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Editor’s Question: How have customers’ expectations changed within the last 18 months?

Editor’s Question: How have customers’ expectations changed within the last 18 months?

Covid-19 UpdatesInsightsTop Stories

Dave O’Flanagan, Chief Product Officer of Sitecore explains how customers’ expectations have sky-rocketed during the pandemic and how companies can meet these expectations.

Customer expectations are always evolving in real-time, but the pandemic really set things into high gear. In fact, according to an independent survey of over 3,000 consumers and marketers in Ireland and the UK that Sitecore commissioned earlier this year, sky-high expectations are the new normal.

Among the survey’s findings: 77% of UK consumers say they are savvier shoppers compared to a year ago, with many having placed first-ever online orders with grocers or high street retailers in the past year. These newly empowered consumers are also quite different: 71% say they now view buying as an experience. Most now expect brands to know their shopping history and provide a consistent experience online and offline, catering to them as unique individuals. In all, 85% want brands to reward them for their loyalty and over two-thirds say they are more willing to switch to new brands if they aren’t satisfied.

To meet these elevated expectations, it’s clear that enterprises must be set up to deliver great experiences to customers in real-time everywhere it matters, including across marketing, sales and service.

In a nutshell, that is why Sitecore is thriving after 20 years of growth. Sitecore is a global leader in digital experience delivery that is trusted by thousands of brands to power everything from content delivery to e-commerce and real-time customer insights.

At the onset of COVID-19, Sitecore customers like Acura and L’Oreal went from primarily being brands consumers experienced in person or through intermediaries to being digital-first by necessity as stores closed and sales channels disappeared. Others, like Deloitte Digital and Johns Hopkins, were suddenly thrust into new public health roles, ramping up content-led initiatives. In each case, Sitecore helped these organisations power deeper personalisation from content to commerce and experience-led growth.

To arm customers well into the future, earlier this year Sitecore announced a US$1.2 billion growth plan and commitment to deliver the first-ever truly integrated, SaaS-based digital experience platform. Sitecore’s acquisitions of Boxever, Moosend and Four51 are part of that vision, enabling us to provide enterprises a holistic view of every customer and tap into automation and AI to create a continuous experience that deepens loyalty across every touchpoint.

This expanded vision comes at a time of great industry need – and opportunity. Over 70% of marketers admit they relied on short-term fixes rather than permanent innovation over the past year, and over 74% say the first year of the pandemic was the most stressful of their career.

As enterprises plan investments with an eye toward modernising operations and empowering teams post-crisis, we believe there is no better partner than Sitecore.

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