The Future of Shopping: Retail Customer Experience Goes Mobile


Retail is dead, long live retail. In the next months customers will be in the mood to shop, even in those countries still struggling to overcome the consequences of a long economic and financial crisis. People want to spend, it’s just how and where they spend that is deeply changing.

The future of shopping gets caught between social and technological changes, and one thing looks clear: this is the end of retail customer experience as we know it.

Forecasts agree that - while undergoing a necessary evolution - the retail industry will generate a robust annual growth in 2015. As usual, the U.S. market will lead the way: the National Retail Federation projects retail industry sales to an increase of 4.1 percent; non-store sales, in addition, will show even better growth rates (between 7 and 10 percent just for 2015).

The rest of the world will follow, sooner or later. According to the 2015 Global Powers of Retailing, Embracing Innovation report from Deloitte, “the prosperity of the global retail sector in 2015 will very much depend on the economic stability of several of the largest economies”. China and the Eurozone have had a particularly tough 2014 but many indicators point to the likelihood of strong growth in 2015 and beyond.


This is the tough question: surrounded and shaken by new technologies, how will retail evolve? It is evident that in-store purchases won’t disappear anytime soon: despite the fact that online and mobile shopping keep growing every year at a faster pace, it’s still brick-and-mortar retail that dominates customer spending all over the world.

Smartphone penetration rates increase, E-Commerce firms spread and evolve, but people still love to walk and wander into a physical store. What makes it so special? Not the product itself, nor the price. When competitors with better prices and a broader range of products are just a click away, the retail customer experience becomes the key differentiator for brands.

It’s much more easy to click on a ‘buy’ button on a smartphone, and for traditional brick-and-mortars the only answer is to evolve into something less traditional. Whatever technology solution you implement, your only chance to survive is to offer truly amazing and unique in-store experiences.


Marketers seem well-aware of the importance of a great customer experience but, more often than not, what has been achieved in reality lags behind the goals which have been announced. Let’s get back to data: a recent report by Econsultancy and IBM shows a huge gap between brands’ intentions and customers' real perception:

  • 81% of consumer brands say they have a working holistic view of their customers;

  • Most customers don't feel understood by brands - only 37% say their favourite retailer understands them.

The reinvention of store starts from the need to blend analog and digital into a new, and most complete, experience. A handful of retailers have already tried a smooth transition from physical store to online and - finally - to a seamless omni-channel experience. They confirm something that Forrester has stated in a report entitled - not by coincidence - The Future of Shopping:

The retail industry is more complex than ever. Every year, startups release new technologies that promise to help customers shop more easily or aim to help retailers improve their businesses. At the same time, customers are changing. Digital natives are now sought-after shoppers with disposable income and retailers are nervous that these consumers are capricious and demanding, with unique expectations for products, customer service, and payments”.


Economic trends plus the evolution of disruptive technologies create a new powerful generation customer and force retailers to reinvent the store as an experience. The only way to attract, involve and delight the digital natives (the so-called millennials) is to bridge the physical experience of buying into a store and the online journey experienced across their mobile devices.

It could be useful, then, to make a list of the possible evolutions that will disrupt the retail industry in the years to come:

  • From brick to click to brick: the challenge of E-Commerce will force traditional retailers to think and act digital first, shaping a mobile friendly presence. They will rely strongly on social media for customer service, and on gamification for engagement management.

  • The brand new shopping: back from click to brick, retailers will build a new identity for the physical store, tearing down the four concrete walls and connecting with mobile devices. Starting with customer-facing apps, digital showrooms and advanced loyalty programs.

  • Self-directed purchasing: personalization is the keyword to understand how customers want to live the shopping experience. iBeacons, push notifications and the Internet of Things make the perfect companion for context-aware content. Loyalty will matter more than sales. Geo-fencing is the essence of proximity marketing.

The future of shopping will be shaped by technology but will ultimately depend on whether retail brands are able to understand the new rules of the Age of the Customer, embrace the challenge of digital transformation and finally deliver a better customer experience.

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As practical advice: if you want to connect with your customers 
in a whole new way discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to turn on smartphones like magic and deliver personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

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5 Reasons You Really Need a Mobile Friendly Website

April 21th, 2015: ready, set, go! Google is ready to launch the ill-famed mobile friendly update, the new algorithm that will change the destiny of all brands and businesses involved in the mobile space.

The so-called ‘Mobilegeddon’ will make it mandatory to optimize your online presence for mobile users. And if you’re not mobile-savvy, you will likely fall down and become untraceable for customers.

