The pandemic has changed customers ’ expectations as the world around them has changed . As expected , customers turned to online transactions to cope with the isolating effects of lockdowns .
More people went online to do their supermarket shop , order takeaways , sort out their banking and buy items for hobbies . And as they shopped more online , their expectations became higher . Websites needed to be quick , easy-to-access and easy-to-use .
Now , as people start to emerge from lockdowns , what will their expectations be when they are outside of their home and also what will their expectations be as they continue to shop online ?
Content-as-a-Service ( CaaS ) is gaining popularity in the customer experience space as brands jostle for market share . Marketers are seeking innovative ways to get the right content in front of potential customers and to manage the increasing number of digital touchpoints throughout the customer journey .
Bluegrass CEO , Nick Durrant , said : “ In the digital world , marketers need to understand the power of content and redesign their strategies to include voice , video , Artificial Intelligence ( AI ) and Machine Learning to continue reaching consumers . However , for marketers it could be challenging to manage and deliver content to multiple channels effectively .
“ In trying to reach these digital touchpoints it remains a challenge to present the same content to different devices and platforms . Although traditional Content Management Systems ( CMS ) such as WordPress store all content in one place , there are limitations as to where and how this content can be used , and as such one needs to create a unique version for each platform .
“ With CaaS , all content is stored in its original format . Various digital platforms like websites , smartphones and apps can access this content and present it by using an Application Programming Interface ( API ), as CaaS separates the content from formatting .”
Emma Maslen , VP and General Manager , EMEA & APAC , Ping Identity , has spoken about how retailers have had to adapt . One of the biggest gains has been persuading net-new customers to come online – many of them from older demographics that had traditionally shied away from online stores . As a result , e-tailers are adapting the shopping experience and one of the biggest changes is the metamorphosis of customer service focused high street brands – of which Marks and Spencer in the UK is a great example – that are extending their ethos into online communities .
She said : “ An instore innovation was the launch of checkout-free technology using mobile payment to all its UK stores , allowing instore customers to skip checkout queues by selfscanning and paying for their items using their smartphone and then simply leaving the store .
“ Yet , even with these efforts , the practical issues around lockdown caused M & S , like most high street stores , to experience a massive reduction in sales .
“ However , its online e-commerce sales were up 75 % according to its latest interim results . And the firm is also set to launch 46 new websites to expand its reach to over 100 countries , from Argentina to Uzbekistan . The website experience itself has also improved – with many subtle additions enhancing the online user experience . An interesting example is the implementation of guest accounts , which allow customers to pick , pay and go without having to setup a full-blown account .”
How have customers ’ expectations changed within the last 18 months and how have you addressed this ?