Digital Experiences

9 Top Trends Transforming Digital Experiences in 2024 and Beyond..

Quick Summary: Digitalization has made deep inroads into people’s lives, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it's payments, shopping, education, information access or other aspects, digitalization has impacted our personal and professional lives. Regardless of the industry or size of operations, companies are using digitalization to improve customer service, facilitate data-powered decision making and gain a competitive advantage.

Faced with continuous technological advancements, changing customer trends and increased customer expectations, companies must level up their digital experience services. 
40% of organizations have scaled their projects by amping up their budget and technology investments. Digital experience services will lay the foundation for creating personalized, cohesive and immersive digital experiences for customers. AI, AR/VR, cloud computing, mobile analytics, automation and other technologies are at the forefront of digital experiences.

Customers value time and convenience in 2024. Companies that offer a seamless and consistent experience at all touch points gain an upper hand in the marketplace. Simultaneously, improved digital experiences can also boost productivity and profitability. This blog will focus on the top 9 trends that are transforming digital experiences in 2024.

What is a Digital Experience Service?

Suppose a woman walks into a shopping mall and tries to find her way to the gaming section. She wants to buy a Playstation 5. The signs inside the mall lead her to the gaming section. Then, the brand’s sales personnel help her understand the product features, add-ons, difference between the latest and previous versions and warranty details. Ultimately, the combination of these favorable experiences results in the woman buying the gaming console.

What if customers could enjoy the same experience while purchasing products online? An amalgamation of all the experiences from login, product selection, checkout to payment can be termed as
digital experience services. Depending on the industry and business type, there could be numerous digital touchpoints. For example, the digital touchpoints for an Ecommerce application are as follows.
 

  1. Product listing and search
  2. Product pages
  3. Wishlist
  4. Checkout and shopping cart
  5. Account creation (compulsory or optional)
  6. Order tracking
  7. Customer service
  8. Push notifications
     

In an online shopping scenario (like the one above), a positive digital experience depends on many factors.
 

  • Was the user able to access the app quickly?
  • Did the user find product details, descriptions, and reviews to make a purchase?
  • Did the app malfunction during any stage (denting the user experience)?
  • Was the user able to buy the product he wanted?
  • Did the app provide the necessary functionality to complete the purchase?
As seen above, all stages of product purchase are interconnected. Dissatisfaction at any stage can ruin the digital experience. The main goal of digital experience services is to ensure a unified yet gratifying experience throughout the customer journey. Digital experience services also include answering customer queries (AI-powered chatbots) while assisting in product demos (VR technology) and providing self-service instructions (AR technology).

9 Emerging Trends Revolutionizing Digital Experience Services

Technological advancements have taught companies to work smarter. Reduced team sizes and reduced budgets is the norm these days. At the same time, ensuring a top-notch digital experience will remain the priority for most companies. Below are 9 hot trends that are changing the digital experience service landscape.

1. Calculated Approach to Digital Adoption

During the pandemic, companies adopted several digital tools and technologies. Most companies were in panic mode and they wanted to try every trick in the book to survive. Forget profitability, they wanted to achieve breakeven. As per a survey (in the EU region), companies increased their use of digital platforms jumped from 21% to 46% in May 2020.

After things started getting back to normal, companies are rethinking their decisions related to tech investments. Note that companies are not averse to embracing new technologies. They are only becoming choosier to get more benefits and increase revenue. Over time, companies are discarding obsolete technologies (trending in 2020-21). Consolidating the relevant technologies with newer investments makes sense as it enhances operational efficiency.

Most importantly, the focus is shifting to integrate offline and online channels. This integration creates clean and uniform data in a centralized repository. Changes implemented online will reflect offline, resulting in improved customer service, and greater employee efficiency.

2. Hyper-Personalization with AI and ML

Hyper personalization or customization for enhancing digital experience is not a new concept. However, hyper-personalization strategies have changed in the past few years. Gathering, storing, and analyzing enormous amounts of data can be challenging for most humans. Excessive dependence on historical data can limit one’s ability to foresee potential challenges and opportunities. Additionally, historical data is mostly stale and patterns that are futile in a dynamic environment.

