In the wake of COVID-19, 81% of global consumers say they’ve changed their shopping habits since the start of the pandemic, and 92% say they will continue this new behaviour in the long-term. As part of its Industry Perspectives series, Facebook has released a new report involving industry expert insights from both in and outside the company on their predictions on the future of customer experience. Along with findings from Facebook IQ research, three defining themes have been uncovered that will shape customer experience in the near future.
As per Facebook, these are the three main segments outlined in the report:
The Customer Curated Storefront
“In the same way that people want offline shopping to take its cue from digital developments, they also want eCommerce to lean into the best of in-store shopping.”
‘Frictionless, flexibility and friendliness’ are pillar terms for the new frontier of customer experience. More and more customers look to stores that combine the best of humanized offline experiences with the convenience of online shopping. Ultimately, users want to feel in control of their choices, with readily available and switchable omnichannel options that reassure them and reaffirm their purchasing decisions.
The New Value Equation
“Between the introduction of new privacy legislation and global changes in advertising policies, consumers are more in control of their data than ever before. They’re also looking to brands to create optimal customer experiences, whatever their data sharing choices.”
It looks like turning discovery into demand for customers can be resulted by just how much personalisation, ownership and choice a brand can offer. Though with that being said, changing data privacy laws point towards a future where companies need creative strategies that integrate both a highly personalised shopping experience and the retention of customer privacy. So make no mistake, things like tailored recommendations are valued by customers, as long as brands remain vigilantly transparent with their intentions on how and what customer data is being used.
“Mass digitization during the pandemic and consumers’ yearning for new types of content after global and personal upheaval accelerated this reciprocal relationship. Amid new, augmented social shopping experiences, our experts predict what type of creator culture will resonate most with tomorrow’s shopper. ”
House-bound consumers have definitely looked to the creativity of content creators as a respite during pandemic lockdowns. It’s evident that creators have become an invaluable part of the eCommerce ecosystem, from thought leadership to becoming a part of someone’s carefully curated list of daily watch/follow list. Whilst more racially and culturally diverse representation stays an ongoing topic across the board in mass media, this need is met online as diverse creators amass bigger and bigger community followings on social media. This shows that customers are shifting towards a more values and identity-centric approach in the way they are making their purchasing decisions – also revealed the growing demand for establishing closer connections with creators they resonate with. Clearly, brands that thoughtfully consider these aspects in partnership collaborations with creators would be the ones that come up on top.
The future of shopping lies in the hands of companies prepared to be in the business of experience as a whole. Rather than reducing customer relationships to a few touch points and product features, a brand’s long term success will be determined by its commitment to innovation in the way they grow and change; all while prioritizing their customer’s convenience, resonating values, needs and personal preferences.
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