How has connectivity to the internet changed consumers’ expectations?

By Julia Wojtach-Rytel

If you let me take a guess, I would assume that you have at least two devices within arms length of you right now. A computer, smartphone, or a tablet perhaps? We have become the always-connected consumers that are consistently multi-tasking, with the desire to be “in the know” that leads to information overload. As a brand, how do you compete and win the attention of your consumer when everything is at their fingertips and causing distractions?

What is important to consumers today?

Next-day delivery, instant replies from the company help center, and price matching with the click of a few buttons are just some of the examples as to how fast consumers expect their shopping experience to be. And it is not just any shopping experience, but a personalized one. 

Consumers do not want brands to sell to them, they want brands to help them. The instant gratification is demanded and therefore brands need to get creative about their value and what they can provide to their customers that their competitors cannot.

This is sometimes referred to as becoming the “inbound marketer” where any sort of new marketing relies on earning people’s interest instead of buying it. Instead of one- way communication, the new communication is interactive and two-way. Consumers come to you from either search engines, referrals, social media etc. Marketers provide value by seeking to either entertain and/or educate.

One such example can be seen through the online personalized shopper experience. You have a personal shopper who presents the products to you online or purchases them for you (you can return what you don’t like) and the shopper gets a cut of everything you keep. You define your style and budget, your body type, etc. the shopper is incentivized to understand his/her clients’ tastes and preferences, and the client becomes more dependent on them, as the shopper becomes an online extension of themselves. Check one example out here:

How can brands enhance their marketing tactics?

A typical consumer who is “in the know” tends to live with FOMO (fear of missing out). When there is a new product or upgrade that they see other people beginning to get their hands on, there is an instant need to have ownership of it too. Brands have the ability to leverage this FOMO in a few ways to ensure that the customer does not have to live with this FOMO any longer.

Brands can enhance such marketing tactics in many ways. For one, they can provide social proof that people are buying the product/services and that there are limited quantities available. This makes the consumer feel as though once it’s gone, it’s gone forever and they need to buy it to prevent that from happening. Other ways to approach this are with a count-down clock until the deal ends (usually seen on online retail sites). Another way to leverage FOMO is to make the consumer aware of exclusive “insider deals” and to promote these experiences with user-generated content. The affinity that this creates allows the brand to share its values and make the consumer feel more connected on a personal level.

Final Thoughts

The importance of inbound marketing and creating personalized experiences for the consumer is a great strategy for getting found by customers who are searching for solutions to their needs and wants. The approach of creating and distributing valuable and consistent content to a target audience with the objective of driving some profitable action will simplify your consumers life, build trust and a community, and advise while also entertaining.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *