The world is changing at a rapid pace. All businesses are feeling the pressure of the post-COVID world. But one thing is certain, delivering impeccable digital customer experience is imperative for both B2B and B2C businesses.
Customers, being the biggest asset to a business, have always required brands to design better experiences. COVID has just accelerated what these experiences become.
With technology advancements, digital product development aimed at enhancing user experiences is no longer a difficult task in 2021. The ultimate challenge is to explore ways to better engage customers throughout the experience with the behavior shift to digital. So, digital product experience is the key that unlocks this challenge and helps business create loyal customers for life.
What is Digital Product Experience (DPX)?
Digital Product Experience is an all-inclusive term for components required to deliver seamless customer experience across every digital touchpoint. As per Digital Commerce 360, the ecommerce revenue saw an increase of $174.87 billion in 2020. The number of online customers and online mediums is rising. So, brands need to optimize customer interactions with the brand in all instances.
Websites, Progressive Web Applications (PWA), mobile apps, social media posts, 360-degree product experiences and virtual tours are vita digital touchpoints.
The luxury art gallery, David Zwirner is a great example of DPX in action. As a premium gallery with a very sophisticated target audience, David Zwirner wanted to transform the luxury art industry. They approached Icreon to build their digital experiences through the means of automated operations. The goal was to ensure virtual customer engagement as offline events were no longer possible.
Our technology experts identified a roadmap of priorities by grouping and mapping up the existing issues to begin with. The plan included every DPX component required, ranging from the database structure and internal workflows, to customer-facing web experiences. A robust data-driven platform with features like sales automation and personalization was built as a result. One year after DPX implementation, David Zwirner has navigated the COVID-19 and sold art pieces as expensive as $1.8M online.
The Evolution of Product-First Management to Customer-Centric Digital Product Experience
Customers were not always driving focus behind many company decisions. Before the digital era, many businesses were driven by volume. The approach was more product oriented. The main goal for these businesses were to sell more,faster.
Businesses influenced markets as customers had lesser accessibility and fewer choices. So, the focus was to make the enterprise's shared master data assets reliable and accessible. Referred to as Master data management, (MDM), it used technology to keep business data including pricing and inventory accurate and safe.
With ecommerce coming into the picture, businesses felt the need for additional data input and better control. The requirement for additional details like description and feature specifications transformed MDM into Product Information Management (PIM).
PIM was not only reliable but focused on making product data more useful. It, however, did not support image-based content. This led to the development of Product Content Management (PCM). PCM helped businesses reliably manage content across all content types. The drawback was that it worked only for internally facing content.
With the transition to a customer-driven digital world, the shift of power from businesses to customers began. Businesses were focused on making customers happy. The focus shifted from managing internal processes to building customer-facing product experiences. This gave rise to the concept of Product Experience Management (PXM).
PXM helped businesses create marketing assets with product data to make the buying process more interactive. The experience was limited to products and services in PXM, so it lacked depth and interactivity. With customers demanding online importance, DPX was needed.
In the digital-first era, customers expect businesses to prioritize them. So, businesses need to be more user-centric and strive to deliver flawless and consistent experiences for each customer. DPX can be built with technologies such as Sitecore. Brands can personalize digital experiences with DPX as it offers robust product content analytics, personalization, contextualization and automation using ML/AI.
How Can Businesses Differentiate Customer Experience Across Channels with Digital Product Experience?
DPX is a connected, user-centric platform that enables free movement between communication and marketing channels. DPX and its backend are flexible enough for distinct business as every business model has its own approach to customer engagement. Businesses can easily explore and add more channels and features to meet growing user expectations and business needs. This flexibility allows businesses to implement experience based on their specific strategy.
Recently, customer experience has overtaken price and product as a key brand differentiator. It has made the ability to best engage customers a competitive advantage. So, the back end and scaling of an DPX-equipped organization depends on the business' approach. Businesses that put customer retention as the top priority are the ideal match for DPX.
The 3 most critical features of DPX that help businesses differentiate CX across digital channels have been explained here.
Identification and Simplification of Existing Silos
With rapid technology advancements, agile organizations have a competitive advantage. Siloed organizational structures are rigid. They create self-contained departments with no transparency related to processes or budgets. This makes the swift implementation of new technology or features difficult for the organization.
Businesses looking to adopt an omnichannel approach need to break traditional silos in both culture and processes. This requires significant effort but can be made easier with technology like DPX.
Amdocs, the multi-billion software solution provider, was looking to develop a new business channel for communicating with customers. They wanted to launch a personalized suite of tools designed to help large clientele upskill their entire employee base. Now known as the Amdocs Academy, they needed a partner that could deliver an end-to-end solution.
