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The Digital Experience: Five Keys to Solve Its Equation

The Digital Experience: Five Keys to Solve Its Equation

Billions of people are gradually shifting their lives online as they engage, share and connect. With the emergence of the digital era, customer behavior and expectation are also changing rapidly. Organizations continue to be challenged to anticipate the customer’s next move, deliver relevant content, and ensure that the experience is always consistent. An ideal digital experience must have all content and data ready to dynamically filter and adapt in an instant to deliver selling experiences that meet an infinite number of unpredictable customer needs.

Both B2B and B2C organizations can address these five key components to improve digital experiences.

 Components to the Digital Experience Equation

These days, consumers want to see rich content during each stage of the buying cycle, and they want to be inspired to explore brands in new ways.

*Shows the five key components needed to improve the digital experience.

Content and Commerce

The combination of content and commerce plays a big role in today’s digital experience. Content assets take many different forms and can arise from many systems within the organization, as well as from external sources. Content continues to be critical in successfully delivering targeted customer experiences, especially when it comes to marketing.

*A table shows two types of contents used in commerce

To successfully combine content and commerce in the digital experience, organizations need to ensure that they can dynamically filter and adapt content in real-time. An ideal digital experience is determined by the large number of customer needs. Organizations must effectively integrate rich imagery, videos, and PDFs with content and data originating from product catalogs, customer profiles, user reviews, social media and more.

Customers and Context

Content is only effective if it is relevant to the individual customer. Therefore, it is critical to gain basic information on each customer, such as who they are, where they have been, and even anticipate where they go next. Personalized and engaging experiences can only be delivered by leveraging data to present relevant content, at any point of interaction.

Personalizing the digital experience through content:  Consumers today are not impressed by generic personalization. Anyone can create a mail merge and slip consumer names into a letter or email. When Amazon can predict what you’re going to want to buy next and Netflix can recommend your next binge-watch with as much accuracy as your best friend, you’re not going to be impressed with brands that can’t level up across channels when it comes to personalization.

*The graphic illustrates that data, content as well as the context are needed for persolization.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram let you launch social media ads or sponsored content that targets users of certain ages, locations, income levels, and family types – and you can even target by interest. For example, it is now possible to target age 20-something single moms interested in baking, which can lead to extremely personalized advertising.

You don’t have to be a giant company to data-scale your way to effective personalization. Investing in the right tools and insight-driven platforms to get the job done is key. Also important is working with the data you have to make smart customer-experience and marketing moves. Mobile-app advertising is a growing option for personalized marketing.

Context isn’t just about marketing, though. Brands can collect feedback from consumer forum and blog comment information, web traffic numbers, and other data to help them understand which content, products, and services are likely to perform well with very specific sections of their market.

The data imperative: Determining who the customer is, as well as their content, data and context, is essential. Brands and retailers should leverage customer demographics, purchase history, preferences, product data and real-time site interaction to define shopper context and use these insights to deliver digital experiences that adapt to shoppers in real-time.

Organizations usually store massive amounts of data about their customers, prospects and products. This data often resides in multiple systems across the enterprise, and it becomes imperative to find an effective way to centralize and digest vast amounts of data in any form.

Data is only valuable when leveraged correctly. It is important to analyze data and implement the correct business tactics to ensure that the best data drives all elements of the personalized digital experience. If the customer is not identified, data can be used to dynamically personalize the experience based on real-time actions and context.

Digital and Physical Convergence

In today’s omnichannel environment, the lines between online and offline shopping continue to blur, so the digital experience cannot be restricted to solely online channels.

Organizations need to document customer behavior across both online and offline channels to fully understand customer context at any given point in time. The most forward-thinking omnichannel brands increasingly embrace the opportunities for digital and physical convergence to meet customer demands.

Retailers and brands are streamlining experiences and providing high-touch interactive solutions for shoppers and sales associates. The introduction of new digital solutions in physical store locations, such as clientele applications, allow sales associates to provide optimized onsite sales assistance.

Furthermore, these in-store and portable digital applications allow associates and sales reps to offer a more personal experience by providing real-time visibility of a customer’s profile (history, preferences, segments) and cross-channel activity. The shopping experience also crosses digital and physical borders as customers expect advanced order fulfillment capabilities, like the ability to order online and pick up in-store or buy online and return in-store.

Accurate enterprise-wide inventory and real-time customer data visibility is even more critical to the brand-wide customer experience. Other brands are bringing the digital experience into the physical store environment with digital displays that stream relevant content and interactive kiosks that allow customers to research products.

Brand and Commerce Convergence

As the collaboration between marketing and commerce takes hold, treating the delivery of digital experiences as a collective approach is recommended. Some necessary steps to achieve cohesive and contextually relevant customer experiences are to break down legacy silos and internal responsibilities.

*The image shows that for the growth of digital ecommerce it is important to have a close connection between marketing and commerce.

Business users from marketing and commerce teams should allow themselves to team up while creating and managing digital experiences, as this may increase success metrics.

Close collaboration between marketing and commerce teams has multiple positive outcomes, although it can be challenging to attain. Besides improving operational efficiencies, the data derived about customers and conversions from the commerce team help measure the success of content marketing and inform the content strategy and direction.


The scale required to deliver relevant content in commerce versus the scale and power required to deliver contextually relevant customer experiences differs greatly. It is impossible to meet an infinite number of unpredictable customer needs with static pages since contextually relevant experiences are tailored to the individual customer. It is not practical to create static pages for every potential customer path or scenario.

Brands also need to consider scaling to new digital formats, new sites, new business models, and new geographies. It is suggested that businesses have multi-site capabilities that allow them to speed the launch and simplify the management of optimized micro sites, in-store applications, international sites, and more.

Real-time data and content from shopping carts, product catalogs, recommendation engines, promotions, and content delivery networks must be easily scaled, shared and integrated across touch points to avoid starting from scratch or duplicating efforts. Also, content and data from other systems in the organization should be easily leveraged across all points of customer interaction.

Delivering a Personalized Digital Experience

As the e-commerce space evolves and competition increases, brands and retailers are constantly challenged to meet the demands of the increasingly discerning customer by using a combination of these five key components to improve digital experiences.

Discovery, research, and purchase should be part of the same process in the present omnichannel environment. Because these actions cross both marketing and commerce disciplines, it is the collision of both that is driving the total digital customer experience.

Most organizations agree that content focused on both product and brand is essential to delivering a relevant and personalized digital experience that meets customer expectations at all stages of the path-to-purchase.

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