2024 Digital Customer Experience Trends: AI’s Rising Impact
- Generative AI impact. Generative AI will significantly influence digital customer experience trends, integrating into DXP and CMS platforms for enhanced productivity.
- Marketing autonomy. AI-driven low-code/no-code solutions will empower marketers, offering greater autonomy and sophisticated digital strategies.
- Headless innovation. Emphasis on headless CMS and composable architecture will continue, driving flexible, agile digital customer experiences.
In 2024, digital customer experience continues to be a key area for brands, offering opportunities for market differentiation and competitive advantage through immersive and creative customer interactions.
In this post, I’m going to look at five digital customer experience trends that we will see in 2024 that will impact digital marketing and web teams responsible for websites, apps and other customer-facing experiences.
Let’s dive right in.
Trend No. 1: DCX Teams Will Start to Feel the Influence of Generative AI
During 2023, it was hard to get away from generative AI. It has provoked huge amounts of debate, stolen the headlines, and millions of us have used ChatGPT. If you’re already weary of generative AI, prepare for it to become even more pervasive in 2024.
It seems highly likely that DCX teams will feel the influence of generative AI. It’s going to start being increasingly assimilated into DXP and CMS platforms like Sitecore. It will be integrated more and more into digital customer experiences in everything from chatbots to search to intelligent suggestions for products. Sometimes we probably won’t even know it’s being used; for example, for smarter marketing automation. And of course, content contributors will use it to help generate their articles and images and boost productivity.
While the incorporation of generative AI into many of our DCX processes and actual experiences will be positive and ensure we are more productive, there are certainly risks to manage. The potential disruption that generative AI causes won’t be to everyone’s taste. What I think we can safely predict is that we will all start to see and feel generative AI making its way into our day-to-day work.
Related Article: Real Talk With AI and Digital Customer Experience Management
Trend No. 2: AI Will Accelerate Low-Code/No-Code Solutions to Give More Autonomy to Marketers
Low-code/no-code has been one of those digital customer experience mega-trends that’s been happening happily in the background for a number of years. However, more recently, there has been more deliberateness from vendors to bring additional power and autonomy to business users and digital marketers so they are less reliant on their IT colleagues. Marketers are now able to configure more designs, make connectors work to integrate solutions and enable personalization and automation; all without development resources, which would have not been possible before.
AI has the potential to accelerate more low-code/no-code solutions with even more sophisticated outcomes, meaning marketing teams will be able to achieve even more without the help of developers. They will often just use natural language prompts. It might take some time to build momentum, but eventually generative AI could mean we start to see features that resemble low-code/no-code on steroids.
Related Article: How Does the Physical Customer Experience Impact the Digital CX?
Trend No. 3: Composability and Headless Are on the Menu Again
In the past two years, DXP and CMS providers have focused on their ability to support both headless publishing and composable architecture. Why? Digital customer experience, they say, is shifting away from using traditional monolithic platforms toward a more iterative, flexible and agile approach. This trend has been happening across different parts of the industry, from leading players like Sitecore and Optimizely to open-source platforms like Umbraco.
To date, the move to headless and composability has meant that DXP and CMS providers have:
- Ensured more of their services are available as independent SaaS-based services.
- Released APIs and connectors that support headless and composable scenarios.
- Invested in experiences that help to coordinate and connect platforms together, with an emphasis on low-code/no-code if possible.
- Spent their marketing budget on messaging and support relating to composable DXPs and headless publishing.
- Ensured that SaaS-based services have the latest updates compared to PaaS equivalents, although not all providers are taking this approach.
In 2024, I can’t see this emphasis really changing much, with vendors continuing to stress both headless and composability. This is partly because there are still many digital marketing teams that prefer to stick with a more traditional approach that doesn’t decouple the front-end experience and back-end CMS.
Despite the marketing onslaught across the sector, I’m not convinced all marketing teams will want to go down the headless or composable route unless they have no choice. It will be interesting to see how things pan out through the year.
Related Article: 4 Ways to Boost CX With an Outstanding Digital Content Strategy
Trend No. 4: We’re Going to See More Projects Greenlighted
In the past few months, there’s been caution committing to large digital projects within some organizations. There’s a mixture of reasons for this, including some continuing pessimism about the economy and CFOs keeping a tight rein on spending. Others are taking a “wait and see” attitude before spending, in particular to see how generative AI evolves.
However, in 2024, we’re going to see a potential bounce-back with more significant digital customer experience projects getting the go-ahead. Some stability and confidence may be returning to the economic climate, while generative AI is starting to be rolled out into products.
Meanwhile, CMS and DXP vendors now have better support for headless and composable architecture in place. Let’s hope more projects get greenlighted, and we see some great examples of digital customer experience throughout the year.
Trend No. 5: The Metaverse Might Make a Revival
In terms of feverish media attention, generative AI trumped the metaverse in 2023; moreover, any of the coverage the metaverse did receive tended to be couched in somewhat negative terms. Example: focusing on Meta’s troubled evolution of its own metaverse concept.
But it would be a mistake to think that there isn’t interest in the metaverse from businesses. In fact, responses from CMSWire’s State of Digital Customer Experience annual survey suggest that 43% of organizations are keeping an eye on the metaverse, and 11% are actively exploring the potential for monetization. Collectively these figures are slightly up on the previous year. So not only has interest in the Metaverse remained, but it might even see a revival in 2024.
First, the metaverse concept is increasingly being used to cover any developments within virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality fields. Advances are certainly being made; for example, Apple’s game-changing Vision Pro headset.
Second, generative AI could also prove to be a shot in the arm for the metaverse with the ability to generate immersive content and even whole worlds far more quickly, significantly reducing costs and the barriers to entry. I wonder if this means the metaverse is due for a “revival” in 2024, although perhaps it never really went away.
Planning for 2024
Digital customer experience trends like generative AI and headless publishing have the potential to change the way digital marketing teams work. Together with changes in technology, it’s worth keeping some of these trends in mind when planning out your priorities and projects for the coming year.
Here’s to an exciting and successful 2024!
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