If you are interested in following how the marketplace will be shaping in the next few years or you simply want to keep up with what’s the next big thing companies will pursue, I believe that the 4 trends below will give you some basic idea and direction.
Learn How To Feel Again
Around 75% of the consumers outside the US would like more human interaction in the customer experience and the participants from the US wanting the same are around 80%.Future Customer Experience Survey conducted by PwC in 2018
As most of the companies have been trying their best to tailor their products and services in a way that is highly personalised for the individual client, the need for human interaction and experience will be the key drivers that will differentiate one brand from another in the new decade.
The reason for this switch will be a reflection of the brands’ attempts to target better their audiences with personalised products while putting aside the crucial human connection that triggers emotion. Why is it that businesses need this emotion evoked in people? Well, for example hiring and training employees who can provide exceptional and unforgettable customer experiences, increases the chances for the brand to build a stronger and more loyal relationship with the current clients and attract new ones. The more time customers spend with a sales associate, the better the chances that they will stay longer in the store, purchasing also items that were initially not in their lists. Partly, this can be somehow attributed to the fact that generally people are becoming lonelier and disconnected than before, seeking new ways to engage in more of the activities that will make them feel alive again.
Approximately 60% of the consumers believe that brands lack the human element when it comes to customer experience (PwC survey). Another way for people who want to “learn how to feel humans” is to attend classes (such as painting, dancing, cooking) with both friends and strangers or do something that is relaxing, fun and makes you participate in a face-to-face communication with other people.
Believable or not, frozen food will be another important trend in the new decade. The reasons are several and I will list the major ones.
- Customers are becoming more and more interested in healthy products that contain only simple, real food ingredients. Veggie and Vegan dishes will become the default as meat dishes will be the ones we “opt in” for. It’s not recently when the healthier oriented people started using frozen fruits and vegetable in their smoothies. It is not only healthier sometimes, but also much more convenient.
- Shift of the modern consumer towards more sustainable decision making, therefore more environmentally-friendly products and services will be preferred.
- Import and export fluctuating regulations and restrictions.
New Level of Trust
Our lack of faith in the government, the business, and the media has reached a whole new level where brands will have to start pretty much from zero and invest a lot in getting to us in the most humane and transparent way, so we can believe and trust them again.
As we get a substantial amount of information daily and we hear all kinds of news covering crimes, corrupted institutions, political and cultural scandals, we become more prone to trust less our surroundings. New information and new technologies every day make us forget what is real and what is fake, and as a result it’s becoming harder to recognize what and who to trust. We don’t trust anymore that much the people we see on TV, the promises that we hear for a better tomorrow and the people who get up there and confidently claim that their products or services will make us better and richer.
The challenges in the new decade will require brands to:
- Stand behind their employees and customers by eliminating their fear through working transparently.
- Care for the same issues as for what their customers care and take a leadership role to work on these issues.
- Be part of a community, make it better and improve its lifestyle.
The New Physical Places
Physical stores are an engine of online growthBritish Land Company
Generally speaking, a great deal of the businesses nowadays start as e-commece platforms and that’s not very surprising since we spend a lot of our time in the digital world.
A physical store let’s say of a retailer brings him/her 52% more website traffic.According to the British Land Company
In the next couple of years, a lot of of the consumers will be attracted mostly to experiencing something interesting and new instead of just spending their money on stuff. This is linked also to the first point where I talked about the human element that the modern consumers seeks, but it is often not present.
With a physical place, brands are more likely to create this long lasting unforgettable and pleasant experience in the consumers’ mind which will make them share it with as many other people as possible and come back for more. The experience should be somehow related with the product, so at some point it will become a revenue-generating channel by itself. Both things should be interconnected and support each other.
I am going to briefly note 4 ideas for embracing this strategy of combining products and experiences (I will develop this specific topic in another separate post).
- Sell Expertise
- Sell Values
- Sell Wellness
- Sell Community
*I do not take photo credits for any of the pictures in this post. The featured picture is from www.29rooms.com which is ” a space for interaction and exploration: a place to dance, paint, think, make new friends, give a damn, it’s a tasting menu of contemporary culture built by voices in art, style, activism, and technology”.