Dominating the digital experience

March 31, 2020
Customers write the rules.

By Andrew Walker, CEO of Shift7 Digital

The world has gone digital.

And in addition to the need for manufacturers to adopt digital practices in the actual fabrication of products, they must also maximize their digital footprint across the user experience to properly connect with current and prospective customers in seamless, meaningful ways.

Shift7 Digital's Andrew Walker

Manufacturers must understand the nuances and opportunities in the digital space, including transitioning to a more customer-centric approach to doing business. Here are five tips for digital engagement in the modern manufacturing world:

Online experience is everything…and means everything: If your website isn’t generating leads, chances are your user experience is subpar, and that spells trouble with the expanding demands of buyers. Brands must continue to think through how customers are discovering their products, their website interface, and the sequence of actions customers take as they navigate the site and the impressions they take away from the experience—everything from beginning to end.

Product organization is king: Deeper into the user experience, if a website’s products aren’t organized in an intuitive, easy-to-use way, buyers will take their business elsewhere. Those making purchasing decisions must be able to find what they’re looking for within seconds of visiting a website.

Customers write the rules: Today, customers expect consistently high-value digital experiences. It’s no longer just about the product—they want meaningful relationships with brands. Customers hold the power in where, how and if they want to engage with a business. Acknowledge your customers as the decision-makers they are for your business and make sure your approach—from the manufacturing process to the wider digital footprint—matches their needs.

A positive purchasing experience is essential: In order for customers to know you, understand who you are, and take action, you must have the ability to transact. This can happen on your site, a third-party site, a marketplace, a dealer or a distributor partnership. The critical purchase moment will come and go if you don't have the capability to exactly meet your customers’ needs.

Know the ROI: As with all business decisions, investments in digital can’t be made without knowing how they will service the business. Set up measurements and analytics tools to be sure that your investment in digital is hitting its KPIs and working to drive traffic for the brand.

There are a number of ways to win in the digital space, but it all comes back to what your customer expects and your ability to deliver.

The key to dominating your digital approach? A properly structured network. Get out Technology Report on industrial networks here.