Winning in 2016: Digital Everywhere

Since the advent of and subsequent proliferation of smartphones and apps starting in 2008, "going mobile" and "mobile experiences" have been a key piece in many digital differentiation play books. This age is ending, and businesses need to adapt to increasing user expectations.

In 2016, apps will give way to digital everywhere.

A mobile strategy is no longer enough to stand out. If mobile is a base expectation of users of all kinds, how will businesses compete and differentiate in 2016? Enter digital everywhere.

Capture Value Everywhere

Businesses now know mobile experiences provide users with a low-friction, convenient way to interact with their brands from anywhere. In 2016, businesses must explore new frontiers to remain differentiated and capture user attention and value.

Digital everywhere allows businesses to gain and retain customer attention better than ever.

New and emerging technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Wearables all drive digital everywhere, and enable superior brand experiences.

Imagine: Apparel Retail

What if the customer had a way to richly interact with the retailer's goods in a way that both enhanced interaction with the actual products and gave the retailer increased actionable insight into that customer?

Let's follow Sarah Shopper through her experiences in a normal store today, and a digital everywhere enabled store of tomorrow.

Today's Retailer: Norman's
  • Sarah looks around online on social media and sees a style she likes.
  • She sees it's being sold by Norman's.
  • She opens their app, locates a Norman's store, and goes there.
  • At the store, she walks in and wonders where to go to find what she wants.
  • She might ask for help, or wander until she finds it.
  • She finds what she's looking for - but her size isn't on on the rack!
  • She asks a sales associate if it's in stock, and waits.
  • It's not in stock. Since it took so long to be told so, she is annoyed and leaves.

Not so good... But we had an app! Why didn't that help us delight Sarah and make a sale? We lost credibility instead!

Tomorrow's Retailer: Newland's
  • Sarah sees a style she likes online.
  • She sees it's being sold by Newland's.
  • When she clicks on the link, it automatically opens the Newlands' app and tells her which store has the item in stock.
  • Sarah goes to the store.
  • Newland's has indoor mapping, so the app pushes Sarah a notification telling her where the item is in the store.
  • Sarah goes to the rack and sees what she likes, and is delighted.
  • Newland's has a large-format display next to this rack, which recognizes Sarah nearby with her clothing she found online.
  • The display greets her with "Hello Sarah, good choice! This denim goes great with that top", and presents her with matching denim choices.
  • She taps the denim, and a sales associate is notified. They bring Sarah the denim in her size.
  • Based on Sarah's social media presence, the smart display suggests shoes that matches her preferences and size.
  • Sarah likes what she sees, but wants the shoes in red. She says "Do they have it in red?".
  • The smart display hears her and presents her with the shoes in red, displayed next to her existing choices.
  • Sarah is delighted and buys the outfit.
  • The Newland's experience is novel, useful, relevant, and immersive, so she keeps shopping.

Sarah wanted the same things, from a retailer selling the same things, but in this case, she wants to buy much more. Newland's is digital everywhere, and as a result, satisfies the customer and profits more.

Not Just Fantasy

While Newland's might seem like an experience out of a futuristic Hollywood movie, the technology to build an experience like this exists today.

Businesses of all kinds can invest right now to deliver the experiences of the future and reap the profits today.

Imagine a salesforce being able to ask with their voice "When is the meeting with Company X?" from their CRM, or a bank being able to detect complaints on social media and act upon them immediately.

I am fortunate enough to work with a great team of smart people at Tuple Labs. Our Development team loves enabling our Design and User Experience teams. Some of our most forward-thinking clients are actively investing in these experiences of the future, and some are already seeing the value.

My bold, reckless prediction of 2016:

2016 is the year of digital everywhere, and winners and losers will be decided by what businesses navigate this brave new world of experiences best.

Questions, comments, or insights of your own? Drop me a line @ayetempleton on Twitter!