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11 things we learned at Glassbox DigitalWorld 2021

On May 25 and 26 we hosted our annual DigitalWorld conference as a virtual event for the first time. It was exciting to connect with our customers and digital leaders across sectors. 

We were inspired by Dustin Garis, Chief Troublemaker and former Global Brand Innovation Leader at P&G Futureworks, Hakeem Oluseyi, Astrophysicist and Former Space Science Education Lead for NASA and Judith Spitz, former CIO of Verizon. Plus, we heard from an all-star line up of customers, including Dell, Discover, HK Express, Philip Morris, SoFi, Tracfone, Verizon and Wells Fargo, and tech giants Adobe, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

Here are our top 11 takeaways:

1. Every moment of a digital journey matters

In the day 1 keynote, our CEO Yaron Morgenstern reflected on how our software helps our customers—but also their customers. On your mobile app and website, your customers go through thousands of small moments that make up hundreds journeys to make up one digital experience. 

SVP of eBusiness for Discover Financial Services, Shaida Lynch, shared how her team approaches their mobile app experience to help customers in those moments:

“We’re always trying to actually solve a customer problem, not one that we’ve invented or believe that they have, but an actual customer issue. What do they need? What is the thing that is actually causing friction, and then we develop features based on that. After it’s in production, we are continuing to monitor, look to see if there’s any friction. Are people struggling to complete a transaction or use a new feature? And so there’s always the constant tweaking and tuning and making that experience even better throughout the process.” – Shaida Lynch, Discover Financial Services

2. There’s a new era of Experience Intelligence coming

Companies that lead in CX outperform their competitors by 80%. Technology investments to help teams across the enterprise become more customer-centric are at an all time high. Glassbox has been working to help organizations get more insights out of these investments―to drive more action and create more value. 

In his session, The Journey to Experience Intelligence, our CTO and co-founder Yaron Gueta shared the Glassbox vision for ushering in a new age of customer experience and the new Experience Intelligence Center in Glassbox. Through deep integrations, Glassbox can pull in data from web analytics, application performance monitoring (APM), product analytics, AB testing and voice-of-customer (VoC) surveys to help your teams collaborate from a single source of truth. With a complete picture of your customers’ digital behavior and sentiment you can move beyond session-by-session analysis, to visualizing the entire customer journey across your site and app―and even across sessions and across journeys.

3. Life profit is now one of the most sought after forms of wealth

According to Dustin Garis, Chief Troublemaker and former Global Brand Innovation Leader at Procter & Gamble, life profit measures the incremental value of a memorable experience. This focus on experience over material items is driving trends across retail, wellness, lifestyle, hospitality, financial services and more. In fact, over 80% of consumers now prefer experiences over stuff.

Essentially, we’ve entered the experience revolution. Dustin calls this “life profit,” a measurement of the incremental value of a memorable experience. At Glassbox, we could not agree more! We are helping many of the world’s largest brands help their customers get the most out of their experiences—thus saving them precious time and maximizing life profit!

4. Users will always find a way to surprise you

We all know that poor UX can be a blocker and prevent your customers from completing the tasks they set out to do when they logged into your app or visited your site. You may feel that you’ve designed an intuitive user flow or a great page experience, but as Michelle Cutler from Ordnance Survey observed during our Avoiding Mobile Experience Traps panel, users will always find a way to surprise you.

“Users will always find a way to surprise you in the way that they’re using what you’ve put out there. It’s really interesting to watch that and sometimes to get some really good new ideas from that behavior and to optimize, to help people through and not fall into those traps that they’ve seen that we didn’t when we were building.” – Michelle Cutler, Ordnance Survey

One of the topics the panel focused on was the importance of user testing prior to launching a new feature or app, followed by mobile app experience analytics to track user behavior after customers start using it. This combination provides the qualitative and quantitative data that organizations need to design and develop successful mobile app experiences. 

5. You can hear the voice of your silent customers

During several of our panels at the conference, we heard about the various programs and tools brands are investing in to tap into the voice of the customer. From user testing labs to voice-of-the-customer survey tools, soliciting customer feedback is still a top priority for CX pros. However, as customer survey response rates continue to drop to less than 4%, digital leaders are looking for ways to scale their customer sentiment efforts in order to get the data they need to make informed decisions about website and mobile app experience. 

Customer intent and sentiment can only be truly measured by customer behavior. Digital experience analytics platforms help you visualize and understand 100% of that behavioral data, helping to scale the response data you do receive to all sessions and filling in the blanks about your digital journeys.

