Liferay DXP 7.1 – Liferay Releases New Products To Help Your Enterprise

This is an exciting time for Veriday and its customers. Having been a Liferay Partner for over ten years, we are excited to see the progression of growth of Liferay’s world-class products. Last week, Liferay announced the launch of new Digital Experience products to support the complete customer journey, an upgraded Digital Experience Platform 7.1 and two new products, Commerce and Analytics Cloud.

The latest version of Liferay DXP coupled with the Analytics Cloud and Commerce products gives enterprises a new way to engage customers that includes a B2C-like purchasing journey but for B2B customers that is fully integrated. You can read the full press release or we’ve summarized it nicely below. 

Liferay DXP 7.1

 

Flexible Solution Building Software.

 

Why Liferay DXP
Regardless of what challenge an enterprise is facing, there tailored solutions that fit your business. Even if there are already existing technologies being used, Liferay integrates with everything so you are not locked into buying software with one vendor. Through Liferay DXP, clients have been using it to support, on board and retain employees, vendors, and customers throughout their entire journey.

  • Personalized dynamic forms: Forms in Liferay DXP 7.1 are designed to be extremely flexible so that businesses can deliver personalized experiences specifically designed for their customer base.
  • Flexible page creation: With Liferay DXP 7.1 teams save time and have the flexibility to create the pages they want by storing page sections as “fragments” and reusing them anywhere within their Liferay site.
  • Improved mobile and cross-platform development: In order to decrease time to production, developers working with Liferay DXP 7.1 can use Apache Cordova or Xamarin to build cross-platform applications from a single code base designed for the web.

Liferay Commerce

Digital commerce experience that makes you better to do business with.

The Liferay Team is excited to launch their new product Liferay Commerce. With this product, enterprises can ultimately make customer experiences your competitive advantage, where the e-commerce experience is one that will keep customers coming back. Improve the entire purchasing experience with easy browsing, simplified checkout, easy reorders and tailored price lists.    

How Liferay Commerce can improve your digital commerce experience:

  • Transform Experience: Revitalize your digital commerce with modern and engaging websites.
  • Increase Adoption and Sales: Replace administrative tasks as part of the ordering system with an easy B2B purchasing
  • Earn Customer Loyalty: Creates sites that customers enjoy using and makes it easy for them to return for repeat business.
  • Fully Integrated: Built from the ground up to work with Liferay DXP so there is less time trying to integrate and more time improving and growing.

Built for B2B

  • Contract Pricing
  • Organizational Hierarchy
  • Piers Tiers
  • Site Initializers for Wholesale and Manufacturing
  • Order Workflows
  • Customer-Specific Catalogues
  •  Order Forecasting

Liferay Analytics Cloud

Discover insights into the modern customer journey.

With the new Liferay Analytics Cloud product, enterprises can leverage the power of their analytics connected right to their Liferay DXP platform, making it easy to see detailed insights.

Enhance enterprise digital marketing with analytics that aggregate and visualize customer profile data and marketing performance for deep insights.

How Liferay Analytics Cloud helps businesses deliver the right content to the right audience:

  • Customer Profile Analytics: Extract customer data from multiple sources to get in-depth knowledge on users
  • Touchpoint Analytics: Measure individual touchpoint performance to improve the digital experience
  • Traffic and Path Analytics: Display and filter traffic types and visualize a customer path
  • Asset Analytics: Track and visualize engagements levels for all assets including forms, blogs, media, etc.

Liferay DXP 7.1

How to Keep Employees using your Portal

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Your organization could have the best portal in the world but if your staff isn’t using it, you won’t enjoy the benefits. Therefore, creating long-term and sustained engagement is crucial. To help you keep your employees using your portal, here are 6 tips to create sustained portal usage.

Incorporate the portal into the onboarding process for new employees

The advantage with new employees is that they have no prior experience with legacy processes or systems. This allows organizations a fresh slate and set the expectation that the portal is to be used continuously. It is key to get new hires logged into the portal early in the on-boarding process so it becomes part of the day to day activity. Furthermore, these are internal systems that the new employee would not have experience with, so they need to be trained or they will find workarounds they are comfortable or reach out to other employees that use the legacy processes.

