Industry snapshot: Muhammad Waqar Haider, Impact Proximity

Muhammad Waqar Haider, head of technology, Impact Proximity.

The most impactful trends that emerged in 2021 were interrelated and interdependent, reflecting the interconnected worlds of digital engagement & physical fulfilment. While many of these trends began during 2020, they were accelerated in 2021 with an increased focus on digital/real-world customer journeys.

Customers have set their expectations of a digitally-driven world, which will only grow and evolve as they look for experiences that make their lives easy every day. Gone are the days when customers measured and compared a brand’s digital experience to those of its competitors. Today, everyone is a direct competitor in the experience economy.

It has therefore become important to have a design approach that is human-centric and is powered through
always-on optimization. Designers today have progressed immensely in their understanding of human needs and their ability to design effective digital experiences to meet those needs. But for many companies, this work seems to stop as soon as their brand new digital experience is released. Human attitude can be highly volatile, so the process doesn’t end there.

As we know by now, human behaviours are triggered by attitudes. This means that often a digital platform is designed based on the behaviours of users at a specific point in time – behaviours that can change. There are multiple activities that should be part of an always-on operational model to rapidly validate how a digital experience on website or mobile app is serving the in-the-wild behaviours of its users.

On the technology front, no-code tools and headless CMS have been gaining momentum in recent years, making quite an impact on developers by allowing development teams to ship out digital products quicker.

Looking ahead to 2022, we will continue to see significant investment in design thinking, CX platforms and programs to support customers throughout the entire journey. Personalization will continue to be used as a differentiator but will eventually stop being an experiment and become a crucial axis of digital strategies. Further, improvements to CX through mobile, social, and other non-traditional channels will be front and centre as omnichannel approaches mature.