving them in reaction mode.

Ecommerce and digital leaders are all fighting to achieve their strategic business goals during the Era of Great Exploration fueled by digital consumerism. The stakes are high as brands no longer dictate the terms of the customer experience, and every website visitor or app user counts. Understanding how to improve digital experiences and taking the right actions at scale is the new battleground.   

Online shoppers are sensitive to efficient experiences, competitive pricing, outstanding customer service, and cross-channel integration (like “buy online, pick up in store”). Get it right and you’ll earn repeat business and loyalty – get it wrong and your revenue will suffer.   

Only your online customers can tell you if your teams are getting it right. With Chatter’s digital suite, your team can effectively understand the customers who are closest to the digital experience, while taking continuous action on the highest-impact optimizations and enhancements. The result: delivering on customer expectations, increasing revenue, streamlining customer acquisition and harnessing your competitive advantage. 

Why is Chatter’s Digital Suite the right solution for your team? 

  • Meaningfully target and engage customers throughout the digital customer journey, regardless of device or channel. 
  • Integrate your entire technology stack with the Chatter platform to understand what is happening (web analytics), where it’s happening (session replay), why it’s happening (digital customer feedback), and the business impact (transactional data/custom digital parameters).  
  • Prioritize the actions to take that will have the most meaningful impact on your CX and deliver the most value. 
William Folsom
Connect with William for a chat

William Folsom
Director, Head of Client Success