Our team stepped up at all stages beginning with planning and architecture, to system integration and implementation, to training and deployment. We initially collaborated on outlining a product strategy to drive business transformation and understand technical requirements. The result was a flexible solution that automates employee training or eLearning across different specializations in real time.
Centralization of Data and Customer Analysis
It’s crucial that all marketing and communication channels are built, developed, and optimized around seamless user experience. A sound collection and analysis of customer data can be carried out only with respect to a broader ecosystem. It requires creating the exact experience that a certain channel-hopping user expects.
Customer expectations are dynamic in nature. So, businesses need to be prepared for different situations that customers may find themselves in the customer journey. It could be based on usability, functionality, ease of use or accessibility or a virtual feature. With a centralized feedback mechanism, viewing a holistic picture of CX across all channels and touchpoints becomes easier.
XPO Logistics, the end-to-end logistics and transportation giant spans 34 countries. The growth was good but a major hurdle that XPO was facing was dependency on third-party platforms. Some of these processes included key supply chain components such as warehousing, same day delivery and national assembly. So, Icreon and XPO went through a rigorous analysis to conceptualize and create a product that would help streamline all processes.
The output was a platform that worked as a flexible business playbook to handle repetitive tasks. It was an end-to-end integrated platform that allowed XPO to act as a logistics-as-a-service company. So, a ‘universal connector’ software that can be loosely coupled into any business process for any client was born. With flexibility and automation of complex tasks, XPO’s platform can seamlessly fit in the business processes at hand.
User-centric Approach Through an Omnichannel CX Design
Customer experience can often be made seamless by centralizing customer data. Features such as gated accessibility and standard data storage capacities can be fixed for users or employees. Touchpoints across channels can be better personalized and handled with automation. Learning capabilities of DPX enable top leaders and product managers to create strategies based on user behavior insights across digital channels.
The National Geographic Channel’s online portals expand across 133 countries in 21 languages. It is viewed across more than 100 million households. So, they needed a centralized mechanism to manage their global assets. They also wanted to engage a multicultural audience through a variety of languages across multiple devices, in these constantly evolving times.
A global repository was created to centralize the storage facility as a result. It allowed multiple departments across continents to exchange key source assets in real time. Assets like videos, text, games and advertising material could now be secured into a single, highly searchable repository.
Even better, it was deployed for multi-platform and multi-host architecture environments. So, its flexibility allowed it to work across multiple web application environments from Drupal, to .NET, to PHP.
Why Do Businesses Need DPX in 2021?
Businesses have been competing for relevance and customer experience for quite some time now in both B2C and B2B environments. The need for a strong product is still valid but more emphasis is on customer experience than the actual product sometimes. It is a competitive advantage now.
The next generation of CMS and Web Experience Management systems (WEM) have transformed digital assets from pamphlets to interactive CX tools. Simple websites have been replaced with PWAs and product descriptions have become experiential customer touchpoints.
Businesses need DPX in 2021 to collect and automate user data, define personas and build personalized experiences. With AI and ML elements, each persona is targeted with unique content without any manual interference. It also forms a bridge among different digital channels to create CX across all touchpoints.
DPX is an open platform that easily integrates with different technology and departments. This enables companies to deliver individualized experiences to specific customers. A competitive advantage that businesses need to stay relevant in 2021. The three major advantages that a business gets with DPX are listed here.
Control of Every Touchpoint
The focus of DPX is customer experience. It revolves around the user journey and the different touchpoints that a user travels through before making a purchase decision. In 2020, the number of interaction points has rapidly grown, and it will continue to do so. DPX connects these touchpoints to ensure consistency in content, feel, and logic at every touchpoint.
DPX acts as a bridge among different systems and departments to ensure stability and consistency. In 2021, businesses cannot run without specialized platforms for ecommerce, marketing or support. DPX is the force that joins these capabilities to achieve consistency using APIs. It helps orchestrate information and identify the best way to approach customers one they drop in.
Controlling digital touchpoints and connecting business processes is impossible for a rigid system. As the data involved needs to be analyzed in real time, it calls for an agile system like DPX. Flexibility is useful for additional technology, integration, ease of use and scalability. For instance, a good DPX is one that can be used by developers and marketers alike.
Digital product experience is one of the most essential assets of an organization, both internally and externally. Every company should have the freedom to innovate with the fast-growing MarTech space. Businesses, however, can make progress only when technology is agile. So, they can gradually add or replace solutions and connect the data they offer, with minimal disruption to customer experience.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.”
The goal is clear, and businesses need a strong, versatile experience management system. DPX will deliver insights and support actions over time. This enables brands to keep pace with customer expectations and industry standards.