Customers need to be courted. Though retailers once had the good fortune of emphasizing exclusivity, the days of turning consumers away is waning. The luxury sector might be an exception, but even in premium markets product lines at lower price points are being unveiled to capture younger shoppers early. A study conducted by digital agency Wunderman introduces the new chapter of retail-consumer relationship: Wantedness.
Wunderman partnered with communications firm, Penn Schoen Berland to survey 1,000 people in both the U.S. and the U.K. in the fall of 2016. The purpose of the survey was to uncover new concepts for marketers. The age of the participants ranged from 18 to 65.
The status quo won’t cut it. The research found that consumers – 88 percent in the U.S. and 90 percent in the U.K. – want to engage with retailers and brands that think outside of the box and set new standards. “You [retailers] have to be ready to go beyond the expected for customers everyday. You have to pick one thing you can own, just one, and set a new standard,” the report said.
It might be easier than it sounds, the research suggests. Consumers simply want to feel special through enhanced customer service. Seventy-four percent in the U.S. and U.K. combined feel that brands can set new standards by providing high-touch consumer experiences. This is where data becomes instrumental. By employing comprehensive analytics, brands are able to strategically align with shoppers.
Here’s the thing – consumers are wise to traditional tactics of trying lasso their loyalty. “Brands must demonstrate at every step in the customer journey that they understand what consumers need and want,” the report said. Over half of those polled – 56 percent in the U.S. and 54 percent in the U.K. – will lend their loyalty to brands that show an understanding of their preferences and priorities.
Deciphering consumer complexities might be easier than it first appears – just look at what they’re buying (and who they’re buying from). A resounding amount – 89 percent in the U.S., 84 percent in the U.K. – of respondents declared that their purchases reflect who they are and are loyal to the brands that share their values. In order to achieve that the study suggested configuring a vision for the brand before a product is developed. Be assertive with your goal.
When deciphering said vision, be sure to keep in mind that convenience is king. According to the research, in both locales over 60 percent of respondents believe that the best brands help streamline their lives. Look to Uber, Starbucks, and Netflix for inspiration.
But the path doesn’t stop with the product, the best brands are introducing a full lifecycle that continues well after a purchase and delivery is completed. The study explains that the best brands exceed expectations of the entire customer journey – 63 percent of the U.S. respondents and 53 percent of the U.K. respondents agreed.