Google is the number one player in the search engine arena, with over 75% of all worldwide searches coming from the Big G box. Actually, you don't really need any other reason than this, to go mobile-first. The new algorithm will review the overall search engine indexing mechanism (starting from online searches) and will ultimately reward websites that are fully optimised for mobile with higher rankings in the results page.

It is widely accepted that 2015 will see mobile search reach the tipping point, that is the stage at which the majority of organic traffic and paid clicks will come from smartphones and tablets, finally surpassing desktop and laptop computers. Three statistics help us understand where both markets and customers are headed:

  • 80% users say the smartphone is their favorite device to search the Internet (Global Web Index);

  • 48% of all online searches now start from the search engines, making them the most common starting point for mobile research (Google Think Insights);

  • Tablet and iPad show a higher conversion rate and visit share than desktop computers, and even the smartphone (thanks to bigger screens) is rapidly bridging the gap (Monetate).

Add that 60% of all traffic for Google already comes from mobile devices, and you’ll understand why people at Mountain View is pressing for a change in the search rules. The final aim is to make search engine even more useful to people, whether they use their smartphone or their laptop (and soon their smartwatch). How? By training Googlebot to search like humans would do and reproduce their user experience.

To understand why the new algorithm is critical, you need to go back to the basic question of marketing for the Age of the Customer: "Who am I doing it for?". Are you building your mobile presence for mobile's sake, just because everybody is doing it? Or - way better - because you're well-aware that the customer today is the core of business? Just think about it: a mobile friendly website is just the level zero of a revolutionary new paradigm centered on customer-facing apps.

Semantic search has been around for a while now, and the future will bring a more restricting algorithm for companies that offer a faulty experience to mobile customers. The next steps are so evident they hurt: Google is outlawing non responsive design (or at least adaptive), text too small to read, links too close together to tap, and software that is not common on mobile devices (did you say Flash?).

As offline and online blend to create an omni-channel journey, the smartphone becomes integral part of the customer experience. Thereby, the only answer for all companies, even the small ones (mobile devices are the first tool to search for local business), is to adapt their online identity for the new era. Starting from the calling card, the website.

In a world where everything runs fast, customers hate to waste time and competitors are willing to fill all open holes. Just think about this: roughly 57% of all mobile users readily leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load; 30% will stop a transaction if E-Commerce shopping cart is not optimized for mobile devices. Obviously, this means that you will be hurting yourself if you don’t optimize for mobile-friendliness.

So, here’s why you should invest in mobile friendly optimization immediately:

  1. Be customer-centric: the first and most critical factor. If you offer a good customer experience across all devices, bots and crawlers will love you too;

  2. Get qualified traffic: people use mobile devices wherever they are, to look for product/service info. Conversion rates for mobile users are skyrocketing.

  3. Convert more leads: you can have the best products and unmissable deals, but if your page is not optimized for mobile and your call to action hard to find, you won’t convert easy leads.

  4. Improve ranking: there is no doubt at all that mobile is the future of search. Rankings will be increasingly determined by the mobile factor. If your site is not optimized, your ranking will suffer, and so will your brand quality perception.

  5. Shrink bounce rate: one of the key analytics metrics, bounce is the rate at which visitors leave your website. It mostly happens when the page is not optimized. When that happens, you are giving away customers to your competitors.

The new algorithm may not show its consequences immediately, but don't make the mistake of neglecting the mobile area of digital marketing. In the Google era, the naked truth can be summed up in one single sentence: if you disappear from search engine results pages, you will - more than likely - soon also disappear from customers’ mind. Do you really wish to face this unpleasant fate?

Mobile optimization is a major duty for companies aiming at connecting with people of the Age of the Customer. To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

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The Digital Customer Experience In The Age of Machine Learning


The Digital Revolution has forged historic change. When we engage with the Internet with our smartphone, tablet or wearable, we don't see its physical infrastructure nor the code that lets it function.

We interact with the “whatever branded content we like, by pressing the elevator buttons without having to know how it works.” No one person or organization is in charge of the changes sweeping the world.

In this historically unprecedented, ongoing event, “hundreds of millions of people” collectively create the Internet and its contents. And when it comes to brands, from this collective behavior the Digital Customer Experience takes shape.

According to most observers, as early as 2025, most of the world will be connected digitally. Connections will become faster, cheaper and more functional. Everyone will have access to digital tools. “Global connectivity” will challenge existing hierarchies, forcing institutions to adapt.

In this scenario, starting as early as of today, computers can now teach themselves, and machines’ capabilities are beginning to surpass human potential.

The Age of Machine Learning will present a wealth of opportunities but the change will be enormously disruptive.

