Insights from Proteus
Research, Findings, Best Practices, and Humor
Fifty-one percent of U.S. shoppers now prefer to shop online. The majority of shoppers are not in your stores, but on your website. Determined to find what they need, or move on. How are you, as a business, meeting those online needs?
That convenience will keep them around. Lose it, and there are 100 other competitors waiting to take your place. Ecommerce is growing 23 percent each year. It accounted for $322 billion of sales in 2016. Are you listening?
It’s a no-brainer that you’re going to need power and purpose behind your web presence if you want to run with the big dogs. In fact, you probably need a whole digital transformation, or you’ll be leaving something on the table in the way of profit or influence.
And here’s another no-brainer you might not know about yet (we’ve become experts at it): asking your customers exactly what they want and need from you -- and then delivering it to them in your digital space. That’s what is going to ensure you get your piece of that big, fat ecommerce pie.
As you know if you read the last Proteus blog, we’re not talking simple web sites here. We’re talking about harnessing technology to drive high-value customer interactions -- now a strong indicator of business longevity.
Clever businesses are leveraging their websites to grow business through lead generation, intranets, extranets, online tools, workflow management, thought leadership, data gathering, custom databases, and highly-dynamic customer experiences online.
They’re developing what we’d call a data-backed interactive web portal, with high functionality for productive customer engagement -- a Proteus speciality.
In our decades of helping clients dramatically evolve in the digital age, we’ve gotten very clear on what our own clients want and need from our offerings, and we have a great way of transferring that hard-won knowledge to you without having to experience the stress of experimentation.
We’ve created a three-phase SmartInnovation™ process, designed to give you the same clarity AND a customized end-product that we enjoy in our own world.
I’ll cover the first phase of SmartInnovation™ in this blog. We call this phase Product Discovery. It’s not just a whiteboard exercise. It’s a deep dive into the process of new product innovation, drawing on modern software development and innovation principles, such as design school, Lean Startup, Customer Development Model, and Design Sprints.
At the heart of it all are conversations -- we sit down with your real-life customers and ask them what they want and need. Then we test early solutions directly with a sample group of them.
By the end of this phase, we have user-tested the best ideas, defined the end-product, and moved from functional diagrams to high-fidelity interactive screen shots of what it’s all going to look like, all while validating each iteration with your real-life customers.
And why should we bother talking to your customers? Don’t you know your own customers well enough by now to know what they need? Well, actually, we respectfully answer, “No way.” It’s been proven over and over that customer-led innovation drives product success. You honestly won’t know where the real sweet spot lies if you don’t ask. If the process sounds a bit disruptive or difficult to you, rest assured we keep it simple and based on true need and ROI.
So, the end-game here is discovering a web product that will deliver all the functionality your customers need to interact and engage with your business, plus all the data you need to stay competitive and active in the digital age. And ONLY THEN do we develop it.
If your web development is to beneift your customers, and therefore your business. A customer engagement portal is your tool for sucess.