Ensure the system is designed to make lives easier

There will be some hesitation and/or resistance in adopting the portal system. The best way to ensure engagement over the long-term is that the portal is built with them in mind. A well-planned and executed portal will address more than surface concerns of a few stakeholders or a department. The portal needs to be the easiest and fastest place for employees to extract information and complete tasks. A slow, cumbersome, confusing, or outdated portal will lead to employees reverting to their old processes.

Make it part of the day-to-day

For the best return on investment, organizations should focus on increasing the productivity of daily tasks. If the portal only addresses tasks that are done on an inconsistent basis or with long gaps between, the employees may stick with traditional processes despite the improvements portals may bring. The reason being that the headache every so often is less of an inconvenience than learning a new system.

A way to make this part of the day-to-day is to ensure that information flows through the portal. For example, instead of emailing a coworker a document, direct them to use the portal. In this way, people will become accustomed of using the portal. Furthermore, this will ensure that all the content on the portal is kept up to date.

Keeping the portal updated

Keeping the portal fresh is a key to keeping employees engaged. If materials, designs, user experiences, etc. become old; employees will become more frustrated and the usage will begin to drop.  

Consider real-world rewards.

This approach may not work for organizations for a variety of factors, like budget or management style. However, people are motivated by incentives and rewards. Consider incorporating rewards that equate portal activity to real-world benefits. Whether it’s something small, like a shout-out at the next team meeting, or a big prize like a half-day off or a group reward, anything that keeps the water cooler buzz focused on your portal is a good thing. This strategy doesn’t need to always be in place but can be adopted at the beginning of implementation or when usage begins to dip.

Ask for feedback.

This is the most important tip with portal implementation. Organizations need to understand how its employees are using the system and the pain points they may face. Not only will address this feedback improve the usability of the platform, but the employees will feel listened to and that the organization wants to provide only the best tools for success.

A second area to get feedback from its analytics. Evaluate the performance and the journeys employees are taking within the system. You may discover areas that aren’t functioning as intended, important information may be hidden away, some parts may be slower than others, or there is optimization that can be made in certain processes.

How Budgeting Impacts Digital Transformation

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Traditional budgeting in large enterprises interferes with digital transformation success. When projects are approved for a limited budget cycle (say 1 or 2 periods), the project’s value and potential to bring digital transformation begins to diminish as soon as funding stops. On the other hand, if the projects are funded with adequate sustained investment value can be maintained and increased over time. This consistent budgetary support brings about digital transformation. Technology projects have been operating for over fifty years and the lessons learned in that time will help us create better long-term solutions moving forward. For businesses looking to transition into more agile operating models, allowing for creating software operating models will greatly enhance business value and agility.

The Problem with Traditional Funding

The classic funding model for technology projects, that has been the norm for the past fifty years, starts with a business case for change. The project includes requirements, function points, an estimating model, and a work plan all rolled up into a budget request for funds allocation. When the project is approved, resources are provisioned and the work plan is initiated, working toward a completion date. What is missing from this scenario is the impetus for change. Most of these large projects resulted from a long period of dormant activity with the existing technology. Even though maintenance may have been performed on the original solution, this will not promote digital transformation. Without a sustained reinvestment plan, a gradual obsolescence turns into a mountain of “technical debt”. This debt will eventually interfere with business agility and competitiveness.

Moving Toward Agile Business Models

For businesses that desire agility and want to promote digital transformation need to not only speak about it but weave it into the overall strategy. A part of this new strategy is a reimagining on budgeting. A better alternative to the traditional project-based funding is to consider a sustained development program for the long-term, which emphasizes continuous development or “agile” methods. By reorienting the organization toward an operations funding model of this type, organizations reduce business risk associated with technical obsolescence and increase the lifetime utility of their software assets. Any budgeting strategy has its potential downsides. In the case of this agile funding and management approach, software investments can be greater on a net present value basis and it firmly places the software development program as an operations concern to be managed effectively. This potential downside is reduced when the organization and its stakeholders have the vision of digital transformation.