Programming a computer to execute a task used to require writing code that told the machine in minute detail what to do at each step, and you couldn’t develop a machine to do something you didn’t know how to do yourself. But in 1956, IT engineer Arthur Samuel “taught” a computer to win at checkers by programming it to play against itself.

The computer mastered the game and even beat the Connecticut state-level checkers champion in 1962. This just happened decades before Deep Blue won over chess champion Garry Kasparov: Samuel had invented machine learning.

Today, Google’s search algorithm is a famous example of machine learning.

Amazon uses a machine-learning algorithm to identify consumers’ preferences in order to suggest new products.

Machine learning is evolving rapidly. In 2012, computer scientist Geoffrey Hinton and his team developed a “deep-learning” algorithm to discover new drugs.

Moving forward into it, deep learning mimics the way the human brain works. By feeding data to the algorithm and allowing it time to compute, it can continually improve. Amazingly, none of Hinton’s team members had expertise in the life sciences. Deep learning has enabled computers to teach themselves to listen, see, read and write.

Software developers have built a speech-recognition applications that can listen to a person speaking English and articulate a translation in Chinese in close to real time. They also developed image-recognition algorithms that can identify objects in pictures with a better success rate than most humans achieve.

Stanford programmers developed an algorithm whereby a computer can teach itself to write a text description of an image that the device has never before encountered. Each of these functions has approached or surpassed human capabilities.

In the Industrial Revolution there was social disruption, but once engines were used to generate power in all situations, things really settled down.

But in the Digital Revolution, the disruption is much more relevant because it might never settle down.

80% of employment in the developed world has already been disrupted by computers that have just learned how to do: the things that humans spend most of their time being paid to do.

If you are in this 80%, just hope your boss doesn’t realize it too soon, and use time wisely to move quickly from this risky position.

Machine learning and deep learning have exciting potential. For example, an algorithm to aid pathologists has found that the cells around a tumor are as critical as the tumor itself when reaching a diagnosis. One machine learning team developed a system to identify areas of cancerous tissue under a microscope. The system now can execute this task as accurately as a pathologist can. Such technology, still in its infancy, promises to transcend human potential.

Alas, a large proportion of the world’s jobs is in services that machines have already taught themselves to perform. The machine-learning revolution will instigate turmoil that will never abate, so we must keep on learning to prepare for the imminent social and economic upheaval.

In the context of DCX, Neosperience’s Right-Time Personalization module in example can now leverage the same technology used for years by Amazon’s internal data scientist community: services that use powerful algorithms to create machine learning models by finding patterns in your existing data. Then, machine learning uses these models to process new data and generate predictions for your application.

Another technology we are currently investigating within our R&D is IBM Watson. Big Blue’s analytics platform, the one that famously won a Jeopardy showdown. Initial outcomes show lots of potential for delivering analytics insights to a raft of different organization and industries.

Whatever the technology and the technological partner you choose, machine learning will boost digital customer experience so that virtual and physical civilizations will affect and shape each other; the balance they strike will come to define our world tomorrow. And I really mean it.

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If you want to ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to help brands engage with customers by delivering personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

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10 Inventions That Will Revolutionize Retail Customer Experience


The future is already here. It is just not evenly distributed.” This quote by the cyberspace guru writer William Gibson introduced one of the most intriguing panels of the 2015 SXSW - South by Southwest - schedule.

10 inventions that will revolutionize retail’ - behind this title lies the question so many entrepreneurs are afraid to ask: What does the future of retail hold? Technology disruption changes the rules of production and distribution, and brands need to evolve accordingly, if they want to survive the retail revolution.

The speech by David Roth, CEO of WPP The Store, and Jon Bird, Global Director at Y&R LabStore, is just the starting point for a wider consideration about the evolution of retail customer experience (a crucial topic that we have covered many times). If you look back at the past 50 years, what you see is that brick-and-mortars retail companies have basically followed the same rules over and over, with only slow and gradual changes.

For decades, advertising, product improvement, price and production efficiency have represented the core of all marketing strategies. Push communications and ‘powerless’ consumers were the two sides of the same business coin, and clients were called ‘target’ and clustered into generic and undefined categories. Today, the balance of forces has already changed, putting the customer on center stage and giving birth to the so-called Age of the Customer.

This trend is only destined to accelerate in the current era of rapid technological advancement, where Internet and mobile devices act as catalysts for a massive change in the retail industry. As the SXSW conference made evident, over the next 10 years there is going to be more change than in the last 50 years. Price and products are not enough to differentiate yourself from competitors in the new world that is taking shape, where objects will have the greatest impact on our shopping experience.


