E-commerce's rapid growth is opening up fresh possibilities to engage end consumers directly. Building a thorough understanding of what drives end consumers and what they expect is therefore crucial for any traditional retailers and e-retailers with aspirations to become market leaders. The right insight makes it possible to generate the right forecasts, develop the right assortments and optimize the customer experience. This, in turn is a fundamental driving force in quickly building up an efficient, insight-driven business.
The consumer is changing.
Consumers now are more capricious and less loyal. They have less time but are more conscientious. They tend to shy away from stores and prefer experiences over products. Today’s consumer is an entirely different species—and unrecognizable from their peer from the good old days.
As daily life everywhere gets more and more fast-paced, consumers want to minimise spending time on smaller activities such as shopping but instead, want to optimise fully the time that they have engaging in activities that they value most such as spending time with friends and families. With the best and fastest technologies now right at their fingertips, consumers expect effortless customer experiences both, online and offline.
According to Euromonitor, almost one in four online purchases in Asia are now made on smartphones and by 2020, 65% of all transactions will be carried out online.
The current consumer base has evolved into a series of wider demographic trends that have transformed what was once a homogeneous mass market into a heterogeneous marketplace, consisting of various competitive alternatives to choose from.
The new consumer connection
“The customer’s perception is your reality.” - Kate Zabriskie
Conventional business models are based on the assumption that customers would be looking for products themselves. The opposite is true today: products must find their own way to customers. Consumers have assumed power over the purchase process, which almost immediately changed the rules of the game for all consumer goods companies. Consumers today already have access to more than a billion different products on the global marketplace according to a report from the World Economic forum. On top of this, consumers are making tougher demands such as better promotions, faster deliveries, increased transparency and more convenience – at the same time as they want the purchase process to be exciting and inspiring.
This shift lays the foundations for new terms of business that need to be resolved at different levels within the company. Companies must become more innovative and make sure they take advantage of new opportunities that technology is progressively offering.
Consumer Insight = Success
“Whoever understands the customer best, wins.” - Mike Gospe
Consumer insight is the key to competitive advantage, and if your business is not insight-driven, you’re likely to become prey to those who are.
According to a Forrester report, insight-driven companies are on track to make $1.8 trillion annually by 2021 and are growing eight times faster than the global GDP. This new league of high performing companies are growing 30% year-on-year.
Developing an in-depth understanding of the end customer and what drives him or her is therefore a challenge facing all traditional retailers and e-retailers who want to be ranked among tomorrow’s market leaders. More than 80 percent of consumer businesses consider consumer insight to be one of the key strategic factors (CapGemini: Consumer Insight Survey, 2016).
Consumer Insight allows companies to understand their customers better, from unravelling the intricacies to better pricing strategies to achieving a better understanding of customer motivation through sentiment analysis, insight is an unrivaled differentiator in today’s enterprises and drives profitability while enhancing the customer experience.
An insight-driven business means better customer relationships, a more seamless customer experience, better and faster product iteration, and a focus on actionable data.