Organizations have changed the way they operate, and that includes selling, because of the technology revolution. A lot has been written and said about that. A great digital marketing course will also share the ways in which change has come about and its implication in the broader context. There is, however, also some level of change that has taken place in the core behaviors that customers are showing, in the digital world today. That is as important to understand, as the organizational changes.
Let us take a closer look at 5 core behaviors of customers in the digital world today. These are reflecting the trajectory that consumer behavior is likely to take in the years to come.
- They seek instant resolution of issues – Today customers need an instant resolution of any issues that they face with respect to a product or a service. They are ready to escalate it on social media platforms or use any other form of digital technology that can help them raise their concerns. Many are also keener to explore how to resolve it at their end quickly. So self-help, as well as the desire to see immediate results and efficient processes, are some behaviors being reflected in the digital world today.
- They demonstrate their expertise – Whether they have gathered their data or insights from online secondary research or from other consumers, at a first-hand level, their behavior reflects the expertise they have on the service or product they are using. Customers have understood the importance of peer reviews and feedback, regarding an organization’s products. They actively go through the digital space to gain insights prior to purchase and share their inputs with others. The contemporary customer is far more in sync with what the market has to offer, based on the information explosion through the internet. And he or she is not hesitant to share what they have learnt. Also, companies need to be aware that their digital platforms are not to be restricted to remaining product descriptions or sales pitches. They need to revisit the content to make it more aligned to sharing knowledge about the product and educating the consumers.
- They look for opinion – As an extension of what is shared above, it is important to realize that the consumers value opinion being shared in the digital space. They do not assume that it will be entirely true or false. But they do use it as an input to form their own opinion. They check up the social media pages or handles of the organizations, for the reviews provided there. If they have queries, they are open about asking those on social media. Being aware of this kind of behavior is important because it has the potential to impact your business on a positive or negative way. Online reviews impact purchase decisions far more in the present times.
- They value online experiences – Gone are the days when a personal visit by the client manager to a potential customer, made all the difference. Today, the important thing is to work on online experiences and make them engaging. Customers are looking for interactive and valuable interactions on the digital space, with the organizations. So making those meaningful is what companies should be focusing on.
- They are open to multiple brands – Remember how you always enjoyed wearing the shoes from a specific brand or how a particular brand of jeans was always the right fit? That is not the case with the consumers today. They are scouting the digital space constantly, and what attracts them to a brand is difficult to predict. They are open to exploring multiple brands and try new things. Their association is not aligned to one or two brands for the long-term. The brand whose content is relevant for the millennial consumer is the brand that wins in the long term.
Customers are now evaluating each product and service on an expectation scale that is totally different from what it was years ago. That is what digital marketing has done. With the advent of digital media, customers can see and evaluate a product anywhere, order it anytime and return it based on a whim. Not only that, the decision making is more informed because consumers are now connected to each other via virtual networks. One person is not taking a decision to purchase, based on one meeting with a client manager. Multiple people and their feedback, are influencing a single person’s decision and it is based on how efficiently the online portal responds to his or her queries. A chat-bot can deal with the customer’s queries today, but expectations in terms of being able to compare and buy the best, have skyrocketed. Instant information has put a tremendous amount of power in the hands of the customers. While some consumers might find it confusing or a digital distraction, most are actually happy to be able to use technology to spend their money wisely.