First impressions are said to be the most lasting. In a digital world, they often begin when a consumer lands on a company’s website. And if that experience is superb, it can lead to a multitude of subsequent, long-lasting engagements.
Here are a handful of brands we think are providing stellar customer-first, surprise-and-delight, personalized web experiences.
1. T-Mobile: Customer-First
T-Mobile’s customer-first approach is evident right on its home page, where it has dedicated a portion of that precious real estate with an interactive game similar in concept to the ’80s classic Nintendo Super Mario Bros. (Disclaimer: Once you start playing, it’s hard to stop.)
Though a simple gesture, the game is very much on par with T-Mobile’s overall positioning as the “uncarrier,” in that it places customers first, ahead of the company's needs.
“For me, experience is the leading metric,” said Nick Drake, T-Mobile’s EVP of marketing and experience, in a previous interview with CMO.com. “I think everything else we’ve traditionally cared about, particularly in the industrial area, and profit and loss, is precipitated by how your customers feel about their interactions with your company. So if you make that your primary metric, I think everything else falls into place. And so our company has centered everything that it does around the customer experience.”
2. Diane Von Furstenberg: Mobile-First Design
DVF.com has an elegant mobile design, that’s for sure. But the brand’s recent AI test to convert smartphone shoppers is the reason we’ve including it in this round-up.
According to the company, DVF.com currently sees 50% of its site traffic coming from mobile devices. “Mobile is where we continue to see traffic growth, but in terms of revenue versus desktop, it’s not equal. Fifty percent of our traffic is nowhere near half of our revenue," stated Felipe Araujo, head of e-commerce at Diane von Furstenberg, in a press release.
The brand is seeing how AI can close the gap between mobile visits and conversion. So while two smartphone visitors will start out seeing the same experience, as they continue to browse the site, they will receive real-time, individualized experiences based on their actions and predicted tastes. DVF hopes this type of personalization will help overcome the limitations of a smaller screen and drive higher conversion.
3. Lowe’s: Transformational
The Lowe’s Virtual Room Designer feature on the home improvement retailer’s website lets users reinvent various room in their homes, from top to bottom, online. The level of detail the tool allows for is simply unprecedented. Users can start from scratch with their own measurements of a space, or they can use one a provided template. From there they can create as many variations of their living spaces as they want, trying out new colors, finishes, and materials.
Here’s the cool part: Users can also browse through Lowe’s products—say, a light fixture, rug, or kitchen cabinetry—and drop them right into their virtual rooms. The technology also calculates the cost of the materials.
4. DSW: Social-Infused
Brian Seewald, VP of digital at DSW, told CMO.com in a previous interview, “When you think about shopping online, a picture can say 1,000 words. Pictures are the new ratings and reviews.”
The company recently added user-generated content to its product pages so that, in addition to the usual product information, ratings, and reviews, shoppers also can see how a specific product looks on a real person.
5. Red Bull: Content
Red Bull’s home page resembles more of a content hub than a corporate website. The site is covered in large, colorful, eye-catching photos, supported by content that speaks to inspiration and adventures in the great outdoors. Visitors won’t find a sales pitch, product information, or any other type of company-centric information, either—just tons of stories, video, and images ... all brought to you by Red Bull, of course.