In the midst of COVID-19, digital customer experiences have become more critical than ever before. Businesses that were traditionally brick-and-mortar had to rapidly implement an online strategy, and digital-first companies are facing greater competition.

For brands wanting to deliver the best digital experiences possible and keep up with customer demands, we’ll look at some trends and technological innovations underway. Here are 7 digital customer experience statistics every marketing leader should know.

 

1. Voice search is rapidly growing

There are voice-enabled devices everywhere, from Smart Speakers and Smart TV remotes to Siri and other smartphone assistants. Moreover, these devices have an enormous amount of skills, apps, and capabilities for consumers.

Voice search quick stats
(Source: Wix)

 

That’s why 2 in 5 respondents in a study believe that voice-enabled devices are essential to their lives. Even more telling, 40% of adults now use voice search on a daily basis. That means it’s crucial for today’s brands to optimise their digital experiences for voice search by targeting more conversational or intent-based search queries.

 

2. Hyper-personalisation is a competitive advantage

Unique customer experiences have been around for a long time, but the level of personalisation that some brands have achieved has grown exponentially. That’s because companies are battling information overload and a 60% decline in user engagement with content.

personalisation maturity
(Source: Webengage)

Today’s most competitive online brands are using real-time data, machine learning, and other advanced techniques to offer hyper-personalised digital experiences. That means providing relevant content, product, or service recommendations that dramatically improve the customer journey. While hyper-personalisation isn’t easy, early adopters can reap the benefits and stand out from the crowd in a competitive digital landscape.

 

3. Customers are demanding self-service options

Self-service—the ability for customers to handle small tasks themselves— is a growing requirement for digital customer experiences. In fact, studies show that 67% of customers prefer the ability to self-serve rather than speak with a customer service representative, and it’s predicted that 85% of customer relationships will be self-managed by the end of this year.

Customers are demanding self-service options
(Source: Inflow Communications)

Self-service options solve a number of challenges for organisations. For one, they allow customers to resolve small issues much quicker than even the best customer service teams. Moreover, self-service frees up customer service representatives to handle more complex customer inquiries that require human interactions.

Luckily, there are a few ways brands can provide self-service options that are straightforward to implement, such as a knowledge base, training centre, or customer portal. The best self-service options offer relevant and valuable content that helps customers assist themselves. Content such as in-depth product pages, detailed guides, and content hubs can reduce the burden on customer service teams, while also nurturing and growing customer loyalty.

 


4. Consumer data privacy concern on the rise

Each year, the regulations surrounding data collection and consumer privacy are getting more stringent. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), for example, aim to give consumers control over the data companies collect from them.

consumer data privacy concerns are rising rapidly
(Source: Bigdata Made Simple)

These regulations, and others in the near future, are part of a growing concern about privacy amongst consumers. In fact, study found that 96% of respondents were somewhat or very concerned with how companies use their data. In addition, 45% were more worried about their online privacy than the year before.

That’s why brands should ensure they follow security and privacy best-practices when collecting, storing, and leveraging consumer data. Offering transparency into these processes can also help give customers confidence and foster a positive company reputation. Brands should have clear privacy policies, comply with data regulations, and keep informed of future rules.

 

5. Omnichannel brands will get ahead

Consumers now use a wide range of devices to browse the internet, stream video, and shop online. The most competitive brands will be those that are able to offer a seamless customer experience across every device and touchpoint.

Omnichannel is preferred over single-channel campaigns
(Source: ClickZ)

Brands that leverage omnichannel marketing—launching integrated campaigns with consistent experiences on multiple channels—can produce far greater results. Research shows that marketers using three or more channels had a purchase and engagement rate 250% higher than single-channel campaigns. 

The best omnichannel strategies allow consumers to start their shopping journey on one touchpoint and seamlessly move to another without any issues. Each customer interaction should pick up where the last one left off. While an omnichannel strategy can be challenging to implement, there is a multitude of digital experience tools available to help brands get started.

 

6. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

While augmented and virtual reality can still feel a long way off, there are innovative brands already using the technologies to entice and convert shoppers into paying customers. A study even found that 61% of shoppers prefer stores that have augmented reality, and 71% would shop at these stores more often.

Stats that show the impact of augmented reality on retail
(Source: Retail Perceptions)

With augmented reality, consumers can envision what the products they’re considering would be like after they buy them. For example, an online furniture retailer could provide an augmented reality app that allows users to see a real-time rendering of a new couch in their own living room. Augmented reality provides an improved digital shopping experience because consumers can effortlessly view and compare products in a new and exciting way.


Brands can use Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore to build augmented reality apps for their businesses. These platforms enabled developers to use a device’s camera and motion features to understand and interact with the real world surrounding the user. Retailers can also track which products users engage with the most, and use this data to fuel more personalised AR experiences. In the end, augmented reality is an innovative way for brands to enhance their digital customer experience over the long-term.

 

7. Bad mobile experiences can hurt customer retention

Mobile traffic has soared over the past few years, and will likely far surpass desktop and laptop usage in the future. That means optimising mobile shopping experiences is critical for eCommerce brands. Actually, a bad mobile experience can make 55% of consumers less likely to engage with a brand.

bad mobile experiences can hurt customer retention
(Source: Superoffice)

Brands looking to optimise their mobile experiences need to ensure their site loads quickly, it’s easy to navigate, and the site’s content is searchable. Consumer expectations for mobile experiences are getting increasingly more demanding, and the most successful brands will need to invest in omnichannel frontend experiences to keep up. Otherwise, customers could turn to competitors that better meet their expectations.

 

Digital Customer Experiences Are Crucial in 2020

These digital customer experience statistics reveal the demands of today’s consumers. Consumers want hyper-personalised experiences across all touchpoints, without compromising their personal data. Brands also need to consider emerging technologies as well, such as voice devices, augmented reality, and AI-powered chatbots.
For brands that want to bring their customer digital experiences to the next level, consider a best-in-class frontend experience platform. With Styla, ecommerce brands can decouple their backend systems and customer experiences to achieve greater agility, performance, and time-to-market.

Check out more insights:

E-Book: 9 Best Practices for Digital Experiences in Rapidly Changing Markets

 

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Chris White

Written by Chris White

Chris joined Styla to help retailers become more agile when creating new digital experiences to tell their brand's stories and help product discovery. He is working with our technology and agency partners to help retailers solve the big challenges around connecting content and commerce.