Get to know : 5 rapidly evolving customer behaviour

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Customer behaviour has indeed evolved drastically. With new and emerging technologies, the digital domain is changing the way consumers interact with brands and purchase products. For example, the pandemic has shifted the shopping experience to an internet-only experience for many. Recent years have also seen a move among brands to promote more transparent and sustainable practices.

As consumer expectations continue to rise, brands find it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The market is becoming increasingly competitive, with price and product second only to customer experience as a brand differentiator. Consumers now have become more demanding towards expressing their needs to brands. This get to know your customer day, we have listed down a few ways how consumers have evolved lately. 

Here are 5 eye-opening insights on the evolution of consumer behaviour, that might help you plan your marketing strategy in a better way: 

Gen Zs are leading the charge in social buying

Gen Zs tend to engage more in social commerce as compared to older generations, as per a report by eMarketer. More than 56% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 years old have made at least one purchase on social media platforms. Unlike the older generations, GenZs prefer using social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to find information about products and brands. With this valuable insight, brands that have GenZs as their target audience have started to heavily invest in social media to make them loyal consumers. 

Consumers have higher expectations for customer service

As compared to the past years, around 59% of consumers today tend to have higher expectations from brands in terms of customer service. As new technologies rapidly go mainstream and businesses leverage data analytics and machine learning to deliver personalized experiences, the bar for customer experience is being raised and consumers are raising expectations for every touchpoint and interaction. With product and price secondary to the customer experience, consumers increasingly prefer companies that recognize and understand their wants and needs. Today’s successful brands are customer-centric, have two-way conversations with consumers, and use predictive analytics and machine learning to deliver great experiences that engage customers and drive brand loyalty. 

Consumers expect a prompt response from brands

As per stats, around 82% of consumers expect brands to respond in a prompt way to their queries, especially when it comes to sales and marketing. To meet the demand for instant answers, companies are investing in AI-powered chatbots and automated messaging. Machine learning enables brands to offer consumers a 24/7 intelligent conversational experience. Chatbots can automate responses to large numbers of consumer queries, reduce costs, free up customer service agents to handle more complex customer interactions, and increase customer satisfaction. 

Shoppers expect to buy products via the BNPL option

BNPL, or buy-now-pay-later, is a payment service which allows customers to buy products and pay later for them in interest-free instalments. According to Google Trends, BNPL options witnessed a rise in popularity in mid-2022. Various reports predict that this mode of payment will double or triple in the year 2023. It’s especially popular with Gen Z, who is just starting in the workforce. Payment is often not what marketers think about when promoting a brand’s products or services. However, the data suggests that it is helpful to highlight this as it becomes an increasingly strong selling point for consumers. As per statista, 52 Mn shoppers expect to buy products via the BNPL by 2026.

Consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products

According to Harvard Business Review, sustainable products tend to be 5x more successful in average sales growth than common product sales growth. In today’s time where consumers have become more ‘woke’ to protect their planet, around 1/3rd of the consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products. Verily more than 60% of the Gen Zs prefer paying for more eco-friendly products. Online shoppers look for products which are made of organic materials, recycled items, have no harmful chemicals, and are durable. Many brands may offer one or more of these, but do not advertise them. However, as sustainability grows as a consumer purchasing factor, this will help you stand out from the competition.

Final thoughts

As consumer behaviour has changed, customer experience has become a key differentiator for brands. To create a great experience, businesses must understand consumer demand and deploy the right technology to deliver a great, personalized customer experience. Every interaction is an opportunity to win new customers, drive positive business outcomes, and thrive with change.

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