“The need for digital experience has not only accelerated but become essential in nearly all aspects of everyday life. Customer expectations have changed, and businesses who can’t keep up with this digital shift will be left behind”, says Nitzan Shaer, Co-Founder & CEO of WEVO, in an exclusive interview with TalkCMO.
TCMO Bureau: In what ways has the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for digital experiences?
Nitzan Shaer: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital experiences. In May, McKinsey reported that “we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of eight weeks.” When everything was shut down, this forced customers to switch and conduct all of their interactions digitally. To survive, businesses had to change their practices overnight to meet their customers. For most, this was completely uncharted territory.
People stopped visiting stores and turned to delivery services like Instacart and Grubhub to order food and necessities. Amazon and Walmart saw their largest-ever online profit and growth this year.
People even stopped going to the doctor for non-emergency visits, shifting to telehealth, finally boosting telemedicine. The shift didn’t end there. Education faced a massive challenge when school districts everywhere had to figure out how to teach their students 100% remotely and create digital experiences that hadn’t existed before.
The need for digital experience has not only accelerated but has become essential in nearly all aspects of everyday life. Some of those new practices will change the experiences that the world expects today. Customer expectations have changed, and businesses that can’t keep up with this digital shift will be left behind.
TCMO Bureau: What tools can organizations employ to understand consumer needs and improve their experience to ultimately increase customer acquisition?
Nitzan Shaer: The most important thing is to consider the customer in every conversation and test marketing with them before going live. You can’t be sure what will motivate – or turn off – customers, and you don’t want to find out during a live campaign. Especially today, with the rapidly changing expectations of customers, businesses need to understand their customers at the moment and quickly meet their needs.
The traditional market research methods that companies use are expensive, take too long, and the insights they provide are mostly anecdotal. Interviews and shop-along are often purely qualitative.
Surveys can provide a mix of quantitative and qualitative data, but they can take time to conduct. User testing lets marketers see users interact with their digital properties but can be costly. A/B testing is quantitative, but it means that a portion of the audience receives a less effective message.
TCMO Bureau: How should organizations tackle the crucial missing link for customer experience and engagement?
Nitzan Shaer: Get feedback early and often — customer profiles are not static; their views are always evolving. Going out and testing once is not going to be enough. Businesses need to consistently check the temperature of their audience and tailor campaigns to what they want and need at the moment.
It’s a process of testing and refining until the digital experience resonates and is engaging enough to result in conversions. If users are not converting, then marketers need to understand why that’s happening. If businesses can do all of this before they go live, they’ll save a lot of time and lost revenue.
TCMO Bureau: What role does AI play for better customer engagement to boost interactions and drive sales?
Nitzan Shaer: AI brings more efficiency and accuracy to processes that used to be time-consuming and subject to human error. Businesses use AI to collect and synthesize customer insights on digital experiences with exponentially more speed and reliability than ever.
That makes it scalable and accessible to businesses in a way that it may not have been previously, so they can act on those insights and improve customer engagement. When it comes to sales, lead scoring performed by AI can pick up on criteria or trends that human analysis might miss and produce higher quality leads in less time, which means the sales team’s time is better spent pursuing those strongest leads.
TCMO Bureau: How can optimizing content assets before they go live help organizations to produce high performing content at unprecedented volume and speed?
Nitzan Shaer: With access to a fast and low-cost tool like WEVO, businesses have access to embedded, near real-time research throughout the development process. Instead of “measure twice, cut once,” a good rule of thumb is, “test many times, launch once.” Also, quantifiable customer insight negates any bias. Rather than wasting time internally debating — guessing, really — the merits of one option over another, they have the customer data to show which content will perform better and why. This, of course, means less risk and fewer resources spent on adjusting once the campaign is live so they can launch with confidence and focus on what’s next.
TCMO Bureau: What pitfalls do organizations usually face while trying to measure the performance of a digital platform?
Nitzan Shaer: The big pitfall is that they often get stuck in the “what’ instead of the “why.” All the metrics in the world can tell you the “what,” but to understand customers, you need to know the “why.” A lot of tools can identify an element on a webpage or journey that’s not working, but marketers need to drill down and pinpoint why it’s stopping a visitor from converting and then act on that information to improve the digital experience. They need an easy tool that can make getting those insights quick and scalable and not only report customer feedback but also provide actionable recommendations to improve.
He is co-founder and CEO of WEVO, a technology startup that leverages machine learning and customer insight to help marketers optimize website conversion – in days rather than months.
Previously, Nitzan was the co-founder and Managing Partner at High Start Group, a product innovation consulting firm that was twice awarded ‘Fastest Growing Company’ by Inc. 5000. Before High Start Group, Nitzan founded and led the Mobile Group at Skype, bringing Skype to mobile phones in over 126 countries, resulting in the sale of the company to eBay. Nitzan also served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Flybridge Capital Partners, helping lead multiple investments.