6. The future is mobile and apps will take center stage

In the mobile panel, when asked about trends, Sally Mok, General Manager of Ecommerce and Distribution at HK Express, said, “I feel like very soon, everything will be mobile.”

We couldn’t agree more. We’ve seen a renewed focus amongst our clients on optimizing their mobile apps over the last year. With good reason—in 2020 app sessions grew by 105% and installs were up by 70%. It’s not likely these numbers will fall as life opens back up. We predict that we’ll begin to see more and more brands encouraging customers to use mobile apps in-store to access exclusive content and more product information.  

7. Digital and physical are merging, especially in retail

Krithika Ganesamoorthi, Global Retail Partner Tech Lead at Amazon Web Services (AWS), presented trends in retail customer experience, particularly how brands are finding new ways to create shopping experiences that help customers make the right decision―even when they can’t touch the merchandise. 

Technology like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have existed for a while now, but during this past year of social distancing, consumers have adopted it like never before as a way of having a more physical experience of an item they’re considering on a site or mobile app. Innovative retailers are using AR/VR tech within their mobile apps to help customers virtually try on clothes and even see how furniture will look in their home. 

8. Designers and data analysts can be friends

Andrew Hogan shared some interesting research from Forrester where he’s a principal analyst. For the last five years, collaboration has remained the top obstacle for improving CX for surveyed digital leaders. 

Andrew suggests that leading organizations enjoy more collaboration between data analysts and UX designers. By going beyond the typical sharing of data to include data analysts in product ideation efforts and design sketching sessions, organizations can take bigger steps towards improving the digital user experience with a truly data-driven approach. 

As Hakeem Oluseyi said in his keynote, “We [humans] are dope. Our superpower comes from when we work together.” 

9. Marketing can’t afford to ignore user experience

In his session, Hacking Search: Improve Your Ranking With Strong Web Vitals, David Geffen shared what’s coming next month with Google’s page experience update. He gave an overview of the change to search rankings and shared how Glassbox can help you prepare your Core Web Vitals

The usual SEO focus areas like keywords, meta descriptions and internal links, aren’t going away. But now marketers also need to consider factors that impact user experience as page load times and responsiveness take on higher importance.

10. Empathy is a key skill for building great customer experiences

In a conversation with our CMO Asim Zaheer, Harsh Acharya, VP of Global eCommerce at Dell, shared his recommendation for creating great digital experiences: empathy. “If you lead with empathy, you are going to be able to build experiences and solutions and serve your customers to delight them every day,” he shared.

“The biggest learning that we should all take with us is building, maintaining and having empathy; empathy for your customers and for your team members. If you lead with empathy, you are going to be able to build experiences and solutions and serve your customers to delight them every day.” – Harsh Acharya, Dell

11. The digital experience community is full of Digital Heroes

Glassbox DigitalWorld 2021 brought together so many engaged and talented digital innovators who are making digital channels easier to use and safer for consumers. We loved hearing from our customers and partners about the new and interesting ways they’re meeting the challenges of customer experience in a digital world.

We also took the opportunity to celebrate some of our Digital Heroes. These individuals were nominated by their colleagues for their accomplishments under pressure during this last year of disruption. Behind the acceleration of digital transformation are real people who made it easier for us all to shop, socialize, learn and work from home. 

  • Saurabh Gupta, VP of Digital Analytics Product Manager at Citi, was nominated for being an excellent collaborator and supporting with his teammates to deliver outstanding experience for Citi’s customers.  
  • Sally Mok, General Manager of eCommerce and Distribution at HK Express, wins in recognition of her efforts to revamp their mobile app through A/B testing, consumer research and struggle analysis.
  • Miguel Arabi, Manager of Research & Analytics at Tracfone Wireless, led the development of Tracfone’s anomaly detection dashboard reducing the average issue detection time from nice days to five hours. Learn more about how Miguel and his team accomplished this by watching his Glassbox DigitalWorld session on-demand
  • Terry Lynch, VP of Systems Engineering at Bank of America, was nominated by his colleagues for the projects he led that resulted in greater customer data protection, reduced risk and renewed compliance for the bank. 
  • Vijay Honnalagere, Senior Experience Specialist at Verizon, is a true customer champion and has kept the user front of mind in his efforts to develop processes that help the organization uncover and execute on CX enhancement opportunities across Verizon’s website and mobile apps. 

Congratulations to our Digital Heroes! Glassbox has made a donation in the name of each winner to the international Red Cross global pandemic relief fund in recognition of their accomplishments. 

Missed Glassbox DigitalWorld? Watch the sessions on-demand!

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