Shown below are the 10 tech inventions highlighted by the SXSW panel, and their main consequences on digital customer experience:


The idea of traditional store is meaningless in an world where physical and digital merge into a new level of experience influenced by virtual reality. The enduring success of the Oculus Rift and the launch of Microsoft HoloLens will open new possibilities for retailers: holostores, augmented reality, digital purchases. Neosperience Showroom is the perfect example of how to make your brand and products come alive in immersive 3D reality environments, to deliver powerful experiences.


One number says it all: mobile commerce is destined to rise to $62 billion dollars in the next five years. The Internet is already the primary source of information for customers in the decision process. It is also slowly becoming the first reference for purchases. 'Store' doesn't mean just brick-and-mortars anymore. Your online presence is crucial to offer personalized shopping experiences in an omni-channel retail view (mobile first, of course).


E-Commerce is putting traditional retail on a critical threshold: evolve or die. How can they answer back? Changing the very concept of location and updating the four concrete walls of a shop to the digital needs of empowered customers. The Internet of Things is the final frontier in connecting customers and brands, building engagement through personalization. Here's how to say goodbye to the old layout:

  • Smart Vending - connected and built to communicate with customers and other machines. A good case study is the Nespresso boutique in Barcelona, a big vending machine store.
  • Sentient Stores - the iBeacon technology is rapidly becoming the standard in traditional stores. Beacons enable you to engage customers with context-aware contents and personalized offers and notifications.
  • Intelligent Shelves - shelves won't be just places to display products. They will ultimately recognize the customer, connect and interact with mobile devices to understand his/her needs and wants in that exact moment.
  • Artificial Intelligence - the interconnection of objects, made smart by the Internet, brings the concept of 'artificial intelligence' back to attention. Futuristic designers see the advanced store as a sentient entity with a beating heart of chips, wires and bytes.


Since the globalization became the major force in Western economies, many insisted that the world has become flat. Actually, the only things going flat are products price and quality. In the Age of the Customer, needs and desires are all but flat: now that they can have whatever they want whenever they want it, customers look for personalized contents and products. Online and offline. That's why we are facing the era of Me-Commerce (even more true when we talk about millennials).


If your strategy can't be just centered around the traditional 4 P's of marketing, you need something different to build a distinct brand image and remain the focus of customer's attention. Success will shine out for entrepreneurs that will take a distinctly ‘outside the box’ path to innovation. Again, there is another 'P' you should always include in your strategy: personalization. A tailored shopping experience is the real brand differentiator, when customers demand compelling experience not just useful products.


All analysts agree that the use of Internet and mobile devices will change the way we buy things, and - even more important - the way we pay for products or services. Credit and debit cards will still be the standard in the coming years, but new technologies are at work to offer a more easy, fast and secure access to payments. The last stage of the customer journey is undergoing a fast development thanks to the NFC and the Apple Pay system, that will finally make the wearable revolution the real deal for investors.


Smart machines can communicate without human intervention. An ecosystem of smartphones, smartwatches, activity trackers, iBeacons, geo-fencing tools, virtual reality headsets (and so on) that creates data, gathered and ready to be used. Big data is the name of this amount of information about customers, production and sales: numbers that you must learn to scan and analyze to make better strategic decisions, improve the customer experience, reduce inefficiency and - ultimately - increase sales.

As a result of all innovation forces, the retail world is increasingly globalized, digitized, polarized and personalized. Too many retailers instinctively react to these challenges using the old easy way out to close under-performing stores, but the resolution is somewhere else: in the reinvention of the physical store and the adoption of those disruptive inventions that drive digital innovation and revolutionize retail as we know it.

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To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

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10 Industries Using Beacons To Improve Customer Experience


Retailers are the most excited by the avalanche of new opportunities made possible by the Beacons technology. Since Apple first introduced it in mid-2013, though, iBeacon has opened the door of disruption for many - and sometimes unexpected - industries.

Now that the Apple Watch is on the verge of finally making a debut in stores, the buzz is even higher. The two, in fact, make the perfect pair to help you improve customer experience. Let’s see what are the top 10 industries that iBeacons already disrupt - or will disrupt in the near future.

Just as the GPS changed so much how we experience the world around us, beacon technology - and Apple’s iBeacon above all - is destined to rebuild the way we experience places and stores. Add mobile devices to the equation and you will see why brands urgently need to shake up their engagement tools and rethink their digital customer experience from scratch.

Today, almost any app on your smartphone or tablet is able to monitor your location, but the GPS technology is only accurate to within a few hundred meters. iBeacons add to your armory the capability to estimate user’s proximity within feet of a location, allowing mobile apps to deliver contextual and personalized content based on different behavior patterns.

