Customer Experience, Service & Success

Digital Transformation Has Spurred Expectations for Rich CX

experience management
  • After a year+ of COVID-19, consumers’ expectations for experiences have risen
  • They want faster delivery, added digital conveniences and VIP-level services
  • Technology is key to meeting these expectations long after restrictions have lifted

Software AG (Frankfurt MDAX: SOW) today announced new research, revealing what Americans are looking for in their experiences with brands and businesses, as COVID-19 restrictions lift. Based on a survey of 1,000 U.S.-based consumers aged 18 and older, findings indicate that after a year+ of navigating the pandemic, consumers’ expectations for experiences have grown. They want faster online delivery, smaller in-person lines and crowds, as well as added conveniences that help to connect digital and physical environments.

More than half (55%) of those surveyed said they have a higher expectation for in-person experiences (e.g., sporting events, concerts, conferences, etc.) than they have in the past. Additionally, over a third (34%) said they have higher expectations than they did a year ago for online retail purchases to be delivered on time – with 70% going so far to say that they would choose a retailer based solely on the speed of their delivery. These are the new realities after a year that has changed consumer habits and where organizations have doubled down on digital investment.

Sanjay Brahmawar, CEO of Software AG, commented: “Businesses have long had the opportunity to digitally transform, but the pandemic expedited this seemingly overnight. Now that consumers know what is possible, they not only expect the enhancements and conveniences they see today, but they want more. Integration, IoT and business transformation software make this all possible, whether it’s expediting supply chain processes for delivery, incorporating smart sensors to manage lines and crowds, or integrating physical and digital channels for seamless touchpoints. The future of customer experiences has arrived – and the organizations that focus on fundamental modernization over short-term cosmetic changes will come out on top.”

According to the Software AG survey, consumers have grown accustomed to digital capabilities integrated into traditionally physical environments. Not only did many respondents say they will continue to look for these enhanced services, but they hope to see others in the future as well. Findings across experience type include the following:

  • Large-scale in-person events (concerts, sporting events, conferences, etc.)
    • 76% of consumers would like to see at least one of the following implemented at a large-scale in-person event in the future:
      • Mobile-enabled ticketing / check-in (49%)
      • Mobile-enabled payment (38%)
      • Wait estimates/crowd management alerts (restroom, concierge lines, merchandise, entry point, etc.) (38%)
      • Concierge experience from their seat (mobile-enabled ordering for food/beverage) (34%)
      • Mobile-enabled interactive activities (contests, polling, voting, etc.) (27%)
  • Restaurants/dining
    • 73% of respondents believe their restaurant experience (dining or takeout) is enhanced with a mobile component and 72% plan to use at least one of the following services, even after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted:
      • Mobile-enabled ordering (54%)
      • Mobile-enabled payment (38%)
      • Mobile-enabled reservations/booking (38%)
  • Grocery
    • Of those who already use online grocery ordering, 84% will either maintain or increase the usage of this service – even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted (48% will maintain frequency and 36% plan to increase their use of this service)
  • Retail
    • Of consumers who already use retailers’ ‘buy online, pick-up in-store’ ordering option, 80% said they will continue to do so even after COVID-19 safety restrictions are lifted

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