Waiting in line to pay at checkout with cash or a card for a product that you don’t know if it’s the latest, best, and greatest? These are not good conditions for a modern customer experience. Unfortunately, customer-unfriendly experiences in stationary retail are still a reality. No wonder that consumers prefer to use the simple and fast version of e-commerce in many areas. There is no queue, no cash. Product suggestions are personalised and although the service is usually not personal, at least a chatbot has mastered manners. It’s about time that the offline retail to pull itself together and focus on its former core competence: Service!
Design and Usability
User friendliness has high priority in e-commerce. This is how an online shop’s internal search function or exit intent pop-ups can are able to raise the conversion rate. Clarity is one of the givens for successful online trade and should be integrated into the shop right from the start. But design and usability also means using target-group specific elements: infinite scroll, for instance, is better used in an online shop which is supposed to appeal to women. In contrast, comprehensive filters and an optimised search function appeals more to men.
Some work best under the pressure of time. Especially when it comes to e-commerce projects, we all know how important it is to keep up with the times when it comes to demands and trends, as well as literally being on time. Both levels can only be justified if internal and external conditions are right. In other words: Both processes and employee responsibilities in the company, as well as the system and technology framework must be well thought out or compatible. What this theory looks like in practice is shown in record time by the project we implemented together with our client Netto eStores.
It’s the motto of business this year: The most traditional German companies have joined forces. We are talking about Allianz, Deutsche Bank, Hamburg’s major publisher Gruner + Jahr, and others. They are not merging, but they are currently piling up log-in platforms. The goal is clear: It’s all about snatching away or at least digging up the valuable user data from big overseas competitors — Facebook, Google, and Twitter. In theory, a good idea, the practice is unfortunately too small, as you will see. It’s time to think bigger so that we Europeans will not miss digital advances in line with data security.
German companies are fit for the digital transformation from the inside out. Not just external macro data such as the status quo of the online retail has proven this. Working methods and internal organisation are adapting to the pace of the digital world. Agile methods are no longer empty promises. On the contrary: Every other major company already relies on agile project management, as a from Bitkom Research makes clear (German only).
The past few months have brought new developments from Facebook and others. Younger platforms and other large companies have been trying to gain their share of the marketplace as well. Even though these products from these companies are new, they take into account what went well for others, and what’s flopped.
Software development without agile methods is like jogging without a fitness tracker: old-fashioned. It’s no different in app development. But it’s not the companies that are able to react quickly to market changes thanks to agile actions, but users who influence the app while it is being developed. Through early user feedback, developers can customise the app to taste, so that the target audience is as satisfied as possible.
Six or seven years ago, it was above all the older generations who were astonished by people staring at small electronic devices in subways, streets, and cafés. What are they doing? And why aren’t they reading newspapers or books? Just moving their thumbs over a screen almost to a rhythm.
The smartphone is probably one of the most important inventions of the 21st century for consumers… and unsurprisingly, Google is one of the drivers of this pocket-sized revolution. So, in the fifth article in the 20 years of Google series, we’ll explore the question of how a search engine company could develop software called Android, which millions of people use every day.
Augmented reality can do more than hide a Pokémon. It enables users to see exciting things that don’t actually exist. A computer-aided expansion of reality will affect our daily lives more and more (and!) make them even easier. Already one or two pioneering companies are relying on AR and are developing exciting products for everyday use cases.
Football and digitisation: For most, this means a controversial video referee from Cologne or goalkeeping technology. But a digital transformation is taking place in many areas, on the turf and next to the field. Since 2014, the world’s most popular sports club and the largest European software manufacturer have formed the perfect team from storefronts into the roof of the net. Together with SAP, FC Bayern Munich is trying to digitise every corner of their club and to take advantage of big data.
Last week, the e-commerce giant OTTO rolled out a new feature that aims to further improve the usefulness of product reviews. The focus is on strengthening the customer experience, making the purchase decision process easier and more seamless and ultimately increasing customer satisfaction. The customer is at the centre of this and further developments because, as we know, a customer-centric approach is a must to stay competitive in times of digitalisation.
This is only one example of how companies are adapting to the new demands of the digital shopper. But what other strategies and aspects should retailers take into account in order not to lag behind and disconnect from their customers?