There were 4.39 billion internet users in 2019. That’s an increase of 366 million (9 percent) vs. January 2018. Worldwide social media user numbers grew to almost 3.5 billion at the start of 2019, with 288 million new users in the past 12 months pushing the global penetration figure to 45%. Technology is advancing by the hour. But what does that mean for the retail trends for 2020?
Consumer needs have always been evolving. This decade, however, needs retail to adapt to changing consumers as fast as consumers adapt to changing technology. It needs to be less about brands and more about consumers than ever before. Here are some key changing trends for retail in 2020 and how brands can leverage technology to #StayConsumerReady throughout the decade.
1. Conversations will be seamless
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics the combustion engine.”
– Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner Research
51% of companies today use at least eight channels to interact with customers (Aberdeen Group). What if brands could access all O2O user data across touchpoints in one place? 89% of customers are already being retained by companies with omnichannel engagement strategies (Invesp). With a single, unified view, engagement and retention is set to spike.
The past decade, 86% of marketeers reported challenges in achieving a single, unified customer view (Experian). While multiplying interactions, fragmented data structures across channels, and lack of in-house resources have made it tough, this decade will see solutions that address this need head-on.
Beginning 2020, brands will successfully implement a customer data platform to unify, understand and optimize consumer data across channels.
2. Engagement will be beyond transactions–including in-store
Gone are the days when the engagement was recognized and rewarded purely based on transactions. Consumers are actively building emotional relationships with brands. 84% of consumers are more likely to choose brands that offer meaningful loyalty programs.
This decade brands will not just recognize and reward, but also actively create touchpoints for consumer interactions. Product reviews, social interactions (“Likes”, “Comments”, “Uploads”, “Shares”), customer feedback, in-app games will make for key profitable behaviours for brands to track and promote. Gamified engagement will also manifest itself in-store, with activities and rewards reaching consumers with the highest buying propensity.
The brands that connect with consumers emotionally and make them feel seen, heard, delighted and rewarded will be the ones to generate maximum customer lifetime value.
3. Things will be personal
Marketing has moved from an era of mass-appeal to an era of demanding individual relevance. A study by Cloud IQ reveals that 69% of consumers prefer an individualized customer experience, and if their dealings with a brand are below expectations, 41% will take their business elsewhere. With people recognizing their value in terms of time, money, and digital space, this decade will see brands delivering more seamless personalized experiences than ever before.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are collectively going to pave the way for personalization at scale. Early bird adopters of AI have achieved significant benefits like increased efficiency, cost reduction, better work experience happiness index, improved customer experience and sustaining profitable revenue growth. AI and ML will work hand-in-hand with automation to drive intelligent and more efficient campaigns.
Looking ahead, retailers are expected to increase their investment in personalization by 18% over the next three years. (BCG)
With 73% consumers admitting to customer experience directly impacting their purchasing decision (PwC), this decade brands will focus on enhancing their customer experience. Get set to create seamless, personal engagement beyond transactions while leveraging the power of technology. See how we’re making that happen at Capillary.
Are you Consumer Ready for this decade?