Brands approaching the market with out-of-date digital technology risk falling out of step with consumers, particularly the younger ones that so many companies covet.
That is among the conclusions of a study conducted for InContact Inc., a provider of cloud-based contact-center software, by Harris Interactive. Nearly 2,200 U.S. adults were surveyed and more than half — 56 percent — said they would be “at least somewhat likely” to switch brands or companies if a competitor offered more shopping and contact options and channels than the one in which they were engaged.
While the Baby Boomers and their elders showed greater signs of enduring brand loyalty, with 45 percent of those 55 and older saying they’d make such a switch, the number rises to nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, among those in Generations X and Y, ages 18 to 44.
The study also demonstrates a more tentative embrace of e-commerce than of brick-and-mortar retailing. Customers are more inclined to feel brand loyalty towards retail store brands than they are toward e-commerce players by a margin of more than two-to-one, 41 percent to 19 percent. RELATED CONTENT: WWD Research Roundup >>
As a marketer of cloud-based software used by call centers in retail and other industries, InContact has a vested interest in encouraging businesses to get on the cloud bandwagon, which allows easier integration of devices covering the digital landscape from telephones and smartphones to personal computers and tablets.
Even so, the study shows some clear trends in the precarious nature of brand loyalty in the 21st century. For instance, Harris found a greater propensity in men than women to have an attachment to a brand or other established nameplate, with 79 percent saying they feel loyalty to brands versus 71 percent of the women.
For nearly two-thirds of respondents, a 1-800 number simply won’t cut it any longer. Sixty-three percent indicated that brands which don’t offer other options for communication on matters of sales and service seem “outdated or old-fashioned,” and almost seven in eight, 86 percent, expect brands to offer multiple options and flexible timing to interact with customer service.
Seven in 10 consumers consider the availability of a mobile app at least somewhat important as a service feature, a figure that is highest among those 18 to 24 (84 percent) and lowest for those 55 and up (58 percent).
“The survey results are clear,” said Paul Jarman, chief executive officer of Salt Lake City-based InContact. “Consumers expect more choices and more ways to interact with business today. The smartest companies are quickly adapting to changing consumer behaviors and needs, extending customer service beyond just phone and e-mail to mobile apps, text messaging, chat and social media.”
The age correlation pattern in the brand loyalty data is understandable in light of the higher rates of high-tech device ownership among younger consumers. In a recent survey on plans for Easter purchasing by the National Retail Federation, the percentage of tablet and smartphone owners was in inverse proportion to age, with just 15.3 percent of those 18 to 24 not owning either a smartphone or a tablet, versus 16.9 percent for those 25 to 34, 21.5 percent for those 35 to 44, 35.1 percent for those 45 to 54, and 46.6 percent for those 55 to 64. The only demographic bracket in which a majority — in this case 61.8 percent — didn’t own either device was the group over 65.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)