Kate Isbey
Senior Marketing Executive

We caught up on industry trends at Experience Acquia in London last week. Unsurprisingly, we found out that buyer behaviour has changed dramatically in the last year – with more consumers shopping online – many switching during the pandemic for good. 


This means providing consumers with a great digital experience has never been more important, as consumers want seamless interactions online. 


As buyers’ behaviours have changed, content marketing has had to adapt too. Research conducted by Acquia revealed that 84% of marketing teams are delivering content differently to a year ago.


Acquia’s VP of Marketing (EMEA) Tom Bianchi emphasised the need for companies to focus on delivering a “quality digital experience”. 


“It needs to be a quality visit to your site for the customer. And that customer needs to be right for you. You don’t want to market to everybody. You want to market to the right person,” he said.



Read on to find out what makes a great digital experience and what to expect in this sector in the decade ahead.



What makes a great digital experience?

1. Make it human

“A great digital experience… is driven by technology and has that human element to it,” said Jyotveer Gill, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. 


Fundamentally, the underlying function of the web remains unchanged. It’s about connecting humans and helping them to solve their problems. It’s about giving people the right information, backed up by data. 



2. Listen to your customers

“It’s about listening to the customer and seeing what they really want,” said Thomas Caddick, Digital Product Owner, Arriva.


Listening to customers is a vital part of providing a great digital experience. Caddick said that by listening to their customers, when launching a new product during the pandemic, they realised the need for simplicity - enabling the customer to get to where they need to go to with minimal clicks.



3. Make the experience effortless

“Ensure the digital experience is effortless; seamless; frictionless; and simple. It’s about the lowest effort to complete all tasks,” said Andy Farmer, Consultancy Partner, ORM.


A good digital experience should take minimal effort. It’s about thinking through the customer flow and navigation and restricting any friction as that leads to customer confusion.


Use simple, clear language so that the customer understands what to expect. “Memorable” doesn’t mean it has to be exciting. It must be functional and work first time.



4. Speak to your audience on the right channel

“It’s about using intelligence and data to get the right outcome for the customer as quickly as possible,” said Andy Farmer, Consultancy Partner, ORM.


Customers are on multiple channels. You need to be where they are and using language that resonates with them. Use data to understand your customer’s preferences so that you can triage them to the right channel. 



5. Ensure the technology is agile and adaptable

“Tools need to be adaptable rather than disposable,” said Andy Farmer, Consultancy Partner, ORM.


Rather than reinventing the wheel every few years, systems need to evolve with customer needs. They need a degree of flexibility. Tools need to be agile and adapt across the technical ecosystem to reduce friction.



What else can we expect from the next 10 years?

In the decade ahead, digital experiences will be 100% driven by data. Consumers will create even more data about themselves than ever before. Machines will be increasingly powerful (imagine smartphones 1000 x more powerful than they are now) and machine learning more prevalent. Businesses will need to prepare for more cyber-attacks. And expect compliance to continually evolve across a range of applications and growing customer data.  



Want to hear more? Get in touch with ORM to find out how you can create a great digital experience.