The digital world is continuously transforming. Every day, interaction points with businesses are influenced more by digital and less by in-person experiences, deeply impacting the retail industry and the retail experience.
KPMG’s Australian Retail Outlook 2021 report pointed out the growing pressure on retailers to remain relevant in the eyes of the consumer, with businesses with strong digital DNA and e-commerce capabilities being the ones to thrive.
With digitisation comes a lot of opportunities, but also some challenges when it comes to managing increasingly complex digital experiences.
Rise of the DXP era
In recent years more organisations have invested in tools like Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs), which has helped establish digital experiences as the cornerstone to many retailers’ overall digital transformation strategy.
DXPs are the evolution of content management systems into managing a harmonised experience for different types of content across different channels – all powered, personalised and optimised by integrated third party systems, customer data and commerce within one single platform.
Yet, most organisations today blindly invest in data and digital experience management platforms that are adding more complexity and making it more difficult to maintain existing levels of productivity and overhead costs.
More data, more channels, more complexity
While tools like DXPs have become essential and more comprehensive, many have also become too complex, expensive, and inflexible to fit today’s fast changing needs. Monolithic DXP platforms have shown their rigidity in workflow, and proven extremely time and resources consuming in deployment and usage.
Actually, a recent Progress researchshowed that 35% of organisations haven’t implemented a DXP solution because the products available on the market are too complex, expensive and include features that won’t get used but need to be paid for.
Many retailers and marketers today struggle to find a solution that lets them do their work efficiently, and apply budget in more needed areas than unnecessary software license and maintenance.
Removing complexity: the A.E.I.O.U principles
No solution or approach is perfect, but there are a few things retailers can watch out for when setting up a modern digital experience strategy and choosing the right DXP to support it.
The Agile programming methodology began to be employed by development teams worldwide in the 2000’s: it was designed to break large software development projects into smaller chunks.
The same methodology can be – and has been applied for business processes such as marketing campaigns. The point is to put processes into place to discover problems early and to have the courage to adjust the plans to changing events and environments.
In the digital realm inefficiency degrades the ability to publish the right content at the right time. Too much irrelevant content is presented – inflexible DXP or CMS systems can be at fault here – and if the content creators don’t have the tools to create and curate content themselves, the message ages past its prime.
Modern content management for digital experience requires tools for business users and marketers to create and curate content autonomously, and intuitively
Modern content management for the delivery of digital experience requires a second layer of flexibility to the traditional content management platforms – tools for developers to extend, integrate, and connect.
It is also important to consider a solution built with integration in mind, providing APIs to connect to 3rd party data sources and facilitating access to frontend and backend operations especially for retailers with legacy systems still in place.
The customer journey requires the availability of the brand everywhere the customer may be, delivered through any device they may be using.
Any modern platform must provide the ability to separate content from presentation, and the application of structured content, allowing flexibility to present the brand’s message through an ever-expanding array of devices.
Often overlooked is the notion that a product should be easy to use – many websites are designed more for search algorithms than for people.
To be effective, a digital experience platform must adapt to the person and the device the person is using, allowing the creation of a seamless experience that can accommodate any customer journey.
Exceptional digital experiences do not happen by accident. Australian retailers that want to grow and stand out in a crowded market have no option but rely on digital experience platforms. To be successful requires significant strategic planning, and investing in technologies that are the right fit for each organisation’s specific needs.
John Yang is vice president for Asia Pacific and Japan at Progress