In 2020 the world saw massive changes in consumer behavior due to the ongoing pandemic. Those changes were not an about-face, but an acceleration of existing trends in digitally-centric behavior that the health crisis only helped to amplify and push forward.

Within the first three months of the pandemic, ecommerce experienced ten years of growth in just ninety days, according to McKinsey & Company, while the global pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years, according to a study by IBM.

This explosion in new consumer behavior has changed customers’ expectations of brands and their interactions with them. A study by Experian reveals 60% of customers now have higher expectations of their digital experience than before COVID-19.

This change to behavior in 2020 has shown a large increase in digital interactions, as well as the growth of customer data across all channels and touchpoints. All that data has the potential to be used to affect the digital experience across the full customer journey, but only if brands adapt the right technology tools and processes to enable it.

In 2021 brands need to be more adaptive and assemble experiences more quickly to meet digital savvy customer’s evolving needs and expectations. In order to do that, marketers need to be able to focus on data-driven activities that will improve the efficacy and efficiency of their campaigns. But invariably, marketers are being pulled down by doing boring and mundane tasks like tagging, which inhibit their ability to focus on delivering value for the customer and business.

Several core technology platforms, from fully inclusive digital experience platforms (DXPs), to headless/hybrid content management systems (CMSs) and customer data platforms (CDPs), offer varying degrees of intelligent automation that can enable marketers to stop spending so much time on boring tasks and focus on work that has a measurable impact on the business.

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