Every time a company designs a rich, useful, or new experience, it raises the bar for what consumers care about. On the flip side, if an experience is frustrating or annoying, a consumer may not give that company a second chance. Building a great user experience is a challenge, especially as we all grapple with how and when to experiment with new technologies.
But rather than think about the technologies first, I find it helps to imagine the experience you’d want as a consumer, apply it to your brand, and build toward that. Here are three things I think that matter to consumers when it comes to what they expect from brands:
Make it faster
Technology is becoming assistive in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. We can pay for coffee with a tap. We can deposit a cheque by snapping a photo (although who uses cheques these days!) and we can order washing powder with a voice command to a digital assistant like my Google Mini Home.
But as technology enables faster experiences, consumers are growing impatient. Their willingness to wait is declining and, as a result, consumers are shifting their thinking from, “Who does it best?” to “Who does it best now?”
There’s a price to pay if you don’t consider speed. 53% percent of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes more than three seconds to load. Now here’s the reality: Google tested 900,000 mobile sites globally and found that the average time it takes to fully load a mobile page is 22 seconds!
Speed is a developer’s problem, a designer’s problem, and therefore, a marketer’s problem. When marketers prioritise speed it has a ripple effect. Designers must then focus on selecting visual elements, fonts, and a design structure that allow for fast, frictionless mobile experiences. And developers can further optimise, ensuring the best mobile experience possible.
Know me better
Personalised and relevant experiences are key to connecting with consumers, and they have a positive impact on the bottom line. In a recent survey, 89% of marketers reported that personalisation on their websites or apps resulted in an increase in revenue.
But personalisation is a strategy, not a feature. We have an opportunity to be smarter with data, using important signals about customers – such as browsing behaviour or CRM data – to shape their experiences. 63% of people expect brands to use their purchase history to provide them with personalised experiences. In other words, if you know I just purchased a pair of shoes, then offer me socks or a matching belt to go with them.
Wow me everywhere
Brands need to consider how all of their experiences—across media, channels, and devices—fit together. 62% of people expect brands to deliver a consistent experience every time they interact with a brand. But only 42% believe brands actually do provide a consistent experience.
Walgreens provides a good example of seamless, consistent experiences in action. The brand’s team recognised that mobile could help it remove barriers between online and offline. Its mobile app connects consumers with a doctor or pharmacist online, and consumers can then pick up prescriptions in-store.
Bringing it all together
As consumer behaviours shift, it will be important to rethink the investments we make in the user experience. Removing friction and bridging the gaps between channels—all while treating each customer as a unique individual—will be key.
Ultimately, creating great digital customer experiences is not solely a product challenge or a marketing challenge. It’s a business opportunity. And those who invest in creating memorable experiences will win users’ hearts, minds, and ultimately, their cash.