Oh, to be human

Jedd Cokayne, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop

The only constant in life is change……….and death and taxes………

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus was credited with the first part of the above statement and further interpreted by Plato, “All things pass and nothing stays, and comparing existing things to the flow of a river, you could not step twice into the same river”.

The concept of change has become ever more apparent and exacerbated over the last few years due to the pandemic. This change has either been embraced by consumers and brands alike or have put their heads in the sand like an ostrich in the hopes it would go away.

The change we talk about has seen some dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour, some sticky and others falling by the wayside, and only putting up lights as needs arose. The theme around change was made more aware to me after reading a very interesting article published by Discovery Bank around spending trends for 2022 and the changes their clients have gone through since 2020.Heraclitus

It made for fascinating reading and was very insightful around where clients were spending their monies and how these spending habits had changed due to the current economic climate. This has provided Discovery with key information and the ability for the brand to change and adapt accordingly. A couple of trends that were highlighted were

  1. Changes in payment methods
  2. Increases in digital wallet payments
  3. Days those transactions took place
  4. Travel and entertainment changes
  5. FMCG purchases
  6. Shopper insights
  7. Fuel purchases
  8. Health and wellness changes

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Based on this notion of change it got me thinking around the consumer purchasing journey and how brands have had to adapt to remain relevant, continue to drive revenue and still build a relationship with the consumer. Discovery has done an amazing job in getting to know their clients better but more importantly how to communicate with them at every touch point in their journey.

Based on events over the last two years, brands have generally been scrambling and relooking their offering at every touchpoint. A consistent thread through everything is what is being done for the consumer and their offering to them, personalisation is key.

Very topical at the moment is the discussion around Conversational Commerce, the bespoke messaging to consumers along their journey from first point of contact to last transaction. The key is humanizing the customer experience, creating a customer first connection that ultimately drives revenue. Retention and repeat purchases are currently front and centre to all business growth.

We live in a world that in the past was a product economy where brands competed with one another on product and price. Don’t get me wrong, this is still very apparent in a number of segments, but the biggest curve ball is choice. The biggest differentiator now comes with a positive customer experience. This positive experience, together with personalised messaging, moves the consumer through the sales funnel much quicker and shortens the time around a repeat purchase.

Although we are moving forward and getting the opportunity to once again engage with our consumers on a face-to-face basis, Conversational Commerce provides us with the ability to interact with consumers across platforms and touchpoints they want to peruse with personalised content. Every stage of the consumer journey is targeted through Live Chats, Chabot’s, various messaging apps and voice assistants strengthening that brand association.

The growth around ecommerce has been remarkable over the last two years and this has played a major role in once again focussing on Conversational Commerce to drive revenue. The overall benefits include things like

  1. Reduced cart abandonment
  2. Ability to retarget consumers once they have engaged with a brand
  3. Help close potential leads
  4. Gather key data and feedback
  5. Upsell and cross sell.
  6. Help build customer loyalty
  7. Develop onsite behavioural targeting

Now more than ever consumers are looking for the personal touch. As brands relook their offerings they will have to do their due diligence to get to know their customers better and on a more personal basis, develop their brands for change and ultimately, drive brand loyalty. It’s something very difficult to come by in this ever-changing world.