The emergence of the smartwatch and the new generation of activity trackers and wearables will only accelerate this process, improving the efficiency of proximity marketing and offering the ability to augment the way clients explore places and interact with shops and products. The use of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) increases iBeacon’s life and makes it able to communicate with nearby devices, outdoor and indoor.

Of course much of the focus has been on how iBeacon can benefit retailers and personalize the shopping experience, but this new - however not as new as you may think - technology will touch and disrupt many more industries. It is a complete game changer that could shape the future of markets and brands, like Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things and - potentially - the Apple Watch.

While companies compete to attract new clients and improve customer retention, here are 10 industries that already test and trial iBeacons.


Brick-and-mortars retail is undergoing its deepest change ever. It is the obvious industry for iBeacons in the local marketplace. Giants like Macy’s and Walmart are already taking advantage of technology to offer personalized content, location-based offers, call-to-actions, push notifications when customers are near or inside the store.


Technology is changing the way we do and - most of all - watch sports. In the U.S. many teams are testing new strategies to move people away from their comfortable couch and bring them to the sports arena. Major League Baseball is already implementing iBeacons to enhance the sports experience with in-depth information, gamification dynamics, indoor guidance and merchandising discounts.


How can you fight non-attendance at school? New generations are intransigent digital natives and demand new approaches. Technology encourages students to study and learn in new ways, talking their digital language. The iBeacon can foster improved relationships between students and teachers, allow them to communicate through messaging apps, alert parents when kids are not at school.


New apps are already coming to the stores to transform your iPhone into a smart personal assistant, able to respond instantly to your home environment. The iBeacon perfectly works indoor, and that means not only stores or stadium, but even your house. This is the level zero of the evolution of automation and domotics, that will show the power of the Internet of Things in full swing. To change the way we live.


When you organize an event - be it press conference, concert, ceremony or meeting - the key factor to succeed is the ability to engage attendees. The perfect examples is the last edition of SXSW festival, where the iBeacon technology was used to help people avoid lines and get more involved in the sessions. Real-time interaction and sponsored notification are just two examples of how to use it in the events management.


The hospitality industry usually moves with the times, to offer innovative and improved experiences to clients. Hotels are adopting new technologies not just to increase productivity but also to enhance brand image and avoid the negative effects of bad reviews online. The iBeacons can help them with: way finding, geofencing, check-in management and real-time customer service.


There's a lot of talk these days about the importance of a renewed health program, in the name of a more human service and improved efficiency. When budget cuts become the standard in political programs all around the world, technology can help in spending less to offer more: HealthKit and Health Platforms are the final frontier of this trend, but the iBeacon is already in trial to better the medical customer experience in many U.S. hospitals.


How will museums survive the digital disruption? They need to embrace the evolution and improve interactive content delivery and navigation. Some are already offering a contextual guide that automatically provides on smartphones more details about the art and the exhibition. Here are other benefits: room guidance, way finding, improved loyalty, branded content, social media integration and product discounts.


With the expansion of air routes and the decrease of flight prices, tourists now can go wherever they want. Municipalities feel the necessity to augment the experience and offer new ways to explore the city: mobility and iBeacons are the best engagement tool they can rely on, to put tourists in charge of their visit and enable them to access information about landmarks and key points of interests around the city.


Economic crisis is forcing financial institutions and banks to reinvent themselves to retain customer loyalty and avoid capital outflow. Accounts have become customers and service is now the key to create an amazing banking customer experience. From welcome messages to the integration of NFC and mobile payments, there are many ways to use iBeacons in retail banking.

These - and other - industries are more and more focused on how to find, attract and engage customers. We are still in the rollout phase and there is so much to explore and learn. One thing is for sure: with iBeacons, marketing is set change soon and fast!

As practical advice: if you want to connect with your customers 
in a whole new way discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to turn on smartphones like magic and deliver personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

Receive updates from Neosperience:

5 Key Customer Experience Questions To Ask Yourself in 2015


The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions.” (Claude Lévi-Strauss).

Since customer experience management is, to all intents and purposes, a science, asking questions becomes crucial to understand where and how you can improve your digital strategy. The evolution of markets unveils new opportunities, but also brings new doubts about what you do and what you should do. Here are few key customer experience questions to ask yourself in 2015, to ensure your organization is optimizing the experience of customers.

The path is clear: in the Age of the Customer, placing high value and attention on digital customer experience is more and more critical to business success and competitive status. Technology disruption is undermining from the foundations every certainty that brands have built through the decades. Thus, the willingness to call your strategy into question becomes necessary to fully embrace the digital transformation.

