It used to be that outsmarting the competition meant creating a better product than your business peers. Then, when unique product features gradually became more uniform, we recognised the importance of investing in and developing a better customer experience. Nowadays, immersed as we are in technology and the benefits it brings, businesses are realising that the game has changed once again. Superior customer experiences are increasingly those that are delivered via digital platforms and in partnership with other market players. It’s a collaborative, rather than a proprietary, approach to gaining competitive advantage.
 
Platform businesses are fast becoming the common denominator among market leaders. Uber, Amazon, AirBnb, and Ebay are all remarkably successful and household names, yet they have no proprietary ownership over the products they sell. In fact, where they excel is through the seamless digital experience they provide to their customers – offering ease of use, choice, simplicity and control to customers at a time when people increasingly value these attributes.
 
At CoreLogic, we’re seeing first-hand the benefits that platform partnerships can bring to our clients - and subsequently our clients’ customers too. For example, Cordell Sum Sure – a property insurance rebuild cost estimation platform – cross-references construction cost data provided by CoreLogic with other property attributes, such as the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, to generate real-time rebuild cost estimates for customers.  
 
The benefits of applying a data -driven analytics are twofold. First, the customer knows they will be accurately insured, paying neither too much nor too little for their insurance premium besides providing the much needed transparency to the customer. Second, by presenting the information to the customer using a pre-populated insurance form, it’s easy for the customer to proceed with the transaction with little friction. This effortless nature of doing business impacts conversion rates for the insurance provider in a positive way. 
 
There is definite advantage in marrying disparate data sets to solve customer problems. By combining API driven technology with our partner databases, we are able to create a brand new value proposition for our mutual customers through a customer-friendly interface. 
 
The infinite number of products out there, commoditisation of products and the speed at which new ones enter the market, means customers have become less loyal to one provider. A well-designed digital platform offering choice and control is therefore an attractive means of gaining customer loyalty through the experience it provides. 
 
There is an abundance of data out there, and businesses are fast recognising the importance of collating it and developing insights from it. But while it creates an opportunity for leaders to identify patterns of behaviour, it also creates an obligation to use this information in a way that will benefit customers. Considering the current appetite for a diverse range of products combined with a streamlined experience that puts the customer in control, the platforms and partnerships-based approach is fast becoming the way to do so.