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How retailers can meet customer demands for a flawless DX

Customer experience has become the top strategic priority for organisations.

Amid ever-rising consumer expectations and demands on retailers, the Covid-fuelled rush to digital has elevated the urgency of digital experience (DX) management and delivery. Delivering a seamless DX has even overtaken price and product as a key brand differentiator.

Setting up an online shop or providing a personalised experience is no longer good enough. Apps and websites need to provide flawless digital experiences, with a smooth customer journey free of any technical glitches or interface confusion.

DX: a critical competitive advantage

The Temkin Group found that companies earning US$1 billion annually can expect to earn an additional US$700 million within three years of investing in customer experience. PWC research found that one in three consumers will ditch a brand they love after just one bad experience, and that 73 per cent of consumers point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. 81 per cent of marketers surveyed by Gartner expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX.

To do this, retailers need to embrace a data-driven approach to optimise every digital experience based on outcomes. But increasingly complex tech stacks, legacy architecture and monolithic technologies make this difficult. Many companies are locked into slow development cycles, with changes taking weeks or months to test and roll out. There’s also the challenge of ensuring a seamless omnichannel experience, with offline/physical stores and online retail linked in the customer’s perception as a single experience and journey.

The rise of the Digital Experience Platform (DXP)

In response, the DXP or “digital experience platform” has emerged. As Gartner describes it, these platforms “act as ‘centres of gravity’ in complex, extensive and interconnected technology stacks to increase the impact of a digital presence”. Their core capabilities include features such as personalisation and context awareness, analytics and optimisation, customer journey mapping and customer data management, as well as presentation, delivery and orchestration, search, navigation and insight.

Essentially, a DXP enables retailers to more quickly and easily build better products and more impactful user experiences. Product teams need control over how they release features tied to experiments and gradual rollouts. They also need to be agile in carrying out experiments and optimising the customer journey. This includes staying compliant with ever-changing regulation around consumer data privacy and security.

Gartner identifies several priorities for DXPs in its Magic Quadrant, which recognises Optimizely as one of the world’s three Leaders for its ability to execute and completeness of vision. “Leader” DXPs are those which support a variety of use cases and consistently meet customer needs over substantial periods, with significant product innovation and capability across industries.

DXPs need to “enable and exploit innovation in modern architecture, analytics, AI, knowledge graphs, context awareness, the Internet of Things, and user experience design to offer differentiated, continuous and engaging digital experiences”. Platforms also need to be integrated and rationalised but provide easy integration and extension capabilities to enable interoperability.

Retailers today must be in a constant state of invention. They must create helpful, human digital experiences. To build better experiences, and beat their competition, they need the right tools that can unlock their digital potential and innovate. DXPs enable retailers and marketers to move from guesswork and gut decisions to instead use data and a scientific approach to provide the best digital experience.

Optimizely is the world’s leading digital experience platform. Empowering teams to deliver optimized experiences across all digital touchpoints.

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