Too many companies still think that the only questions that really matter are the ones you ask to your customers. Sure, they’re critical to know how they perceive your brand and products; anyway, standard questionnaires are all but magic wands. When customer experience really drives success, the only way to foster engagement, loyalty and retention is asking yourself some critical questions about the actual journey you want to design and deliver.

What promise am I delivering?

Your brand is not only a product or service. It is a story, a vision and a promise. When you sell your products, you always sell yourself too. It's a powerful idea, yet not so many foresee the consequences. To build a winning promise, start from your identity and archetype, then build a coherent storytelling and narrate your story across all touch points. As a result, you will deliver your promise in the most compelling and enchanting possible way.

Am I evolving to meet expectations?

The mobile-mind shift has caused a deep change into the market balance: passive consumers have been replaced by empowered customers, demanding and always looking for amazing experiences. How can you be sure to keep pace with customers? Given that evolution is driven by technology, be sure to evolve with the times, considering disruptive devices for your engagement strategy. Innovative personalization is the keyword to meet expectations in this customer-centric moment in time.

Am I thinking omni-channel?

A digital-first approach is mandatory to connect with the new customer. To really take advantage of mobile technology, you need to shift from single and multi channel philosophy to an omni-channel customer experience. As the years pass by, digital and physical swiftly merge into a new reality, defined by multiple touch points - many of them outside company's control. ‘Omni-channel’, then, becomes a reflection of how our life is evolving. To adapt, focus your efforts on the creation of a seamless experience for your clients, wherever they are and whatever device they use.

Do I offer an innovative customer journey?

A sage once said that the journey - not the destination - is the real purpose of life. This is even more true for customers’ life: when they choose to connect with your brand, they’re looking not just for a product that answers their needs, but for a complete experience that involves emotional, social and technological aspects. To understand how to organize the sequence of touch points into a coherent journey, implement a customer journey map, a complete framework that shows the different stages that your customers go through when they interact with you.

Do I use data to make better decisions?

Mobile devices, proximity marketing and Big Data platforms allow you to gather information from multiple channels. Data that trace your clients’ habits, needs and wants, and that you can use to improve the overall customer journey. There’s only one risk: information becomes useless when it is not mined, scanned and readily accessed and shared in the organization. To avoid losing much of data strategic punch, you should rely on an analytics dashboard, that will help you make better business decisions.

Of course, there are many more questions you should ask to yourself. These may or may not surprise you. Either way, use them to take smart actions for success, starting right now. To say it with the German mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz:

There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.

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To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

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5 Online Retail Marketing Tips To Improve Customer Experience


The meaning of ‘customer experience’ has deeply changed in the last ten years. As in-store shopping goes down and E-Commerce spending steadily increases, the difference between offline and online retailers is destined to disappear. This will eventually present entrepreneurs the chance to make a crucial step into the digital era, taking advantage of mobile technologies to evolve for a new world. The improvement of retail customer experience passes through an efficient and innovative online retail marketing strategy.

Even though traditional brick-and-mortars and online retailers sometimes still make different entities for studies and researches, we all know that a comprehensive action plan is necessary to respond to the global competition, where your competitor will likely be not the traditional company next door, but the small online start up from China and rising markets. To make it short: in the mobile era, E-Commerce doesn’t mean just a website, as well as retail doesn’t mean just a store.

From 2015 on, you will be required to unify the digital and physical world into an omni-channel strategy, because your customers don’t live the shopping experience as just one single channel. Word-of-Mouth, suggestions and reviews still play an important role in the purchase decision path, but they are not confined into four concrete walls anymore. The result was already clear in Google’s 2013 ‘Mobile path to purchase report’: the smartphone is the most common starting point for product research.

If the smartphone is already the most popular device used to search the Internet, but equally, we can’t ignore the emergence of new - and potentially disruptive - devices like Smart Tv, smartwatch and smart wristband. They all contribute to the replacement of the old passive consumer with the new empowered customer. The Age of the Customer is an era of demanding and well-informed clients, where price and service are not the only qualities required in an innovative brand: experience becomes the key element to succeed.

