Websites will play a less prominent role in future consumer digital experiences for three core reasons:
- The digital touchpoint landscape will be far more fragmented. The number of digital touchpoints used by consumers is proliferating. Browsers are just one of many channels. The number of connected devices we use continues to grow. Web and apps won’t dominate like they do today.
- Experiences will be increasingly natural and immersive. We’ll use natural language, gestures, and more to interact with digital content and services. Brands will build more virtual worlds and 3D experiences that may or may not live within a browser container or on a PC, tablet, or smartphone. They may be on devices such as the Apple Vision Pro.
- Invisible experiences will become a larger percentage of the interactions that brands have with consumers. Consumers seek convenience when they have tasks to complete, goals to achieve, or seek peace of mind. Brands will do more to anticipate the needs of consumers and serve them proactively, thereby negating the consumer’s need to get what they need from a website or app. The most successful brands will become virtual assistants or agents to the consumer.
This future environment means that enterprises now must start to build new competencies within their organizations. We’ve interviewed executives to identify these competencies — and the challenges involved in developing those. We’ve also designed and fielded a large executive survey dedicated to understanding how brands design, build, deliver, and maintain consumer digital experiences today. Here are a few of the new competencies that often arise in conversation:
- Designing and building effective natural language interfaces — both text and voice — for consumers. Consumers want help pre-purchase — not just post-purchase.
- Orchestrating outbound communication to consumers. More than half of companies surveyed by Forrester have multiple internal groups sending outbound communication (e.g., email, SMS, push notifications).
- Obtaining data, consent to use the data, and trust from consumers to anticipate their needs, serve them proactively, and create relevant content. Enterprises are working hard to modernize their data operations and technology.
- Delivering consistency across digital touchpoints as it makes sense. As touchpoints proliferate, companies will need digital experience architectures to deliver content and services across a broad range of devices, platforms, channels, and interfaces.
- Coordinating across many disciplines internally. Functional silos are creating tension as enterprises look to set up new digital touchpoints (e.g., chat or mobile messaging) that a single function has traditionally owned but that every function needs to engage consumers and reach their departmental goals.
Forrester is identifying and tracking these challenges in our research. We’ve come across a host of solutions providers from a variety of categories that believe they are best positioned to orchestrate, personalize, or provide consistency to their customers’ consumer base.
If you are a client experiencing these challenges, we’d like to interview you for our research. If you are a vendor offering a solution to these challenges, we’d also like to interview you for our research. Want to learn more for your company’s journey? Please schedule a guidance session or inquiry with me.