Business agility, as supported by software investments, is a key reason for the popularity of software as a service model. These organizations have converted to operational budget models, and have outsourced the ongoing development and maintenance. Business agility strategies see results from the continuous gain of utility delivered by new software features and the organization’s ability to take advantage of these features. These enhancements will avoid the organization from becoming a laggard and can provide a competitive advantage through the constant digital transformations.

Is Blockchain Right for You? Bridging the Legacy Gap

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In 2017, it has seemed as if every day there were new reports, predictions, stories, and articles on how innovative and disruptive blockchain technologies can be.

The allure of a decentralized ledger is powerful, especially in financial services. The great appeal may stem from the fact that there are multiple use-cases for the blockchain. It does not begin and end as the backbone for cryptocurrencies. In fact, the flexibility of the blockchain is a primary reason why investors and technologists alike have taken an interest in the technology.

There are many use cases for blockchain, but the one that could have the most impact on society is using it as the decentralized ledger for transactions of any type. Cryptocurrencies do not have to be developed for the blockchain to have a major impact on the payments landscape.

It’s clear that technology companies are growing to dominate the peer-to-peer payment landscape. These brands are making strides to take over payments for small businesses. This trend isn’t new. It all began with Paypal, but since then, many payment companies have popped up (Venmo, Moneris, Square, etc.). In addition to those financial technology companies, brands such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are making their way into the payment landscape. If people can send each other money over an app they already use every day, what chance to banks have to win back the market?

Challenges to Technology Integration in Banks

Despite its growing popularity, the blockchain isn’t a magical solution that can solve all of a bank’s problems. There are challenges associated with upgrading any technology suite, but especially those that involve updating an outdated legacy system.

For a blockchain-based solution to integrate with a legacy system, all processes must be explicitly defined and automated. Any ad hoc inputs, reports, or processes need to be standardized and defined. No process can run on the blockchain if it requires human intervention. Blockchain-based solutions need to be able to update automatically for the decentralization to realize its full potential.

Internal processes and outputs must be clear and concise while meeting a business need. If there are ledgers with poorly defined purposes that are to be moved to a single, decentralized ledger, the blockchain solution will not be able to work until the purpose and inputs of those ledgers are defined within a greater system.

The other major challenge to creating an integrated blockchain solution is finding a place for manual processes and transactions. If a process is not automated, the blockchain cannot move it to a decentralized ledger. Banks will need to either automate these processes or find a place for them in the new, decentralized, automated system.

These challenges aside, there are several other considerations to be made when modernizing a legacy system with the blockchain. We will cover them next time in Part Two of this article.

To stay up to date with the latest news about financial technology, follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ or LinkedIn.

5 Most Impactful Digital Transformation Trends in Finance

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It’s clear that the financial services industry is experiencing digital transformation. Driving that transformation is a series of trends that incentivizes banks to change. Consumers no longer want the same old experience; they want convenient, secure solutions that meet their banking needs. These five digital transformation trends will encourage banks to improve their digital capabilities and advance into a new era of banking.

1) Blockchain

2017 has been the year of the blockchain. For the uninitiated, blockchain refers to a digital ledger in which transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. The blockchain is so attractive to banks because it offers transparency, security and lowers transaction costs. Banks are working to increase the effectiveness of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and the blockchain can be the foundation of that system.

Blockchain-based technologies are driving digital transformation in banking by offering the possibility of an entirely transparent ledger of transactions. The blockchain can make it easier for consumers to transfer assets between each other. Blockchain-based systems can add a layer to security to P2P payment and lending systems, a feature that is already popular with consumers.

By adding a layer of reliability to P2P payment systems using blockchain, banks can increase consumers confidence in their ability to deliver branchless banking.

2) Branchless Banking

While some customers enjoy using branches to meet their banking needs, an ever-increasing portion of the population wants to be able to handle all their banking without ever stepping in a branch. In fact, over 40% of consumers have not used a bank branch in the past six months.

Consumers want to do their banking without having to go to a branch, and digital transformation is the cause. Many people have become used to shopping online, watching TV online and using the internet for nearly every transaction they need to make. Banks are no exception. They need to offer a high-quality, secure, branchless experience to keep their customers satisfied.

