Technology is already disrupting consumer behavior and with it, opening avenues of endless possibilities. Spending every waking moment with internet connected devices is altering our lives. From changing how we empathise with others to how we communicate or even connect with people – every aspect of our life is either influenced or permanently altered, thanks to technology. We are all aware of how dependent we are on our mobile device, so much so, it’s almost like an extended part of our body. But what is astounding, is the number of times a young person interacts with the mobile. The typical cell phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm dscout. And that's just the average user-the study found that extreme cell phone users (meaning the top 10%) touch their phones more than 5,400 times daily - click a selfie, post a story, browse an online store, check for news updates, post a picture, share a joke, go back and check responses to the picture posted, place an order, make a call, check for more responses! There is a behavioral change that has occurred, and this has huge ramifications for businesses and more specifically marketers. Here is a peek into everything that is redefining the way consumers evaluate brands.
1. What’s New: Change is ever more constant - every time the consumer interacts with a brand, they want something new. It is time to reimagine the lifecycle of pack designs, store layouts, communication, store windows, displays and every other communication touch-point that is within the realms of customer engagement. Brands that do not change fast enough face the challenge of being categorized as too static.
2. Know it already: Consumers want tech that pre-empts and makes life simpler because of which, brands need to develop capabilities to be able to preempt what consumers seek. With the increase in use of AI and machine learning, retailers can predict upcoming shopping visits, likely purchases and even list out recommendations.
3. Treat me as me: Personalisation is at its peak. According to recent Epsilon research, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience. As brands and consumers increasingly embrace personalization, one-to-one marketing that engages individual consumers based on their unique interests and preferences is on the rise. Delivering personalization to individuals at scale requires a combination of the right data and the right technology. Many online stores personalize their home pages based on the user’s previous shopping / browsing history. Video analytics and progressive apps coupled with chatbots can help physical retailers to recognize and personalize consumer’s shopping experience unlike ever before.
4. How Many Stars - Ratings matter. The Sci-Fi anthology on Netflix, “Black Mirror” ’s episode ‘Nosedive’ depicts how in the future people to people interactions could be fully influenced by our social ratings. While this seems fictional and far-fetched, what is certain is the influence of ratings on our purchase decisions. Research says that more than 90% of people read reviews before making an online purchase and a significant percentage trust recommendation of strangers as much as recommendations from a close friend. Given this, every time a customer picks a product from the shelf, she expects to see the reviews – real time – be it a pack of tea or a tank top.
5. Make it easy: Consumers want more tech enablement in every aspect of their lives. More so, when they visit stores. From Interactive windows outside stores to update them on the latest styles, live display of sizes available, a shopping cart that instantly adds up your shopping, to seamless billing and even tracking your car without much of an effort – the easier the better.
The future is already here. It is for brands to quickly adapt to the new reality and deliver experiences that are intuitive, personalized and incredibly easy for consumers.