Face it – it wasn’t all that long ago that you were super excited about your Motorola Razr, the word “tablet” referred to a stone slab and there was nothing “smart” about your TV. Now, with everything from our toothbrushes to our thermostats connected to the Internet, 46% of consumers say they use multiple connected devices to accomplish a single task.
The burgeoning omni-channel landscape is changing the way that your customers interact, look for information and make decisions on a daily basis. Businesses looking to stay relevant and top-of-mind must rethink the way they structure their user experiences and manage customer data in response.
As channels continue to fragment and connected devices multiply, customer identity is becoming increasingly central to creating meaningful experiences that transcend touchpoints and grow relationships. Let’s take a look at 3 omni-channel trends and how focusing on customer identity enables businesses to build meaningful, unified customer journeys across every screen along the way.
Not only does mobile usage account for 21% of all Internet usage (Google), but 32% of all online purchases are made over mobile devices (Business Insider). And according to international investment bank The Goldman Sachs Group Inc, worldwide mobile commerce sales will account for almost half of total web sales by 2018.
One of the biggest challenges for marketers when it comes to offering meaningful and effective mobile commerce experiences is that they lack a single view of their customers, and are dealing with a mountain of disorganized data created across devices. Much of this stems from marketers’ continued reliance on third-party tracking cookies to learn about their customers; these methods of consumer tracking are prehistoric compared to today’s mobile landscape, and simply do not function across devices.
Marketers are turning to first-party identity data to create individual, complete profiles of users across devices. Letting site visitors self-identify via registration and login is key in gaining the single, permission-based customer view necessary to provide shoppers with a personal, consistent cross-channel experience.
Consider the following user experience examples both with and without identity:
The Internet of Things
The number of connected devices across the globe is expected to grow to more than 25 billion by 2020 (Information Management). In fact, Cisco projects the Internet of Things to be a $14 trillion revenue opportunity (Washington Post). But the real value here isn’t in your TV’s ability to connect to the Internet – it’s the possibility of each of your devices connecting to each other by recognizing your unique identity, and effectively communicating to provide you with a totally personalized lifestyle.
Embracing the Internet of Things means making sure that permission-based consumer identity is at the core of each of your products and services, as well as keeping your eyes peeled for ways to add value to the customer experience by connecting with other devices.
Sleep Number is a great example of a brand that has taken something ordinary – sleeping – and turned it into a connected, personalized experience. SleepIQ technology not only measures your sleeping patterns through your mattress, but it also connects to the SleepIQ mobile app. The app tracks factors that may affect your sleep, like diet, caffeine intake or having a sick child, and recommends mattress settings to help improve your sleep quality.
With the popularity of DVR and streaming services and devices like HBO GO and Apple TV, it’s undeniable that today’s audience has vastly different consumption habits compared to prior generations. The proliferation of connected screens means viewers no longer have to be tethered to a couch in front of a television to enjoy their favorite programming.
TV Everywhere (TVE) is an identity-based solution that enables television broadcasters to stream their content on any supported device, such as a PC, tablet or smartphone. TVE facilitates communication between a user’s cable provider, who provides the authentication and authorization for viewing content, and the content provider that owns the programming.
When paired with an identity management solution, the TVE experience can be tailored to viewer preferences by informing the site or mobile app with past behavioral data. For instance, you can look at a user’s most frequently watched shows, favorite programs and more, to serve him new, relevant programming recommendations.
Undoubtedly, modern marketers will face the ongoing challenge of navigating new connected devices and customer expectations as the omni-channel landscape continues to evolve and expand. For more information about putting customer identity at the center of your multi-channel strategy, download our free omni-channel toolkit.
By Tobias Meyer-Grunow