With AI and machine learning, companies can gather and analyze huge amounts of data, filter it, and make it fit for forecasting. This accurate and valuable data facilitates optimal hyper-personalization while ensuring data security and privacy. Customers want to know how companies use their data. Educating them will instill confidence in the company’s products and services. Besides customer satisfaction, Gen AI and ML play a vital role in product testing and iteration.


ML for Product Development

ML algorithms analyze data and how users engage with a company’s offerings. Based on customer feedback and behavior, ML algorithms provide developers with feedback on product defects and the need for new features. Also, AI-powered testing is significantly quicker than manual testing, resulting in faster product-to-market. Last, GenAI understands customer preferences and patterns to create engaging images, videos, and other content for increased engagement and conversions.

3. AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality)

AR and VR technologies are revolutionizing our digital experiences in many ways. AR enhances a user’s existing experience by adding various elements to it like videos, text and 3D models, thereby bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds. For example, AR can help a worker in a factory assemble a car with customized components and parts.

It provides step-by-step text instructions and overlays 3D models on the main car. The enhanced view of the 3D models provides a clearer picture of the car’s components and enables the worker to meet the customer’s specific needs. Similarly, AR can also show customers a view of how their house would look post-reconstruction with high-quality, detailed images of the layout, furniture, swimming pool, and more.

On the other hand VR takes users to a new world via a simulated environment. It also allows them to interact with the objects in the virtual environment through VR headsets and controls. Users will actually feel like they are touching the object with their hands. VR simulations can educate users by recreating their work environment and teaching them to perform challenging tasks. Product demos become more realistic with VR, resulting in more conversions.

4. Conversational UI and Chatbots

Most people lead a hectic life in 2024. Not everyone works a standard 9 to 5 job. Also, organizations with a presence in multiple time zones and geographies have to offer round-the-clock service to ensure top-notch customer experiences. For example, if a customer wants information about his order at 2 am, he need not wait for a customer service representative to answer the call. He can interact with a chatbot and get real time status.

Besides answering common customer queries, the chatbot also serves as a 24/7 customer service representative. Over time, the chatbot learns from human interactions (past orders and online browsing habits) and provides personalized product recommendations. Companies can use this data collected by chatbots to run personalized marketing campaigns and enhance product development. A study conducted by Gartner suggests that by 2027,
25% of businesses will switch to chabots or digital assistants for customer service.

5. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is the backbone of DApps aka decentralized apps. Traditional apps collect user data like customer location, while accessing their cameras, microphones, text messages and even call logs. Additionally, these apps only provide limited functionality, allowing little room for customization or innovation.

Unlike these apps, DApps eliminate third-parties because no single entity has access to a user’s personal information. As the data is stored in countless systems across the world, it becomes hard for anyone to alter or delete it. Members can hold digital assets and trade them using NFTs (non-fungible tokens).


Use Cases of DApps

DApps open avenues for innovation in multiple industries like financial services, gaming, and supply chain management. For example, borrowers can contact money lenders (in different countries) directly, avail better interest rates while automating payments. Gamers can accumulate digital assets, trade them or sell them to make monetary gains. Complex supply chains can use DApps to track a product’s journey from start to finish while ensuring timely deliveries and robust security.

6. Low Code/No-Code Platforms

A mobile may generate millions of dollars in revenue for a company. However, the app development process can be a nightmare for small and medium-sized enterprises. Besides hiring a team of specialist developers, testers, designers, and product managers, the process may take considerable time. Low cost or no cost apps levels the playing field for smaller companies. Low-cost development allows companies to decide upon individual components. These components can be UI components (buttons, menus, forms, images and lists) or functional components that can perform specific functions.

Low-code Vs. No-code Platforms

Developers can drag and drop these components and create unique apps. However, low code applications require basic coding knowledge. Unlike low code apps, no-code apps require zero coding skills. One can select a theme, drag and drop the pre-configured features to create a bespoke app. Furthermore, users can also change the colors, fonts and styles of the components to alter the visual experience. Compared to conventional apps, low-code and no-code apps require zero technical expertise, allowing startups to operate on a shoe-string budget.

7. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing plays a vital role in revolutionizing digital experience services. As companies grow, so do their demands for scalability, security and accessibility. Investing in new equipment and infrastructure is not feasible for companies. By moving to the cloud, companies can avail of increased storage space and security. A company’s website may be unable to handle massive traffic. It may not be able to cope up with hundreds of users accessing the site simultaneously or the hosting provider may have set certain limitations.

Moving the website to the cloud eliminates the above problems because it is not subject to the above mentioned limitations. The cloud storage provider can amplify (or reduce it during lull phases) the processing power, storage capacity and other resources to meet the increasing business demands. Besides scalability, cloud migration allows companies to collect, store and analyze vast volumes of customer data. This data can be used to launch targeted marketing campaigns and create bespoke offerings.


AI and IoT Integration

Above all, effective integration of AI and IoT with cloud computing can take digital experiences to the next level. AI integration with cloud computing optimizes search results, customer support capabilities, and personalization. On the other hand, IoT gathers real-time sensor data while connecting with other systems and equipment to enhance our lives. A good example of AI and IoT integration is an advanced fitness watch that connects with an AI-powered app.

The smartwatch monitors a user’s heart rate, pulse, basal metabolic rate, breathing, and other physical parameters, whereas the app collects and analyzes the data. Based on the data, the app suggests customized workout plans, diet changes, and tracks user progress. Such AI and IoT integrations can also benefit businesses in various industries such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, etc.

8. Automation

Whether it's healthcare, manufacturing, retail or other industries, automation increases productivity, reduces human efforts while ensuring razor-sharp accuracy. Unlike humans, automation tools can work without rest. Be it data entry, generating reports, sorting emails, answering generic customer queries or picking tasks in a warehouse, automation can perform numerous repetitive tasks.

As these automation tools follow pre-set rules, there is little room for errors. When integrated with AI, these automation tools can perform decision-making tasks, and demand forecasting. For example, AI can analyze historical data to predict customer demands and optimize inventory allocation. Advanced automation tools are also known to perform complex tasks like comprehending human intent by analyzing social media posts or emails.

9. XaaS (Everything as a Service)

XaaS is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of offerings including IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a service), SaaS (software as a service), along with storage, database related services. The size of the XaaS market was USD 409.10 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22.1% to reach USD 2470.2 billion by 2032.

Whether its hardware, software or business solutions, companies can avail of XaaS through a subscription-based plan. New trends, devices and technologies will enter the market and over time they will become outdated. It makes no sense for companies to invest heavily in them only to repeat the process after five to six years. XaaS eliminates the problem by offering matchless scalability. Companies can scale up their needs without investing thousands of dollars.

How Does XaaS Empower Businesses?

XaaS empowers businesses and improves digital experiences in the following ways.
  1. Quicker Software Development
    Bid goodbye to long software development and testing cycles through instant access to new solutions and services. Adapt quickly to increasing customer demands and market trends.
     
  2. Pay Only for What You Use
    Scale resources up and down as per project requirements or business demands. This flexibility results in cost savings and optimal use of capital.
     
  3. Latest Technologies
    Whether it's the latest fad or a technology that will stay around for years, XaaS helps you stay on top with the latest features and updates. This fosters innovation and improved digital experiences.
     
  4. Integration and Automation
    Most XaaS applications integrate seamlessly with other systems and services, creating a consolidated digital experience for employees and customers.

Wrapping Up.

The 9 trends mentioned above are just a few examples of technologies transforming digital experience services. Other trends include CDPs (customer data platforms), the metaverse, quantum computing, edge computing and countless others. However, many trends, including the ones we just mentioned, are in the nascent stages. It will take time for them to evolve and significantly impact transforming digital experiences.

However, the primary objective of these technologies is to provide a personalized, holistic, and relevant experience. Technologies like AI, ML and automation will play a prominent role in enabling companies to take their operations to the next level. Cloud computing can automate repetitive tasks while fostering remote working.

Many people fear that AI will replace humans and take away their jobs, but it's far from the truth. The truth is that AI, ML and many other technologies will handle repetitive and administrative tasks and provide us with valuable data to perform tasks requiring innovation and strategic decision-making. Do you want to propel your business in the right direction with cutting-edge digital experience services? Consult an expert and get the ball rolling.


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