Beyond the browser - adding value throughout the customer journey
April 05, 2018
Consumers expect service and inspiration throughout the entire customer journey. Brands that want to meet these high expectations look, therefore, beyond the browser.
Organisations have more and more channels through which they can interact with their customers. When all these channels fit together optimally, the result is a perfect customer experience. This, of course, requires a major effort from the entire organisation. In 2017, 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies completely reorganised their operations, with the customer experience (CX) as guide. 
An attractive app or website is only a minor part of this experience. For this reason, organisations that want to offer added value throughout the entire customer journey look beyond the browser. With sensors, self-learning software, augmented and virtual reality, conversational interfaces and other new technology, they continuously offer their customers extra service, inspiration and added value.
As a result, products or services no longer stand separate. Instead, they are embedded in additional services and experiences that give their user experience an extra dimension. Nest is a good example of a brand that makes clever use of this. The smart thermostat helps consumers reduce their heating costs. But with its additional "Rush Hour Reward" programme, it also enables consumers to purchase electricity at the most advantageous moments.
As they look beyond the browser, User Experience (UX) experts are increasingly working closely with data-driven marketers. With disciplines such as customer journey mapping and service design, they translate customer wishes into better products, services and experiences.
Linking this research to customer and other data creates a profound insight into the underlying wishes and motives of their consumers.With this insight, you can redesign the customer experience based on what is the central question: "What value does this add to the user?". With its service ecosystem linked to the thermometer, Nest, for example, focuses on the desire of its customers to live comfortably and sustainably, without effort. Manufacturers who succeed in claiming these kinds of value spaces are in a stronger position to keep their proposition and brand experience relevant.
The absolute leader in this customer-oriented approach is Amazon. In its unrelenting drive to improve the buying experience, the world's largest online retailer opened its own supermarket chain last year. For customers, the new Amazon Go supermarkets represent the ultimate offline buying experience. Log in at the entrance with your mobile phone, and every product you choose automatically shows in your virtual shopping basket.
Going further, because Amazon already knows its customers' preferences, the company can lead them to what should be the most relevant in-store offers for them. In exchange for personalised recommendations and services, more and more consumers are willing to give up some of their privacy. 
Thanks to sensors at the exit, payment is automatic. This makes standing in line at the checkout - the biggest irritation of virtually every shopper - definitely a thing of the past.
To make this seamless shopping experience possible, Amazon combines the possibilities of RFID and other sensors with self-learning algorithms and mobile payment options. This makes Amazon an inspiring example of the power of the Internet of Things (IoT). This rapidly growing data network encompasses more and more products and environments, and enables them to interact with the network, each other and the user. As a result, the physical and digital customer journeys are increasingly merging.
This development offers great opportunities to marketers who focus on the user and customer experience. With the help of the IoT network, they can develop new possibilities to respond faster and more efficiently to the needs of the customer. With the data generated by these new services, they can further refine their customer experience. Ultimately, marketers can also respond proactively to the needs of the customer, building up a one-to-one relationship with each individual.
 KPMG Nunwood, 2017  Deloitte, 2015/2017