The way consumers interact with brands has undergone a major change over the past few years.
Consumers now expect personalized service and rigorous protection of their privacy.
Customer experience is becoming the primary differentiator between brands, so it’s more important than ever to provide a smooth experience.
With that in mind, here are the five areas where CTOs need to focus right now.
1. Secure Transactions
83% of senior executives, in a Cisco security survey, were more concerned about digital security now than they were 3 years ago, and for good reason.
Increased global connectivity has created more opportunities for digital theft.
The global average cost of a data breach is $3.9 billion.
With expanded personal data sharing due to the growing Internet of Things trend, experts have warned that could rise sharply if transaction security isn’t made a priority.
That means focusing on PCI compliance, using AI-powered fraud detection and antivirus software, and using security-conscious features like SSL.
CTOs also need to
; many security weaknesses can be traced to poorly-done programming shortcuts.
2. Expanded Payment Options
Technology has created a flood of new payment methods designed to make payments convenient and secure.
Shoppers can check out with PayPal both online and at a growing number of brick and mortar locations.
Phone-based mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay have seen a rise in usage as well.
Consumers are responding favorably: as many as 54% of Americans have used a digital payment method of some kind.
They enjoy the convenience and security offered by using a trusted service instead of carrying around credit cards.
Offering a selection of payment methods helps prevent churn, as well: a fifth of customers fall out of the buying cycle at the checkout because they don’t see a payment option they trust.
3. Multi-channel Presence
Impulse-buying beyond the small-ticket stage is becoming a thing of the past.
Customers generally browse using different devices and platforms before making a purchase.
Because customers trust each other and online influencers more than ads, this could means asking for advice on social media.
Other times it involves checking online reviews, even when shopping in person.
42% of customers read reviews on products using a mobile device while in a physical store.
CTOs can take advantage of this trend by building a strong, consistent multi-channel presence across their website, social media pages, and mobile apps.
Encouraging user-generated content (like reviews and photos) is key. It has two main benefits:
4. Enhanced Mobile Experience
. It accounts for a fifth of e-commerce, and the mobile e-sales growth rate is double that of desktop rates (59% vs 17%).
CTOs need to ensure a smooth, reliable shopping and buying experience.
That means skipping complex interfaces for easy-to-navigate menus and optimizing for mobile performance and security.
Another option to consider is a storefront app.
Storefront apps have 40% higher conversion rates than mobile websites.
They offer better performance, too. The improved experience leads to longer shopping sessions and higher customer satisfaction rates.
5. Artificial Intelligence
Customers want customized service, and AI is the tool that will help CTOs provide that service in 2018.
Bring AI into customer-facing technology stack through:
Are you ready to revamp your company’s digital presence?
Concepta can show you how to take advantage of these trends.