A week ago, I ordered a product online using Walmart’s web-to-store functionality. The web site indicated there were only five of these products left in inventory—so rather than rushing to a store that carried it, I figured I’d click “buy” and pick it up at my earliest convenience. It seems like a great service, right? Except, when I went to pick up the product, I was informed the order had been cancelled because it was out of stock and back-ordered.
I never got a message notifying me it was canceled.
The website still said there were products in stock.
And the chatbot I contacted when I returned home couldn’t tell me anything about my order.
My guess: Walmart has not yet optimized its digital experience management (DXM).
I know: we already have customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX). Do we really need one more buzzword surrounding experience in the digital space? Probably not, but we do need a solution to help companies manage omnichannel, real-time experiences more efficiently for customers. And right now, that comes in the form of DXM.
What Is Digital Experience Management?
The ‘digital’ is the easy part to understand. ‘Experience’ is every interaction a customer has with your company. How do they experience your brand? And ‘Management’ is how you monitor and keep track of everything so you know what messages to send and how to interact with your customers.
A digital experience management platform helps companies align their channels, manage their content, and keep their digital ducks in a row. As customers demand smoother, easier, faster omnichannel experiences, the question becomes: how can companies meet those demands? Heading into 2019, the number of channels—the amount of content—the types of technology available—it all continues to grow. And the smartest companies are moving toward a DXM to help keep their digital experience aligned and in check.
Why Does Digital Experience Management Matter?
In today’s crowded marketplace, brands are finding it more difficult to differentiate themselves from one another. When you have multiple players in multiple countries doing the same job well, you need to give customers another reason to choose you over them. Many brands today are working to find that differentiation in CX. In fact, experts believe that by 2020, CX will be even more important than price or product quality in differentiating one brand from another. Can you imagine? If it’s that important to customers, companies need to measure and manage it.
Think about all the ways your company interacts with customers. How do you keep track of who you’ve reached and when? Do you have a master spreadsheet someone where with names, contact information and where they are in the sales pipeline? Is it really a scalable process? This is why turning to a digital experience management platform can help.
What Can Digital Experience Management Do for You?
It used to be exciting when you could use Hootsuite to post on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn simultaneously. But today’s companies are dealing with far more than simple social media posts. They’re managing emails communication, website landing sites, checkout experiences, smart beacons, inventory, ad placement, and more. And they need all of it to work seamlessly together. DXM is the piece that can manage it all, including things like:
- Language translation
- Content management across social accounts and channels
- Gather customer, partner, influencer data
- Scale your CX seamlessly across states or continents
- Provide data, metrics, and analytics
- Provide insight into the customer journey
- Determine the ROI of your digital investments
In short, DXM helps you help customers “shop” rather than simply “buy.” It makes the entire shopping experience more memorable for them—and helps you know what’s working (or not) at the same time.
Tips to Get Started
In choosing a digital experience management platform, you’ll want to keep UX in mind. None of your employees will want to use your DXM if it’s too complex or difficult. Choose one with a central dashboard to make life easier. Ensure it’s flexible and can scale or change with your company’s needs. If you have overseas customers, ensure it can handle translation services. And of course, make sure it can sync omnichannel content easily, including inventory if products are part of your business model.
Trend or Table Stakes?
While the term “DXM” may not stay the course, the fact remains that companies need a simple way to manage omnichannel 24/7 customer experiences. The amount of data, personalization, and feedback is simply too large to manage on its own. This coming year, we’ll be seeing a number of improvements to DXMs, and we may eventually see them merge with other tech like edge computing or blockchain. As for now, DXM will remain a custom or aaS option companies can use to suit their specific needs. And in today’s market, who doesn’t need help with CX?
(Walmart, I hope you’re listening.)
The original version of this article was first published on Forbes.