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Multiexperience is ought to be another big thing in 2020. It takes rapid steps ahead and by 2023, it is already estimated to own the quarter of all markets. What should you learn about it?
When a smartphone was first launched back in 2008, it gradually seized over the market of user devices. Up to the point when, eight years later, it reached the point of saturation, and people became no longer interested in buying new gadgets. Now, the time came when the market should come up with something dramatically new – but don’t be misled thinking that it is a new product. At all not; this time all eyes are on the experience itself. And, as Gartner reports, multiexperience will determine user experience for future years to come.
Let’s first find out what multiexperience is. By definition, this is a concept created to embrace all experience you get from multiple platforms – be it good old ones, like mobile phones and laptops or just emerging ones, e.g. smartwatch – and ensuring a smooth transition across them.
Here, the challenge lies for companies in adapting this to an ever-growing number of new devices, which with each year is only added up. That’s why ideally, now, each market player should think, or build a plan, of how they will include new platforms into the interaction process with their users.
Multiexperience is all about keeping the consistency across multiple touchpoints. And even though this may sound similar to omnichannel, there’s still an important distinction between the two. While omnichannel is a part of multiexperience, it is still not focused on connecting new devices but rather ensuring a smooth transition on already existing ones.
A good example of it is an online streaming platform – while you can pause at a certain moment watching your series on a laptop, you can switch over to your smartphone and continue watching from the very same moment. As simple as that. But with multichannel everything lies deeper – you should ensure the inclusion of new devices into the network, and you should maintain your brand’s consistency and a smooth transition across them.
Why is it so important that every business should start thinking about it? First, these days it’s not uncommon that users have ownership of more than one device. On average, about 3.2 devices belong to each of us nowadays, which creates an additional opportunity for consumer reach.
Second, as Gartner outlined in the report “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2020”, just in three years’ time multiexperience will account for 25% of all user apps, be it mobile, web or conversational. This creates a tougher competition among companies and many others who don’t keep up increasing the risk of being left outside.
This year digital transformation is becoming the crucial mission of a brand. Coupled with the search of new channels, companies now should seek to convey their message in ways unexplored before. Technology progressed far ahead of where it was five years ago when smartphones and computers were the main links to the audience. Today, when augmented, virtual and mixed reality are becoming increasingly commonplace, that’s no longer the case.
Since the appearance of faster and more efficient 5G technology, multiple experiences can now be delivered with more ease. And with a multitude of channels and devices already existing in the space, companies will have to increasingly feel pressure for consumer’s attention. That is why Gartner named the year 2020 as the year of centering the technology around people, and not the other way around.
Another important change lies in a broad attitude towards technology. Organizations will no longer act as before when each of them was following technological trends and developing similar applications in accordance with them. Nowadays, the challenge will lie in focusing on product and brand and only then developing an application, choosing whatever channels are appropriate. This shift means that technology as such steps back on a second plan, while at the forefront stays the company with its services, resources, and ideas for innovation.
A similar shift will be triggered in people’s environment. Their development efforts will no longer be a main asset of the organization; rather, it will be technology having a high degree of intelligence which will define how the business will unfold.
All in all, companies will have to be adaptive to a new technological environment which requires the willingness to change and innovative approaches. Many new devices such as smart speakers, virtual and augmented reality, autonomous vehicles are a space for exploration for companies who should find a way to take advantage of the latest technological trends in the field.
The banking sector by itself provides a large, almost unexplored area for multiexperience. While some of the applications are already being exploited, such as mobile pay or automated chat-bot, the rest of them are yet to see the world. It also is important to note that any major discovery for multiexperience in banking will trigger the consequent change in the whole industry, making nearly all existing banks increase their spending on marketing, customer support and innovation.
To be successful in a new environment, it is important to have an advantage over other industry players. For a start, it can be considering as many devices as possible for reaching out to the target audience, let alone many of them will be prioritized differently.
For each device, there will have to be developed a separate communication plan, though brand consistency across channels should invariably remain continuous. For example, a communication plan on TV should be different from communication on mobile devices, nevertheless retaining the brand features consumers identify you best with.
While choosing between devices and communication channels, it is worthy to keep in mind the following: all of them have different exposure and frequency of use. Banks should store it in mind while building the communication strategy.
Below, we list devices that are a window into multiexperience dimension.
Smartphones. The most obvious and also most frequently used, smartphones nowadays became the core of all business activities, and in particular, those related to banking. While eliminating the need to go to a physical location, smartphone apps provide all handy features to ensure that you can manage your finance without leaving your house.
Computers. Still keeping leadership in audience reach, computers are larger in size and less mobile than smartphones. Keeping that in mind, many banks are adding more advanced features (e.g. creating a bank statement, applying for credit) for the desktop versions of their online banking.
Tablets. This is a middle ground between computers and smartphones. While keeping a screen bigger than that of mobile phones, they still lack a keyboard and processing power. Besides, many of them are deprived of stable internet connection and are nurtured on WiFi network. Marketers should take that into account while developing apps.
TVs. While traditional TVs are gradually stepping back, more and more space is gaining smart TV. This new type allows customized content and even has additional features like internet browsing. However, it is important to note that the viewers don’t like being interrupted while watching their favorite show. Therefore, agents should come up with a way to enhance the watching experience, not damage it. Perhaps, a small break between watching episodes may be the right time to step in?
Wearables. Relatively new but showing in exponential growth in popularity, wearables are gadgets whose main feature lies in interconnectivity. While being remotely bridged with apps on a smartphone, they are even more portable because they stay with the owner basically all the time (e.g. smartwatch). How can banks make use of them? Sending notifications and updating on the status of balance can be one option.
Smart speakers. Those gadgets are completely powered and controlled by voice – no physical buttons attached. Smart speakers are AI-powered solutions that provide immediate help with the use of just a few “hot” words. This may soon become a replacement for traditional customer support, and its use in banking is already under scrutiny.
API integration. This is a catchy term used to describe how a few devices can connect and transmit the data through a joint network. Nowadays, API can be used with respect to any device that is not connected to another device, making data sharing twist for mutual benefit. This way, for example, companies can connect to displays inside a car. Convenient, right?
While there are a variety of ways how companies can reach out to consumers, now it’s time when consumers are given a priority on deciding when it’s the right time to connect. It becomes easier having so many technical mediums disposable; that’s why the companies and brands should ensure the maximum connectivity, aka multiexperience. Even though it takes an effort and creates extra challenges linked with investment and development, eventually it will pay off – after all, that’s where the future has already paved its way.