New Consumers Digitally Engaging With Brands To Bring About A Different Set Of Expectations & Opportunities To Build Trust & Relevance
The COVID-19 crisis has not only changed the way we live and work, but also the way we shop. With growing concerns over health and safety, people have started questioning their shopping habits. Consumers who were previously reluctant to shop online are now left with little choice. Once consumers get the taste of convenience that comes with online shop-ping, there is no looking back. This shift in the consumers' shopping behavior will also reshape the way they interact with brands. The more time they spend at home and more time in front of their screens mean that brands will have to re-think and re-invent their outreach to the consumers. This will also follow a new set of consumer expectations.
In the new digital era, consumer expectation revolves around `convenience'. Today's consumers are busier, more connected, have an on-the-go lifestyle, and want everything at a push of a button. But convenience doesn't just mean easy availability of products and services. Consumers are seeking convenience at every stage of shopping, right from finding ideas and inspiration, to making purchases. It doesn't end there; even brand engagement and advocacy need to be convenient enough for the consumer.
Technological advancements in data collection have driven the desire for personalized customer journeys. Today's consumer wants to be recognized as an individual with specific choices and not as an anonymous buyer. Consumers are also willing to share personal details with the companies if that means getting a personalized experience.
For today's information rich and time starved consumer, speed is of the essence. Businesses that respond to customer queries with lightning fast speed and can resolve situations promptly will earn the loyalty of their customers. But customer service is not just about resolving issues. Companies must use technology to give customers what they want and when they want it. In short, reaching out to the customers through multiple channels, sending personalized offers, and constant but relevant interaction with consumers will ensure that the brand stands-out in a crowded marketplace.
So, how do these expectations bring-in new opportunities for retailers and brands?
Building Brand Relevance
One of the most differentiating factors for brands is how relevant they are to the customer. Relevance not just in terms of the product they provide, but through the entire customer journey, which needs to be specifically tailored to their interests and needs. Brands should be able to understand the customer's pain points and offer solutions based on these to make their product or service essential to the customer. The current digital era calls for brands to continually evolve and engage with customers in new and creative ways.
Consumers are very closely monitoring the way brands are responding to the Covid-19 crisis. The future consumer buying behavior will be driven by how brands are shifting their business priorities and using their resources to respond and adapt to the current challenges. This allows brands to build trust that will go a long way in ensuring customer loyalty.
Finally, to live-up to the customer's expectations in the digital age, the key is to constantly innovate to stay relevant even during the ongoing pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis. This pandemic has created a unique opportunity for brands to share the purpose of existence with the customers and eventually foster a stronger relationship with them.