Features such as online personal banking, offering the ability to sign up for services online and digital peer-to-peer payment systems will allow consumers to forego using a branch while still being able to meet their banking needs. The blockchain is one new feature that can facilitate branchless banking.

3) New Features

Once upon a time, debit cards were a new, innovative feature that could be used to excite customers. Today, those same debit cards are being phased out for more convenient payment systems. If a bank does not continually develop new features, consumers will look to FinTech challengers to scratch their itch for innovation.

Developing new capabilities, such as online banking, P2P payments or building an app has changed the way that banks interact with customers. The status quo changes quickly, and what is fresh and innovative in 2017 will one day be considered outdated.

An essential feature of digital transformation is the drive to continually innovate and improve the customer experience using technology solutions. This continual innovation will lead to more fundamental changes that shake the banking industry to its core. The innovation caused by digital transformation may alter aspects of financial services that were once thought to be immune to change.

4) Cashless Transactions

Cash currencies are becoming less common in societies all across the world. The process of states transitioning from cash to digital currencies has already begun. On November 8th, 2016, India announced a recall of over 80% of the country’s currency, something that wouldn’t be possible unless the move to digital transactions had already begun. Thanks to the growing ubiquity of digital payment apps, online banking, and P2P lending platforms, cash has lost much of its usefulness.

Paper currency is on its way out, thanks to technologies such as blockchain ledgers and P2P payment systems. To many, carrying cash is an annoyance, and even the smallest transactions are conducted with a credit or debit card. In the future, cash will have no place in any developed society. It’s time for banks to implement digital payment systems that require nothing but a smartphone. One day, even cards will be considered a nuisance.

The future of transactions lies in peer-to-peer payment systems. Nobody wants to have to find an ATM just to get cash so they can pay their friend back for lunch. If you cannot provide this digital feature, customers will lose patience.

5) Enhanced Security

All consumers need to be aware of online security threats. Recent, high-profile examples of cybercrime have contributed to some individuals being skeptical of any digital technology. Even well-known companies who are digital natives such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook have to deal with these concerns. Consumers want to ensure their data is safe, especially when the data contains sensitive information that a bank might need.

Banks need to develop security protocols that consumers can easily learn. Banks should educate their customers on things such as: The importance of protecting passwords, using secure connections, always being vigilant of potential security threats and, reporting suspicious emails and links.

By teaching customers to follow these procedures banks can build consumer trust in their bank’s security capabilities. Building that trust will motivate customers to begin their own personal digital transformation, pushing them to complete everyday transactions through digital channels.

These five digital transformation trends are not only affecting banks but the financial services industry as a whole. Financial service professionals need to adapt to what consumers want. Banks need to offer convenient service, where customers control the interaction. Most consumers have already begun to expect some level of digital mastery. Are you ready to meet their needs? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ or LinkedIn. If you want to learn more about digital transformation, you can check out more of our blog posts here.

Liferay Symposium North America 2017

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Are you ready for the next Liferay Symposium? As a Liferay Platinum Partner and Gold Sponsor, Veriday is already looking forward to attending. In just two weeks, industry leader and engineers from around the world will descend on Austin, Texas for Liferay Symposium North America 2017. Speak with Liferay’s key developers and experts. Learn how YOU can use Liferay with practical sessions and workshops. Discover best practices and innovative solutions for the business challenges you are focused on solving.

This premier event for Liferay’s customers, digital business leaders, partners and community developers in North America will include two days of expert sessions, hands-on workshops, networking opportunities, access to Liferay’s top executives and architects, and keynotes from digital experience thought leaders.

Attending the Liferay Symposium will give your technology leaders the knowledge they need to apply Liferay DXP, the most recent, most advanced platform from Liferay to their digital transformation project. You really don’t want to miss this.

Liferay Symposium North America 2017

October 16th-17th

Hilton Austin

Austin, Texas

#LSNA17

For more information:

On the event, please visit the event page.

About Liferay, visit www.liferay.com.

About how we use Liferay to facilitate digital transformation, check out our solutions page.

