Research companies have recently been scrambling to release smartphone shipment figures for the first quarter of the year. While those figures inevitably vary from one analyst to another, the general consensus is that units sold year-on-year have risen around 20% to reach 350 million worldwide in Q1.
Such continued growth in digital devices is another reminder that organizations must start to put digital commerce at the top of their agendas. In future, nothing less than a tailored customer experience across multiple channels will suffice in increasingly digital-focused markets.
If marketing campaigns are a barometer, that message looks to be getting through. New research from Juniper Research estimates that global brand and retail spend on digital marketing activities will reach $200 billion this year, up 15% from 2014, as “shoppers migrate to mobile and tablets”. The report says that nearly 70% of the net increase on digital marketing spend this year will focus on mobile and tablet devices as brand strategies evolve to deliver campaigns within an omnichannel digital environment1.
Smartphones and tablets enable organizations to better deliver timely and personalized campaigns that enhance engagement and improve customer experience. They can also provide the ability to better analyze the success of campaigns. The Juniper report points to the rise in use of predictive analytics by retailers looking to use data generated through web sites and social media to deliver tailored advertising and product promotions in real time.
But many digital commerce strategies are still not fully joined up. Organizations are not doing enough to ensure that their solutions are meeting the needs or expectations of technology-literate customers.
For example, a new global report from Capgemini shows that loyalty programs are failing to engage consumers in the digital age. The research, “Fixing the cracks: reinventing loyalty programs for the digital age”, found that most programs lack personalization and fail to offer cross-channel redemption services.
We studied the loyalty programs of 160 global companies across 7 sectors, and conducted a scan of 40,000 consumer conversations on social media using analytics tools to gauge customer sentiment. The conclusion: organizations across all sectors are failing to integrate loyalty programs into overarching customer experience strategies and to reward engagement.
As companies continue their digital transformations they will need to put in place the right partnerships to achieve seamless omnichannel strategies. A winning digital commerce solution needs to be specific to sector and organization, with a focus end-to-end on areas including experience design through to marketing and customer engagement.
Smartphones and tablets will continue to drive the digital commerce revolution, and finding the right partners to provide full customer lifecycle management will be crucial.