All businesses agree that technology has been making a tremendous impact on their organizations. And the mindset has resulted in overlooking the role of technology to the business side solely. However, focusing on the internal operations of your enterprise is not enough since technological advances are also changing the way your customers interact with your business. Therefore, it is vital to get to the root of the whole story and understand the impact of technology on shoppers and find ways to adapt your business activities to suit the changing customer behaviors.
This article encompasses five ways that technology influences shopper behaviors and some suggestions on how to grow your business by satisfying customers’ emerging needs.
Customers made their purchasing decisions based on TV news, past experiences, and referrals from acquaintances. They were coming across advertisements by chance rather than taking the initiative to actively get to know businesses.
However, the birth of technology has put the power into customers’ hands. ThinkwithGoogle has reported that 53% of shoppers say they always do research before they buy to ensure they are making the best possible choice. The ease of effortless information access has also let shoppers discover new purchase needs through millions of content pieces across channels. This fact was pointed out in the “How People Shop with YouTube” Study, which stated that nearly 2/3 of shoppers said the online video had given them ideas and inspiration for their purchase.
53% of shoppers say they always do research before they buy
The higher amount of relevant content about your products that can be found online, the higher likelihood that customers will buy them from your business. Whether your enterprises serve B2B or B2C customers, people flocking online to look for their business partners will soon be very common and obvious. It is a matter of life and death for your business to focus on enhancing the online presence through the right digital content marketing strategies.
As access to the enormous data pool became so easy and effortless, people started to shift their personal and professional lives online, and businesses fed billions of content pieces per day to their hungry audience. In addition to the convenience, it now makes the online platforms a massive pool of data that is impossible to digest.
As a result, the attention of your audience and customers should be dispersed to many other resources. This problem urges businesses to find a way to retain customers’ attention on a regular basis by offering relevant, helpful content that sells along with personalized offers to win the digital conversion race.
And at the end of the day, you need to give attention to get attention. If you give your attention to your potential and existing customers, it is more likely that you will get their attention reciprocally.
The kind of attention that customers are looking for is not any wholesome messages and emails you send to everyone. According to HubSpot, people crave human interaction or content pieces that make them feel that your business really cares about their personal preferences and demands.
Just under ten years ago, the term “personalization” seemed so alien to even many professionals. However, technological advances have accelerated the process so quickly that it has become a huge obvious for customer experience at the moment. In research by Accenture, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. And 42% of consumers are annoyed when content isn’t personalized. - CMO by Adobe
The whole procedure to actually deliver a true personalization to customers is somewhat complex and different across business fields. However, it always starts with identifying your customer profiles. This step can now be automatically done with Customer Data Platform (CDP) integration. After then you can personalize all your content, products, and resources towards the needs and wants of your customers.
However, you have to be careful though: personalization is a balance between too cold and business-like and too targeted and creepy. If people think your company has too much information about them, they will be turned off. For instance, around 40% of users don’t like when they get text messages or notifications when walking past a brick-and-mortar store. Such tactics could hurt your brand image.
What will happen if customers do not get the attention they deserve? Of course, they will stop using your services. But there is worse to this scenario: Customers might review the bad experience on social media platforms. And your brand credibility and sales might go down really quickly than you might think. Because making a buying decision for many customers now relies on their level of trust in a brand and how much they like it to decide whether or not they will buy. According to Rare, 86% of consumers say loyalty is primarily driven by likability and 83% of consumers say trust. They have to trust you before they can buy from you.
Customers have to trust you before they can buy from you
To stay on track, your business needs to be more trustworthy online. And the very first step to make this happen is to improve your online presence by creating a website that looks reliable with a smooth experience. A proper website usually provides a map and directions to the physical stores or offices for their visitors to find the location easily. Another important fact is that you have to scope to represent your customers, why they should trust you to back up those opportunities by building a website that convinces.
People are too busy and also smart nowadays. They literally can know everything about your brand, products, and services just by scrolling through the Internet.
According to Forbes, almost 73% of customers are willing to give a company more than one chance to deliver good customer service. But for 26%, just one bad experience is enough for them to switch brands. And 92% would switch to another company after three bad experiences. This is why it is no exaggeration to say shoppers are now not only smart, but they are also harder to persuade and retain.
Customers expect a lot from companies, and their standards are being elevated as they interact with various sectors. The result is that businesses must look beyond their own industry to understand the benchmarks they are being evaluated against. To win hearts and wallets, companies must not only deliver amazing marketing, sales, eCommerce, and service interactions but also prove that they have the customers’ best interests in mind.
Science will evolve, people will evolve, and businesses, too, will have to evolve to adapt. And technology shall become inseparable in the bittersweet relationship between business and customers. Our team at SmartOSC has been helping clients ramp up their digital capabilities across fields and continents for 15 years. We are always ready to hear your story and drive your digital transformation forward to take over the market.