The focus on digital customer experience is the reason why both retailers and e-retailers will increasingly need a multifaceted marketing plan, able to engage with clients at every touch point, in-store and in mobility. Here are 5 tips to implement your online retail marketing:

  1. Understand buyer’s journey - to really offer what they need when they need it, start by focusing on your potential customers’ decision chain, to analyze what’s most important to them. Use a customer journey map to realize how to exploit different technologies for different touch points (i.e. apps, iBeacons, push notifications).
  2. Become Google’s Friend: there’s no online strategy without Google. You may think that the Big G is just a search engine, but it doesn’t take much to see that Google is your biggest challenge - and best friend - in the online arena. Make sure to keep up with the rapidly changing services they offer, and analyze in real time what’s working and what’s not.
  3. Personalize the shopping experience - the connection between brands and people evolves with technology. To reach higher engagement levels and convert users into customers, you need to consider all touch points, including devices that were out of the map just few months ago (i.e. wearables). The perfect personalization blends together online and proximity marketing.
  4. Nurture your customer community - one time conversions should never be the final aim of your online marketing. Stats tell that loyalty is cheaper than acquisition: it costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. Brand community building, then, becomes priority. To enhance loyalty, use social media, innovative apps and widgets, and new immersive devices (i.e. virtual reality and the Oculus Rift).
  5. Test and experiment: truly innovation-oriented companies set aside a good percentage of their budget to try new tools and solutions. If you keep proposing the same formula over and over, you will probably miss opportunities that could seriously pay off. Mobile evolution is accomplished through Big Data analysis, test and trial. To say it with Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos: “If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you’re going to double your inventiveness”.

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As practical advice: if you want to connect with your customers in a whole new way discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to turn on smartphones like magic and deliver personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

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How To Use Virtual Reality To Augment Customer Experience


Now that Microsoft has unveiled the brand new Windows 10, there’s a huge buzz surrounding the operating system and, above all, its futuristic feature called Holographic. Of all the announcements Microsoft made during the event, in fact, the company's new virtual reality headset called HoloLens immediately dominated the news. Redmond's giant has officially entered the VR arena, and wants to redefine how companies augment customer experience.

Sci-fi dreamers and futuristic designers have always craved the ability to enter a new reality using technological appendices. These devices, acting as an extension and optimization for human limbs and senses, submerge the user into a parallel world in a 3D personal perspective. All you need to create an amazing experience is an head-mounted headset that blends head tracking and positional tracking using high resolution displays and speed wireless connection.

The Oculus Rift, developed by Oculus VR through Kickstarter crowdfunding, has become the main player in this race to virtual reality. Small and big competitors, though, have promptly entered the game. Samsung is pushing with firm belief - and big budgets - the Gear VR and Google is developing the secret Magic Leap project - a mix between the Rift, Google Glass and the Added Reality Interface (well known to videogame players).

Holographic and HoloLens have all the qualities needed to become the promising Microsoft products that was expected for years. They bring a pretty neat concept, and from day one are already showing a big potential. Via a wire-free headset and virtually implemented environment, users should be able to do all sorts of things, from playing an augmented version of Minecraft in the living room to visiting Mars (thanks to the collaboration between Microsoft and the NASA).

You can easily foresee the consequences of this evolution on digital customer experience. Augmented reality is already playing a vital role in how companies are changing their marketing and engagement strategies. Together with Big Data and the Internet of Things, virtual reality can be the real deal for innovative companies investing in technology. Creating an immersive new level of reality could be the next step in a path full of opportunities.

There are at least three innovative ways to take advantage of virtual reality in DCX, from supporting the customer journey to changing the expected interactions with physical environment.

  • Support the Purchase: be it physical products or digital ones, virtual reality - together with wearables and mobile payments - might shape a major revolutions in purchasing. Disruptive technologies change retail customer experience, and the way we buy won't be the same again. Personalized experiences will be more and more relevant, even more in if you are a retail, fashion or luxury business.
  • Engage Customers: combining branded physical and digital assets, organizations will be able to engage with customers online and at the point of sale more effectively. Virtual reality headsets are perfect to implement gamification mechanics in your content marketing strategy. Loyalty runs hand-in-hand with innovative experiences memorable for your customer (it's not by coincidence that Microsoft is already adapting HoloLens to work with Minecraft).
  • Enhance Experience: stats say that the experience is considered more important than price and product when it comes to the purchase decision. VR is the perfect match for proximity marketing tactics and in-store augmentation. Offering an immersive 3D visual experience is a necessary part of the store improvement, a process that involves the merging of digital and physical environments.

Microsoft HoloLens, just like the Oculus Rift, can be already considered one of the most exciting devices around. Both are enticing; both offer sensational experiences; and both need to overcome new challanges when it comes to thinking through exactly how to use them for your marketing and strategic purposes. But the promise is great: controlling multiple screens and objects, like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, is much closer than you think.

