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How to Make Your Web Solution Rock: 7 Areas to Check

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Everything Gone Digital

Today, we observe how entire industries are being disrupted by new digital technologies that transform work and lifestyles around the globe. As this digital transformation has just started, companies should prepare for the upcoming decades of new business models that will deliver significant cost savings and unleash revenue potential.

Digital value-added activities have become of top for many organizations globally, and particularly in Germany. On March 14, a new digital strategy for Germany was introduced by the German government in Hanover at CeBIT, a global event for digital business. It identifies suggested core action until 2025 - the digital revolution is here to stay!

The Age of Customer Experience

So what are the key drivers of digital transformation? According to Forrester Research, it is a great and consistent customer experience that is at the heart of this process. In the age of the customer, positive CX will help companies improve customer retention, satisfaction, and therefore increase cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. 

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89

of companies expect to compete mainly on customer experience in 2016

Digital technologies transform customer relationships with brands and products like never before. Overloaded by the volume of information, customers expect to receive the content that is relevant, properly formatted, and delivered through the device of their choice.

Ultimately, online experience creates the critical impact of customer experience, making the delivery of online and cross-channel customer experiences the top strategic priority for businesses in ensuing years.

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60

of customers want more personalized and consistent communication across all channels

63

companies that plan to improve online experience of their customers

Latest Trends in Online Customer Experience

It is the huge number of new trends and changes that drives the evolution of online customer experience today and will define it over the following years.

Growing adoption of mobile internet

The global domination of smartphones and other mobile devices is now followed by the constantly growing popularity of mobile applications. According to Global Internet Report by Internet Society, almost 50% of the World's population has access to mobile Internet, and it is estimated that this number will grow to more than 70% by 2019.

Mobile internet penetration is
expected to reach

70.8%

in 2017
in Germany

However, there’s still a significant gap between the availability of mobile internet and its adoption. The reason behind this is the lack of relevant content presented on mobile devices with the help of responsive/adaptive methods that could encourage higher user engagement and faster adoption. 

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70

of buyers use smartphones for online research before buying

Device diversity challenge

Another big challenge that arises in the digital world is the diversity of devices. Global technology companies continue to compete against each other, year-to-year introducing new devices and new versions of platforms. 

Such diversity has created a good choice for end users, but also has put additional challenges and cost pressures on businesses that go digital, as they need to develop separate custom web solutions for every device and platform or cross-platform application. 

Security issues

According to multiple studies, most of the businesses that experienced online security attacks were attacked via web applications.

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86

of web applications have issues involving authentication, access control, and confidentiality

Considering how many enterprises use cloud web applications to work with customer sensitive and private data, it becomes clear that security issues seriously affect the online customer experience. It’s simple, if customers expect that the solution is likely to fail, they will just choose another one, and businesses will start losing revenues.

Marketing trends

With the ever-changing marketing trends, like shifting communications into digital channels, many companies encounter other big challenges attributed to the online customer experience.

It is estimated that
there will be about

2.55B

of social media
users by 2018

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Online collaboration

More and more companies started to realize the value of enterprise collaboration and teamwork. This need has evolved into the popularity of smart social business platforms that serve as primary collaboration tools for both internal and external users.

90%

of brands are using two or more social channels today to communicate with their customers.

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SuperPersonalization

Managing the ‘Big Data’ in the correct way is a key challenge for most companies that are willing to build a 360-degree view of their customers. Successful companies accumulate and use this data to track and analyze customer behavior and preferences. This helps to deliver targeted personalized messages and improve overall CX.

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Interactivity

Today, it’s the customer who chooses when, where, and how to interact with the brand. Functionality is not enough. People don’t want to waste their time on complicated applications that are very hard to understand. Engaging and intuitive interfaces will help companies to win more customers in the future.

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Search results

For most businesses, good SERP positions remain the primary method for attracting new customers. As search algorithms evolve at lightning speed, companies should demonstrate the flexibility of their online corporate solutions in order to adapt to these changes.

20%

This is an approximate number of new new search queries that Google observes daily. More than a half of these searches come from mobile devices.

