As a business concept, we’ve talked about digital transformation for the better part of a decade. But in 2020, digital transformation as we know it barreled ahead at a dizzying pace—causing product and marketing teams to make fast, learn-as-you-go decisions impacting billions of dollars. Due to stay-at-home orders enacted across the globe in response to COVID-19, the mobile channel has seen particularly extreme changes in how companies leverage it to support their broader business goals.

Lauren Chan Lee

To explore what’s changed and what’s next for the future of digital transformation, with an emphasis on the mobile channel, we talked with some of the best minds in digital product and marketing. We’re excited to share their thoughts on what’s top-of-mind, how to overcome obstacles, where the marketplace is going, and tips for success.

Today, we’re excited to bring you thoughts from Lauren Chan Lee, a product leader, speaker, and advisor, and was most recently the Senior Director of Product Management at Over her career, she’s worked on almost every product area—from front end to backend, desktop to mobile apps, buyer to seller, and discovery to payments.

Here’s what Lauren had to say!

Q: What does digital transformation mean for today’s business leaders?

There are many different ways to define digital transformation. To me, it simply means that employees or customers can get what they need to get done online. If you want to buy something, you can transact online, rather than having to physically go in-person. If you need to work from home, you can complete your job functions remotely. Right now, there’s a lot of pressure for every kind of business to digitally transform because of the pandemic forcing us all to stay home.

Q: What are the barriers that usually block the path to transformation?

Sometimes there are barriers that you can’t control. For example, when I was at StubHub, we sold both paper and digital tickets. Our buyers loved digital tickets because they could receive their tickets immediately after placing the order. As much as we would like to have influenced sellers to list more digital tickets, the decision on what formats a ticket was available in for a given event was usually made upstream by the team, artist, or league. So even if we wanted the marketplace to have 100% digital tickets, it wasn’t in our control.

Q: What holds companies back from prioritizing their investment in mobile customer experience?

Prioritization is mostly a rational exercise. Projects that have higher return on investment (ROI) get prioritized, and those that have lower ROI don’t make the cut. This can hold companies back from prioritizing their investment in the mobile customer experience. For example, when legacy businesses get a large share of their traffic on desktop web, anything they build for mobile will have a lower impact on goals than doing the same for desktop. That initial investment in mobile often takes a leap of faith to make a strategic investment, rather than an ROI-driven case.

Q: What is the mobile channel’s role in digital transformation?

Rather than try to duplicate features 1:1 across desktop, mobile web, and mobile apps, one of the ways that I’ve leveraged the mobile channel before is as a test bed for new, cutting-edge features. Especially when traffic in mobile is lower than other channels, you can overcome some of the ROI-based prioritization challenges by positioning mobile as a great place to test and reduce risk.

Q: What’s your best tip for staying agile when implementing changes to your mobile digital transformation approach? How can teams respond quickly to what they learn?

I love the quote, ‘Be stubborn on vision, but flexible on details.’ Start with a clear vision of what you want your mobile customer experience to be, and make sure you gather feedback and measure how you’re doing. Be flexible about adjusting your roadmap as you learn.

Q: How do you measure success? How can you track the value of mobile strategies?

First off, if you’re successful, your customer should LOVE your product. You can track that by looking at metrics like net promoter score (NPS), customer satisfaction, or app store ratings and reviews. Aside from customer love, the other metrics that are important depend on what kind of business you have. Our monetization model at was to sell premium membership subscriptions, so we tracked the upgrade rate very closely. StubHub is an eCommerce business, so we tracked lots of marketplace metrics—from metrics like gross merchandise sales (GMS) to understand how much volume we were processing, to sell-through rate to understand how liquid tickets were.

A huge thank you to Lauren for taking the time to share her thoughts.