In the Age of the Customer, if you aim at relevance, you need to involve your clients into an omni-channel sensory experience, and VR is just another an ingredient that catalyses the engagement of your customer. To build a strategic advantage to your organization, download the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

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Top 3 Tech Innovations To Improve Digital Customer Experience in 2015


Evolution driven by disruptive technologies is, by its very nature, unpredictable. In the last decade we have faced the birth of tech innovations that have deeply changed the way customers connect with brands and products. Customer experience is the key to reshape your business and rebuild engagement strategies. As we prepare to say goodbye to 2014, one crucial question crosses our mind: What will the next years hold for business? How will technology innovations help you improve digital customer experience?

When you face an economical scenario in constant change, being on top of things is the key factor to succeed. There are forces at work before our eyes - even when you don't see them - and they are destined to change markets forever. You can’t rely on traditional marketing tactics and funnels if you want to create an amazing digital customer experience: the way to go to stay relevant in the mind of your clients.

These are the main trends that will accelerate from 2015 onward:

  • The merging of digital and physical, that will ultimately give birth to a new hybrid reality;

  • The mobile mind shift, that makes experience - not price - the main reason why clients choose or drop a brand;

  • The transition from the passive consumer to the empowered customer - what we call the Age of the Customer.

Within this world in perpetual digital evolution, it is hard to foresee what is going to happen. But it is still possible to study early adopters' experiences and the work done by analysts and research labs around the world, to see clues of what the future holds for us. Here’s a brief look into three technology innovations ready to create an impact on how we deliver customer experiences.

  1. Internet of Things: 2014 was the year I-o-T has become a main trend, 2015 will be the year the interconnection between devices will start delivering special experiences. The automation made possible by the Internet of Things and the so called ‘mobile-everything’ will change the way people experience brands and products digitally and at the point of sale. Your engagement and loyalty strategies need to evolve accordingly, or you will lose ground.

  2. Wearable Tech: smartwatches, activity trackers, virtual reality headsets, smart glasses. For the past year the main implementation of the wearable revolution has been for very simple tasks, mainly related to fitness blended with gamification. In 2015 the topic will get more serious and wearables - connected with Big Data analysis systems - will really take customer experience to a new and somewhat unpredictable level. At the forefront of this evolution we will find HealthKit and health related applications.

  3. Data Analytics: as mobile markets grow and go beyond the smartphone, companies will be able to gather a huge amount of information about competitors and customers. In the era of Big Data, to reach a better knowledge and plan efficient strategies you will need to make sense of numbers and statistics. How? Implementing an integrated analytics platform, to extract reliable actions from data and look for new ways to meet customer needs.

In 2015 disruptive technologies will produce a profound impact on your business, but it is not the ultimate device itself that will determine the success of your strategy. It is how you use it that ultimately decides if your company will win the race to digital innovation. In example to enhance your strategy, effectively blending new technologies, discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to turn on smartphones like magic and deliver personalized experiences to your customers close to, or inside the store.

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iOS 8, the next major version of Apple's mobile operating system, was unveiled yesterday at the company's WWDC 2014 keynote. It refines the new look of iOS 7, but, more importantly, it delivers new features that will have a profound impact on the digital customer experience that you can deliver to your customers through customer-facing apps.

Among the most notable features and technologies that can help your organization engage with your customers more effectively:

  • iOS 8 Notifications will be customizable and actionable, allowing your customer to instantly respond to a notification with embedded controls. By pulling down on a notification banner in iOS 8, they will get an extended interface with a text field to quickly reply to a message, such as a promotion when they are close to the point of sale. Interactive notifications are also available on the Lock screen and digital customer experience apps will be able to deliver them more effectively than ever.
  • A big feature of OS X Yosemite, also presented, and iOS 8, is Continuity. It isn't a new app but rather a set of tools that will help customers achieve a consistent and continuous experience when using multiple devices and switching from an iOS device to a Mac and vice versa.
    Imagine the possibilities: your customer can start browsing your products on your iPhone and pick up where she left off when she sits down at her Mac. Or browse the web on her Mac and continue from the same link on her iPad, to receive a notification when she is close to your point of sale.
  • With HealthKit, a new developer technology, third-party apps will access each other's health and fitness data. With HomeKit the iPhone becomes pivotal to the connected home, offering a common network protocol to let apps control locks, lights, cameras, plugs, switches.
  • Coming to the App Store, now counting over 1.2 million apps, iOS 8 brings important changes aimed at enhancing app discoverability, search, marketing strategies, and purchase mechanisms, including the possibility to embed short videos to advertise your app more effectively.

Can’t wait to see Neosperience Summer ’14 integrating these gorgeous features for our clients!

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