How digital experiences are fueling the new digital economy

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This article was contributed by Ken Fine, CEO of Heap

We are ruled by a digital economy. It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the digital economy, the physical economy, and the service economy, as digital technology and the Internet now mediate many transactions in each industry. By now, even traditional traffickers have realized that offering a great digital experience is the key to business survival.

“Digital economy” and “economy” may not yet be synonymous, but that gap is rapidly closing. A recent analysis predicts that digital and digital-transformed businesses account for $ 53.3 trillion, or about half of the United States’ gross domestic product, by 2023. And, because these estimates do not account for the share of free goods and services in the digital economy, some economists believe that the estimates given are too conservative.

New expectations are new normal

In 2011, venture capitalist Mark Andreessen observed that “software is eating up the world.” Ten years later, the coronavirus epidemic has simply starved Tech. The symbolic experience is now digital, manifested on the screens of our computers, tablets and phones. In the first lockdown, people who probably never ordered groceries started using a mobile app like DoorDash; Zoom, an obscure teleconferencing system, has become as familiar as Google and Facebook. With more emergency rooms and more hospital staff, many regular medical interactions have shifted to telehealth, which McKinsee predicts could be a quarter-trillion-dollar business.

For businesses in the digital economy, the biggest byproduct of moving everything on-screen and online was that consumers increasingly expect to meet their needs through digital experiences. The average consumer now has an Amazon-style one-click feature built into their baseline. Disappoint them and they will take their business elsewhere, “run” into the next business with a few screen taps or keystrokes. A sticking point that slowed down the transaction yesterday is likely to cancel that transaction today. While a check cannot be deposited through a credit union’s phone application, a local restaurant’s website doesn’t load, while a digital storefront isn’t integrated with familiar payment processors – leaving customers blank. And the odds are that they won’t return to give the platform a second chance.

Three I am in the digital economy

How will businesses compete in this increasingly digital environment? As they always do: to meet the needs of their customers. What has changed is that being a leader today means setting the bar for the digital experience and then raising it again and again. The best companies will do this by adhering to three i’s: information, insight and revision. Equipped with a myriad of data and a powerful set of new tools, the next generation of industry leaders will be the ones who focus on continuously improving the digital experience they provide to their customers. With frequent releases and updates, they will continue to exceed new standards of accessibility and ease of use – and then.

Information

Digital businesses generate terabyte price information every day, but relatively few businesses capture all the data produced by their customers. This is leaving money on the table in the digital economy. How much time does the average potential customer spend on a website or application? Where do customers exit the sales funnel? Which age groups do not respond to your sales pitch and in which cities do your biggest fans live? This information is the foundation of the best digital experiences of the race.

Insights

Data tells stories that people alone cannot understand. While broad trends may be obvious even to the amateur in statistics, best-in-class insights draw on subtle, hidden, and contradictory. A piece of your website that looks intuitive and friendly to your design team may actually be the subject of customer friction; Other pages may send inappropriately large numbers of customers to the “back” buttons of their browsers. Perceptions and gut feelings about the customer experience may not reflect reality, and even when they are broadly true, specifications are more useful than usual.

Repeat

All understanding of the world is useless unless it is put into practice. In times of rapid and frustrating change, businesses cannot rest on their laurels of past achievements: they must constantly redefine and refine their offerings. A / B testing, improved sales funnels, and tweaked landing pages are all playable parts. The most successful of today’s big digital economy players like Amazon, Netflix and Google are constantly tweaking their websites and updating their apps in the hope of producing “stickier” and more convenient experiences. The information-insight-revision cycle should only end when the business does: Every new product revision that goes online provides more information for the business to gain insights. This knowledge is quickly incorporated into the next publication. The customer gets a better and more satisfying experience; The company increases revenue and lifetime value.

According to the OECD report, the economy is now facing “COVID-19 induced digital acceleration”. The digital economy of 2023, when digital business is set to make up half of GDP, will undoubtedly come as a surprise to even the best informed forecasters. Businesses cannot expect their December 2021 offer to be sufficient for January 2022, much less than January 2023. As we enter a new era of digital competition, tomorrow’s winners must continue to gather the data they need to innovate and replicate. . Consumers demand better digital experiences. Businesses that fail to adapt should plan for obsolescence.

Ken is the CEO of Fine Heap.

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