Assessing the Digital Landscape for Financial Institutions

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Assessing the Digital Landscape for Financial Institutions: How to Lead the Charge With People and Technology

Read the eBook on Liferay’s Website

Veriday is a Liferay Platinum Partner. We’ve been successfully designing and implementing solutions using Liferay since 2005. We are one of Liferay’s strongest partners because we do more than just development. At Veriday, we combine design thinking and technical engineering to create high performing digital and user experiences. We help you transform your whole enterprise by developing great customer experiences and modernizing business operations. Our ground up approach ensures you are creating a sustainable long-term platform for business agility and growth.

Liferay DXP is a digital experience platform that has many use cases. The flexibility and power of the Liferay platform are some of the reasons Veriday believes so staunchly in it. That’s why we use it to build digital experience solutions.

At Veriday, we also have an interest in building digital marketing solutions for financial institutions. Our product, Digital Agent, is created with financial agents in mind. Recently, I was perusing the Liferay blog and discovered an excellent eBook that can help financial institutions answer some questions they might have about digital transformation.

Assessing the Digital Landscape for Financial Institutions: How to Lead the Charge with People and Technology

Read the eBook

Assessing the Digital Landscape for Financial Institutions: How to Lead the Charge With People and Technology contains insights into the state of digital transformation at financial institutions. It answers the questions: What are the barriers to digital transformation? What role does technology play in customer experience? How can the customer experience be improved by breaking down silos?

These questions (and more) are answered in this eBook by Liferay. I strongly recommend you check it out if you work at a financial institution that is considering undergoing the process of digital transformation.

Remember, we are a Liferay Platinum Partner. With over a decade of experience developing on Liferay, Veriday can strategize, design and build a technology solution that helps meet your business’ goals. Feel free to reach out to us with questions about how we can assist in creating better digital experiences using Liferay DXP. 

Follow us on Twitter @VeridayHQ,

Gartner announces Liferay as a leading portal solution for 7th year in a row

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For the 7th year in a row, Gartner has ranked Liferay at the top of their list for “Critical Capabilities of Horizontal Portals.” Gartner, one of the world’s pre-emptive technology research firms, regularly releases information technology insights for IT and other business leaders. Liferay DXP, the newest version of the open-sourced engagement platform, finished near the top of their list for “Critical Capabilities for Horizontal Portals” in nearly every category.

The report scored 16 vendors according to their strengths in four portal scenarios:

  1. Partner and Supplier Portals
  2. Portals for Marketing, E-Commerce, and Support
  3. Digital Workplace
  4. Portal as a Common Architectural Framework

Liferay finished as a top-three most valuable portal in regards to partner and supplier portals, digital workplace, and as a common architectural framework. Liferay also finished just outside the top 5 as a B2C marketing, e-commerce and support portal. The results highlight how Liferay can be successfully applied to a wide variety of scenarios.

As Gartner put it:

Liferay excels in the portal as common architecture use case, and it exceeds the requirements for leading-edge customers across our other three use cases.”

Gartner found that customers regard Liferay highly for its sturdy architecture and development, the ability to integrate Liferay into various systems and how supportive it is of mobile and multichannel use cases. The community that has grown around Liferay lauds it for its use of the open-source model. Liferay gives developers the ability to customize the platform to suit their unique needs.

You can download the full Gartner report here.

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With such a flexible, open-source solution it’s no surprise that Liferay scored so highly in these rankings. While proprietary solutions may be able to solve garden-variety issues, they cannot be altered for any purpose. Proprietary solutions cannot be used to create unique solutions that can be tailored to address any problem you might have.

If you think a Liferay solution might be right for your business, feel free to contact us. Veriday is one of Liferay’s leading partners with years of experience creating customer Liferay solutions.

How Do Customer Experience Improvements Impact Revenue?

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This post was authored by Matthew Draper and originally appeared here on Liferay.com

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Without seeing detailed statistics concerning the impact of online customer experience (CX) on their company’s bottom line, many executives ask why it matters for their revenue goals. However, the online customer experience-revenue relationship has become clearer and clearer in recent years. Crucially, those who are still in the dark about the revenue benefits of customer experience improvement may be missing out on optimizing their company’s performance.

