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Customer Experience

Great Expectations – Customer Experience Trends to Ensure Success in 2023

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Digital experience enhancements, shifting social norms, and evolving attitudes around the role of technology in everyday life are changing customer expectations when it comes to how, when and where people engage with your brand, services and products. Is your organization prepared for success in this rapidly changing landscape? These customer experience trends are what we think we’ll see in 2023.

1. Make It Personal – Personalization in User Experience

Personalization in UX design refers to the customization of a product or service to meet the individual needs and preferences of a user. This can include personalized recommendations, customized content, and personalized interactions with a brand.

Why Should You Care:
Personalization has been a key trend in UX design for several years, with the adoption of personalization strategies increasing rapidly over the last few years, and with good reason. A recent study by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers were more likely to purchase from a brand that provided personalized experiences, and 90% of consumers expect personalization as a standard part of the customer experience.

High-level Implications for Brands:
Personalization in UX design has significant implications for brands. Personalization can help brands improve customer engagement and satisfaction, leading to increased customer loyalty and higher conversion rates. Brands that fail to provide personalized experiences may risk losing customers to competitors that do.

To take advantage of this trend, brands should consider implementing personalization strategies into their UX design. This can include collecting data on customer preferences and using this data to personalize content, recommendations, and interactions with the brand. Brands should also consider using AI and machine learning technologies to automate and optimize the personalization process.


2. Connecting the Dots – Meeting Omni-Channel Expectations

Omni-channel customer experiences refer to the seamless integration of a brand’s various touchpoints, such as its’ website, physical stores, social media, and mobile apps, to provide customers with a consistent and cohesive experience across all channels. The goal of omni-channel experiences is to create a fluid and uninterrupted journey for customers, regardless of the channel they are interacting with.

Why Should You Care:
There is significant growth and adoption of omni-channel experiences largely driven by customer expectations. In fact, a recent study found 77% of customers said that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services, and 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and preferences across all channels.

But the value of creating omni-channel experiences reaches far beyond meeting customer expectations, it directly impacts an organization’s bottom line. Harvard Business Review recently reported that companies that excel at omni-channel customer experiences see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in customer retention and a 14.4% increase in sales per customer.

High-level Implications for Brands:
For brands, implementing an omni-channel strategy can have a significant impact on customer experience. It allows brands to provide a more personalized and efficient experience for customers by using data collected across all channels to create a more complete understanding of the customer. Additionally, it allows for more seamless transitions between channels, such as being able to start a purchase on a mobile app and then complete it on a website or in a physical store.

However, implementing an omni-channel strategy also requires significant investments in technology and infrastructure, as well as changes in organizational structure and processes.

Overall, omni-channel customer experience is crucial for brands to stay competitive in today’s market as it’s clear customers are looking for a more holistic, cohesive and personalized experience. Brands that can deliver on this expectation tend to see significant improvements in retention and sales.


3. Payment on The Go – Mobile Payments and Mobile Wallet

A mobile wallet is a virtual or digital version of a physical wallet that allows users to store and use their payment cards, coupons, and other information electronically, and mobile payments refer to the use of mobile devices to make transactions, such as buying goods and services or sending money to others. These two technologies combined have created a new era of both commerce and Peer to Peer payments.

Why Should You Care:
Mobile wallet and mobile payments have revolutionized the way consumers make transactions and interact with brands, and both are rapidly growing and evolving, with the global mobile wallet market expected to reach $4.41 billion by 2023, and the total value of mobile payments expected to reach $3 trillion by 2023. This growth in mobile payments in particular is driven by an increase in the adoption of the technology by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the increasing popularity of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.

Additionally, consumer adoption keeps growing, in fact Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the number of mobile wallet users worldwide will reach 2.3 billion this year, that’s a quarter of the world’s population.

High-level Implications for Brands:
The growth and adoption of mobile wallet and mobile payments are creating new opportunities for brands to enhance the customer experience and build a more robust understanding of their customer across buying channels. Brands can benefit from the massive growth in these spaces by integrating mobile payments into their apps or websites to speed up the checkout process, and by leveraging geolocation and push notifications to promote personalized and targeted offers to customers both online and in-store.


4. Talk to Me – Leveraging Voice UI

Voice UI, or Voice User Interface, refers to the use of voice commands and speech recognition technology to interact with devices and applications. This can include things like virtual assistants (such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant), voice-controlled smart home devices, and voice-enabled mobile apps.

Why Should You Care:
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global voice recognition market size was valued at $14.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.1% from 2020 to 2027. This growth is largely driven by the increasing penetration of smart devices and the growing use of virtual assistants.

And consumer adopting is also growing rapidly, Capgemini Research Institute found that 38% of consumers now use voice assistants at least once a day, and the overall number of users of voice assistants has grown by more than 130 million in just two years.

High-level Implications for Brands:
As for the customer experience implications, the use of Voice UI can offer many benefits for brands – primarily making it easier for customers to engage with brands and find the information they need through a more conversational, engaging experience. This ease of use leads to increased brand awareness, customer satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty. Moreover, Voice UI is also a great accessibility tool for those with mobility issues or reading difficulty, providing a more inclusive, participatory experience.


5. Open To All – Accessibility as a UX Foundation

Digital accessibility in User Experience (UX) design considers how your target audiences will use your application or website, and with what technologies, languages, abilities, and even in what location they might be at the time. That’s why it’s important to make user experiences inclusive – a design process in which the needs of people with different abilities are specifically considered.

Why Should You Care:
Millions of people rely on easily accessing information and performing daily tasks on the internet. But users living with disabilities face increased barriers to accessing the same information because the typical design of websites, videos, podcasts, and mobile apps do not perform as needed on their devices.

Now there is a growing body of research highlighting the importance of accessibility in UX design. According to a 2020 study by the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. In fact, in the United States alone persons with disabilities have $500 billion in spending power, with global spending power estimated to be $1.2 trillion. Companies making online accessibility a priority are poised to capture their share of this outsized consumer segment with choice. This is in large part because 71% of people with disabilities will leave a website that isn’t accessible.

In addition, when companies are accommodating to this market, they improve customer experience, strengthen customer relations, and help foster brand loyalty.

High-level Implications for Brands:
Since 2020 more brands are competing for this outsized global consumer segment of 1.85 billion people with 1.9 trillion in annual disposable income. For example, retailers have begun to identify the need to explore new ways of thinking about the intersection of business, disability and increased profitability. According to Forbes, multinational giant Wal-Mart expanded its diversity and inclusion initiatives when it formed its Accessibility Center of Excellence in May 2021.

Opportunities are rising for inclusive brands. Brands that prioritize accessibility in their UX design can improve the customer experience for all web users, both with and without disabilities, and gain a competitive edge in the market. It also improves the inclusivity and diversity of overall customer base and benefits all age groups. Making a product or experience easier to use for users on the margins tends to improve usability to for all.

Overall, accessibility in UX design is an increasingly essential foundational element in the industry as more and more companies recognize the benefits and potential business opportunities it presents.

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Nicola Smith

Nicola is a customer experience strategist focused on understanding customer wants and needs across channels and touch-points to create consistent, personalized, user-friendly experiences. She is responsible for leading experience design strategy and research to inform and guide UX and design decisions, and define product capabilities and prioritization.

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