CONTRIBUTOR

Claiming to be customer-centric is easy. But when it comes to digital transformation, the customer often gets lost in the process. 

Internal procedures, external pressures and over-hyped solutions can distract from the core purpose of a transformation. Companies get bogged down and risk alienating the very customers they set out to serve better. 

Digital experience intelligence, or DXI, delivers a complete, retroactive view of how people interact with your site or app to help avoid this pitfall. Even better, companies that use DXI to guide digital transformation can accomplish organization-wide change that prioritizes the user experience first and foremost, resulting in significant impact to the bottom line. 

If that sounds too good to be true, consider the journey of FTD. 

The “T” in the name stands for “telegraph,” the then cutting-edge technology used by 13 founding florists to connect their operations in 1910. The company went on to establish a reputation for innovation, including an early foray into eCommerce in 1994. But after a series of acquisitions, technology solutions had piled up. When CTO Matt Powell joined the company in early 2020, some legacy systems were more than 20 years old. 

Reviving FTD’s commitment to innovation was about more than boosting FTD’s bottom line. The livelihoods of the  nearly 10,000 local florists worldwide in the company’s gifting small business network depended on it, especially amidst the challenges imposed by the global pandemic. 

As Powell undertook a complete revamp of the company’s technology and data architecture, he sought to make better sense of the roughly 7 million orders FTD processes each year, 70% of which are generated via FTD.com & Proflowers.com. The need for DXI rapidly became apparent. 

DXI delivers data-driven analytics about digital experiences, helping companies discover both the “what” and “why” of customer behavior. Powered by machine learning, the capacity to derive real-time insights helps drive better, faster decision-making. 

DXI helped Powell and teams across FTD access unprecedented insights into customer priorities and challenges. Based on their findings, they not only centered digital transformation on their customers; they were able to innovate faster and positioned themselves to adapt quickly to new challenges as they arise. 

DXI puts the user at the center of the conversation

When FTD began its digital transformation efforts, IT teams were focused on the speeds and feeds between legacy systems.

DXI gave these teams empathy for their customers’ journeys – illuminating how real-life users were interacting with the brand online. Not surprisingly, customers weren’t concerned with which back-end system powered their experiences; they just wanted FTD’s tools to work.

Combining user session reconstructions with anonymous aggregate data tied to revenue impact, Powell could see which patterns were most common – which pathways were used by five users versus 50,000 – and then share those insights. Product managers, user experience teams, and engineers could understand what was working and what wasn’t and align around priorities. 

Problems are surfaced and resolved within hours – not days or weeks

DXI helps FTD quickly evaluate what works and zero in on the glitches and errors that alienate potential customers. Session analysis can uncover patterns in real time that indicate users are encountering dead-end experiences, so FTD can provide an instant fix. 

One such distress signal is “rage clicks,” when users repeatedly tap or click a page element in frustration because it isn’t working the way they expect. When FTD noticed that rage clicks spiked at the end of each month, an investigation using session replay quickly uncovered the cause: shoppers ordering items for delivery a few days later ran into problems. 

Another example is when FTD’s calendar widget only displayed a single month, which meant that at month’s end, shoppers saw a lot of “grayed out” past dates on the grid. They weren’t using the built-in navigation features to advance to the next month to pick a delivery date, so they would get stuck. 

FTD changed the display so users saw both the current and the next month automatically, with the next available delivery date suggested by default. A problem that could have taken months to identify, let alone fix, was quickly solved thanks to DXI.

DXI helps meet new expectations to prevail against new competitors

As companies undertake digital transformation and launch new digital offerings, they encounter new consumer expectations for how those features will work. This learning curve can be steep, but with DXI, it can be conquered quickly, boosting companies’ agility in a competitive market. 

Rapid adoption is especially important when it comes to mobile experiences. Mobile shopping soared during the pandemic, and eMarketer now predicts that mobile commerce will account for nearly half of all online sales in 2022. 

As brands optimize mobile experiences, accessing real-time feedback to resolve  problems quickly is crucial. One key behavior that most tools don’t track is pinching and zooming: if consumers frequently use this workaround to view pictures or text up close, it’s a signal that brands need to resize page elements. DXI can surface these problem areas quickly, helping boost mobile effectiveness. 

FTD’s local florist partners used to rely on walk-in traffic for the majority of their business. Now they compete not only against 1-800-Flowers and other leading gift brands, but digital-only startups such as UrbanStems. They also have to contend with new delivery capabilities from DoorDash and Uber, and are bracing for Amazon’s new Shop with Prime program. And with customers’ expectations growing more fluid and no longer based on industry boundaries, today’s shoppers don’t compare the FTD customer experience only to direct competitors or new delivery capabilities, but to the best customer experience they received from anywhere. This is true for expectations across FTD brand touchpoints – site, mobile app, loyalty program, and even branding – and DXI allows FTD to anticipate and adapt to these ever-changing expectations. 

User-centered transformation for the win

Digital transformation is more urgent than ever, and the stakes are high when it comes to delivering on consumer expectations for smooth, engaging experiences. Using DXI, brands can speed progress and quickly optimize new offerings based on real-life user experiences collected in real time, making the goal of customer-centric transformation a reality.

Modernizing Digital Banking Services

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