Enhancing your experience through all your customer touchpoints can be daunting to retailers, regardless of their desire to improve. With a difficulty in measuring and accessing customer experience data, the NRF Big Show 2023 focused on web-3, micro-experiences, and human-centric design to help make improvements.
Web-3 to Enhance Experience
Web-3 was a buzzword going around at the NRF Big Show 2023. The newest version of the internet is well on its way into the mainstream, and everyone has taken notice. This “new internet” will take a much more collaborative approach than Web 2.0, and this is being achieved through “LiveOps”.
LiveOps, originally from the gaming industry, is the concept of community building, where people will come and go, and relationships (both with tech and other members of the community) will be in constant evolution. These operations are based on what the community member (in this case your customer) wants and how to deliver it. Rather than having a goal of more sales, better efficiencies, etc. the goal is to develop a better/longer/deeper relationship with the customer.
As was described by McFadyen Digital, LiveOps is the input, and the customer’s journey is the output. With this specific output, revenue will be a biproduct.
Micro-experiences are exactly as they sound: small experiences that occur at various touchpoints in the customer journey rather than having one large, often overwhelming, experience in one place (online, in-store, social media, etc.).
The idea is that these micro-experiences drive an overall positive experience for the customer. When breaking down your customer’s attributes even further than demographic/psychographic, this can be achieved. For example, there will be times where the customer wants a longer, more in depth engagement, and other points at which they will value efficiency, or sustainability. Identifying those micro-experiences will not only reduce the pain points your customer is experiencing but will also leave your customer with a higher net-positive journey.
Human-Centric Design and Calm Technologies
One way to ensure that the experiences will be ideal for your customer is putting them at the centre of design decisions. This philosophy of human-centric design follows the customer (human) through their journey and involving their perspective and emotions at every step. This is often achieved through the concept of calm technology.
Calm technology is a type of design where the interaction between the human and the technology occurs in the human’s periphery rather than being the centre of attention. This allows a customer to focus on the experience rather than focusing on the tech.
Bevan Bloemendaal and Brad Baer presented at NRF on these topics. A question that was brought up during the conversation was to always ask “Will this technology give me a superpower?” If the answer is no, then there is likely no need to implement it. Elements such as voice activated tech or automation can allow for the focus of the customer to remain on the experience. We are looking forward to hearing Bevan speak at the Retail Innovations Conference Chicago in June. Will we see you there?