ENTERPRISE INTEGRATIONS

Today’s enterprise applications’ infrastructure is becoming more and more diverse. Businesses use multiple applications like CRM, ERP, BI, etc. to automate internal processes and find out customers’ insights. Business leaders are giving preferences to solutions with rich integration capabilities that would be able to seamlessly connect with the enterprise’s existing IT infrastructure.

The New Era of Enterprise Web Applications

Considering rapid digitalization and ever-evolving online customer experience, there are several major trends that will shape web development objectives in the next few years.

THE PRICE OF UNRESPONSIVE DESIGN

In 2015 Google launched their mobile update, which boosted the ranking of the mobile-friendly pages in mobile search results. Since then, a responsive/adaptive design has become the top priority for many businesses and web developers. The use of responsive layout is the easiest and the most cost-effective way to ensure compatibility across many devices, which today is rather a necessity than a desire.

Also, with a wide variety of connected smart devices, like Smart TVs, wearables, and other gadgets, responsive design goes beyond simple “mobile-friendliness”.

Modern front-end technologies for more powerful web applications

Technologies like Liferay, which was very popular for the past years, are no longer a good fit for modern front-end solutions. More and more companies are now updating their websites, using the latest web development frameworks like AngularJS, Cordova/PhoneGap/Ionic, BackboneJS, React, etc. These technologies deliver a number of benefits for both developers and businesses, and enable reducing development costs and shortening time-to-market.

According to the latest Google Trends data, the popularity of AngularJS continues to rock the front-end tech stack

Increased hybrid app adoption

By creating a cross-platform hybrid app that will work equally well on all devices and platforms, companies can benefit from reaching a larger audience of users. Such applications are built in WebView, based on cross-compatible web technologies – HTML, JavaScript, or CSS – and wrapped inside a native shell using such platforms as Apache Cordova. Increased adoption of hybrid applications enables businesses to cut development costs and create apps faster.

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85

of users prefer using mobile apps to mobile websites

Need for speed

Responsive design is important for the website layout and the interface, but what’s more important for mobile users is the app speed. Research shows that if your application fails, 48% of users will not use it again, and 34% will just switch to a competitor. Numbers never lie, so if a company plans to survive and succeed in the digital age, it should jump into the mobile market. 

Architecture solutions

The use of such web framework for back-end development as Spring, vert.ex, and Hibernate empowers developers to integrate more complex features, and build applications faster while reducing the costs. Software architectural patterns for implementing user interfaces on computers are used to build powerful, highly scalable, and fast applications that run on cloud environments. Using the MVC architecture allows isolating the application’s data from how the data is actually processed by the application’s business logic layer, allowing for quicker, more controlled development.  

Another trendy pattern is a Microservices architecture that consists of a number of independently deployable services, where each service runs a unique process and communicates through a pre-defined lightweight mechanism to serve a business goal.  A core benefit of this architectural pattern is that if there’s a need to scale a specific app’s features, you don’t have to scale the entire application, as it’s broken down into multiple independent components. This approach enables organizations to build complex enterprise collaboration solutions fast, using already existing software components.

Security is a focus

Over the past year, web applications’ functionality has significantly evolved, offering more new and exciting opportunities for modern businesses. Unfortunately, less attention has been paid to the security of online applications, which unleashed a wave of cyber-attacks. Considering a number of known vulnerabilities within all modern web applications and the importance of stored data, businesses should revise security issues and start investing in security as much as they do in web development.

Continuous integration – DevOps

The rapidly changing digital environment requires to innovate, adapt, and transform rapidly. The growing adoption of Agile software development models enables companies to better organize the work of task teams and deliver product updates automatically, without the need to install or update any software. At the heart of these models is the ability to implement changes more quickly and in the correct way, creating an environment for releasing more reliable applications more frequently. Continuous integration (CI) and DevOps models enable the integration of development and operation teams and remove disconnects in the development process.

Rethink Your Status Quo in the Digital Era

As the digital world evolves, old solutions and web development methodologies will not be able to meet the needs of modern business. The growing number of requirements toward the functionality of applications creates certain challenges for web developers.
Development tools themselves evolve as well. The key task for modern businesses, that are willing to meet the challenges of the Digital Era, is to reinvent their existing applications. Contact K&C to get full support in your next web project.

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