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Customer experience: What’s connectivity got to do with it?
May 11, 2021
Customer experience is a big deal these days. In fact, a recent report found that 77% of consumers consider a company’s customer experience to be just as important as the quality of its products and services. But brands know this; they’re focused on improving the experiences of their customers every day.
A frictionless checkout process. The quick resolution of issues. Accurate, consistent, and helpful information. These are just some of the many things brands work tirelessly to provide — all in the name of customer experience. But what does this mean? What are brands really addressing when they set out to deliver an extraordinary customer experience?
We’d argue, it has a lot to do with connectivity.
What is connectivity?
Connectivity is the state of interdependence between people, objects, systems, and information (as well as the nature of those relationships). When brands deliver an extraordinary customer experience, what they’re really doing is fostering greater connectivity. They’re finding meaningful ways — a helpful product guide, powerful imagery, or even a hassle-free return policy — to connect with their audiences and drive deeper, more trusting relationships.
In our 2021 Widen Connectivity Report, we explore the role of information (specifically product information) in helping brands deliver superior customer experiences through stronger audience connectivity. Download our full report now, or keep reading for a snapshot of our top five findings.
Finding #1: Product data is critical in building customer trust, but it cannot act alone
Trust is a critical element in a brand’s ability to connect with their audiences and drive sales. To earn the trust of customers, marketers rely on three types of product information (which we define in the graphic below): product data, product marketing content, and product digital assets. Of these information types, product data (according to nearly 50% of the marketers we surveyed) has the biggest impact on building customer trust. However, it cannot act alone. To actually turn trust into sales, 72% of survey respondents say that product digital assets or marketing content have the biggest impact. So, while all three product information types can stand on their own, they are certainly stronger together.
Finding #2: Complete and utter accuracy is table stakes for the digital shelf
E-commerce environments are tough. Customers can’t take a product off the shelf, feel its weight, and experience it in the same way they can in person. Instead, buyers rely on brands to supply them with the information they need to make confident purchasing decisions. But the stakes are high. According to our survey, accurate product information — even more so than customer reviews, visual design, and social media activity — has the most significant impact on customer trust in marketing efforts. Eager to preserve this trust, brands are moving quickly to adopt technologies, processes, and safeguards to better control the accuracy of their information.
Finding #3: Objective information is the backbone of a strong marketing story
All strong marketing stories have one thing in common: They create a connection between storyteller and audience. However, for this connection to occur, marketing stories need to be believable and authentic. And for this — marketing stories must be rooted in facts. According to our survey, 57% of marketers use product information to tell stories about their brands, and 71% use it to tell stories about their products. Product information (in all its storytelling glory) gives brands the objective information they need to bring their marketing stories to life with the credibility audiences demand.
Finding #4: Personalisation takes a back seat to lending a helpful hand
Our past connectivity research tells us that personalisation was the most important marketing technology and/or business trend that organisations were focused on in 2018. However, our 2021 research suggests that brand priorities are slightly more rudimentary in nature — and not in a bad way. While brands aren’t necessarily abandoning their personalisation efforts, they do seem to be putting more emphasis on simply being helpful. And with over 81% of survey respondents “always” or “usually” using product information in their e-commerce marketing efforts, we’d say brands are off to a good start.
Finding #5: Technology is needed to translate information into engaging customer experiences
When we asked survey respondents how they translate product information into engaging content, top responses centred around having the right tools and technologies in place. Brands agree: Technology is needed. However, the extremes to which they leverage these technologies vary wildly. Some brands are embracing virtual or augmented reality to deliver advanced, immersive product experiences. Others are more focused on tools that can help them engage customers with robust, accurate, and timely information. Connectivity requires a careful balance between technology and human touch — and brands are finding what works for them.
Get our 2021 Widen Connectivity Report
Interested in learning more? Tap into the minds of leading brands, hear their stories, and get more titbits, stats, and inspiration to leverage your product information in new and innovative ways. Connectivity is within reach. Download our 2021 Widen Connectivity Report and take your customer experience to the next level. Get your full report today.