What is a Digital Product?
By Hans Lambert Pedersen
Digital products exist in various forms and specifications. But do you need one? Discover the definition of a digital product and the various types on offer.
At Stoked, we always refer to digital products. But what exactly do we mean?
While it might seem like a trivial question, it’s not the easiest thing to understand, let alone achieve. Without a clear idea of the concept and what kind of practices are required, you could find yourself longing for something your business doesn’t need. Or even worse, overlooking the very thing that will enable you to digitally transform your business and accelerate growth.
So, without further ado, let’s explore the ins and outs of a digital product and its many benefits.
What is a digital product? (A definition)
A digital product is an intangible product delivered and experienced through software and technology.
- Digital – It only exists in the digital world (apps, websites, user interfaces, etc.)
- Product – It adds value to the user (solves a problem, provides entertainment, etc.)
There we have a digital product in simple terms. However, defining a digital product will take more than elaborating on its two-word title.
Whether it’s a mobile app or user interface, all successful digital products solve an issue or provide a service of value to their user. This could be an app that uses your mobile camera to identify something or a SaaS platform that integrates your entire business into one streamlined online digital system.
As we know, most of the digital world exists online, and connection to the internet doesn’t necessarily define the usability of a digital product. For example, after installation, many games can be played on a digital device without an internet connection, just like an e-book on a screen can be read without Wi-Fi.
But whatever the case, a digital product offers the user utility and ultimately improves everyday lives. Whether that’s making things faster, simple, and more organised or just engaging the user and providing an excellent experience, a digital product can do anything of value for its user.
Like anything new, digital products start with an idea. After the idea, thorough research and planning take place before it's designed and launched.
Only at this final stage, when the project has become a product, do you have a complete digital product ready to launch.
Different types of digital products
Due to the vast scope and potential, digital products exist in various digital mediums.
Here is a general list of types of digital products currently operating:
- Mobile apps
- SaaS platform
- Software programs
- User interfaces
- Online self-service platforms
- Social media platform
Some of the most profitable digital products are value-led products. If a digital product can solve a problem or simplify a process better than other mediums, you have a very appealing and relevant commodity.
Anyone with a smartphone will be familiar with apps, with a staggering 3 million available to download from the Google store.
An app is the abbreviation of “application” and is a computer or software program designed to operate on any mobile device (phone, tablet, watch, etc.)
Apps can perform a service to the user or interact with other apps to enhance a service. While the capacity for the next new app is always attainable, it’s an increasingly competitive market.
SaaS is the abbreviation of “software as a service” and delivers digital applications over the internet. It frees people and businesses from challenging software and hardware management and maintenance.
SaaS can also be called “on-demand software” or web-based/hosted software.
A user interface is defined by how the user interacts with software and input devices such as keyboards, microphones, touch screen technology, etc.
Also referred to as “human-computer interaction”, a user interface is a literal space where a person and the machine engage. Therefore, a user interface is an incredibly vital factor in the overall user experience with the digital product.
Why create a digital product?
The global pandemic in 2020 has put the need for digital advancement right at the forefront of business operations. What we’re seeing now is the start of a digital arms race – where laggards perish and early adopters flourish.
The Gartner survey recently revealed that demand for new digital products and services in 2020 increased and will continue to do so by a further 83% in 2021.
Normal challenges have intensified, with CTOs and business owners looking for new ways to revolutionise the user experience in some shape or form.
There’s been a shift towards longer-term goals, with more businesses understanding the importance of accelerating digital transformation, as well as utilising emerging technologies to enable them to prosper on the other side of the pandemic.
Get it right, and your business can establish itself as a superpower in your industry.
The advantages of creating an effective digital product
By improving people’s lives in the general sense, the benefits of creating an effective digital product involve understanding a common issue before delivering a collective resolution.
So, the success of an effective digital product means you not only understand the underlying issue alongside the user, but you can supply the solution through digital innovation.
Simply this suggests you can utilise the digital world, whatever your purpose. An impressive feat for something constantly evolving and transitioning. For a CEO, this might be the invention of a digital product that generates higher productivity in their workforce or enhances the user experience for customers. For an entrepreneur, it might be an app that improves people’s mental health.
From a business perspective, digital products can transform a company's structure and functionality to generate a healthy return on investment.
- Digital-first companies are to achieve their business goals more than their peers.
- Digital transformation and a greater focus on the UX can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and 20-50% economic gains.
- 56% of CEOS say digital improvements have led to increased revenue.
- 45% of companies reporting a positive business impact of digital transformation also reported higher net revenue growth.
- High-tech B2B companies have reported a 10% to 20% cost reduction from transforming their customer experience processes.
Contact our digital product studio
If you have an idea for a digital product, speak to Stoked. We can support you with research, planning and implementation.
Our expertise has made a profound difference in many businesses, from improving a successful customer loyalty programme at Grundfos to enabling global energy transformation at Danske Commodities.
Get in touch with our team today to find out more.