While common sense may dictate that there is indeed such a thing as CX-revenue relationship, better understanding this idea can help you make informed, impactful decisions about your company’s online presence. Recently, Mercury Insurance used Liferay to overhaul and consolidate their insurance customer portal. As a result, Mercury Insurance found that customer experience greatly improved, leading to higher ratings, reduced costs and many more positive effects. It’s just one example of improved customer engagement leading to measurable company benefits.

How Does Customer Experience Affect Revenue?

According to Forrester Research, good CX can lead to client retention, enrichment and advocacy, which all have loyalty-driven revenue potential. While there are many reasons why a client may terminate his or her services with a company, all businesses should prevent poor digital customer experience from being a cause.

But how will improving CX improve a business’ revenue?

While hard numbers on customer experience-revenue relationships can be difficult to come by, research done by Harvard Business Review shows there is a direct link between CX and annual revenue increase. Their survey polled customers about their experiences with both transaction-based and subscription-based companies. For transaction companies, clients who had the best experiences were shown to spend 140% more than those who were shown to have the poorest experience. For companies based around subscription services, it was shown that members who rated their experience at the lowest score possible only had a 43% chance of still being a member one year later. In contrast, those who scored their experiences at the highest ratings had a 74% chance of still being a member in a year.

In either case, it is clear that positive customer engagement meant a greater likelihood of higher revenue and happier clients who could advocate your brand to other potential clients.

However, not every customer experience manager takes long-term relationships into account when determining profits. But the widespread effects of happy clients should be part of every CX decision. If you are a CX leader attempting to make improvements in your company’s customer engagement, it is crucial that you tailor your investments to your brand’s unique needs, consider non-revenue benefits like happy customers becoming advocates and think about both complete CX overhauls as well as targeting the worst experiences reported by your clients.

Three Types of CX-Revenue Improvement Strategies

As detailed by Forrester, there are generally three types of online customer experience-revenue relationships. These show how a company should focus its initial CX improvement initiatives in order to see the greatest effects on your company’s revenue.

Broad Improvements to Customer Experience – In this strategy, efforts to improve CX can be applied across the board and in all types of interactions that customers have with your organization. Any individual aspect of customer experience improvement should result in improved revenue, but broad improvements may have the most noticeable results, as they will impact the largest amount of customers. This strategy relates to a linear customer experience-revenue relationship, which often affects companies like internet service providers, big-box retailers and auto insurance providers.

Focused Improvements on the Worst Customer Experiences – You may find that the greatest gains can be found in primarily addressing the worst experiences. Focus your time and energy on improving the worst customer experiences, which can likely be distinguished through customer surveys, feedback and records of complaints that your customer service team has received. By doing so, you can prevent customers from dropping your service and are likely to find the largest return on investment in your customer experience improvement efforts. This strategy relates to a relationship of diminishing returns between customer experience improvement and revenue, which is often felt by credit card providers, wireless service providers and airlines.

Focused Improvements on the Most Positive Customer Experiences – Further improving the highest levels of CX could result in the most dramatic revenue increases, while improving the poorest experiences will do less for your bottom line. Keep your customer experience improvement efforts focused on the most positive experiences seen by your business, which can likely be determined through positive feedback received in surveys. In doing so, customers who have a positive experience with your business will be encouraged to return time and time again, as well as become an advocate who can bring in additional customers. This strategy relates to an exponential CX-revenue relationship that often affects credit card providers, wireless service providers and airlines.

While these three types of revenue-impacting digital customer experience strategies should be individually tailored by each company that adopts them, they can be a helpful guide to what your business should first address. By focusing your efforts while improving CX, you can create a successful plan for optimizing customer portals and other forms of engagement.

So what is keeping some businesses from improving customer experience?

Many see improving CX as not being worth the cost. However, improvements have been shown to actually reduce costs due to needing to handle fewer complaints, as shown by information provided by Medallia. That means less money spent on fielding upset clients, happier employees who don’t have to spend all day handling complaints and more time available for optimizing internal processes and other forms of customer engagement.

These factors are vital in determining the long-term goals of a company and weighing the true value of online customer experience and what can be done to improve it.