As marketers, we tend to be a little more excited about and ahead of the latest social trends than the general consumer is. The question is: Are brands and consumers on the same page? And before taking a leap into the digital trends that organisations think might enhance the overall consumer experience, what should they consider?
Let’s take a look into some of these digital trends as of 2017.
Unique user experience
One of the most talked about buzzwords on the media scene is VR (virtual reality), along with AR (augmented reality) which is closely related. Both technologies are being enabled on an increasing number of online or mobile platforms – i.e. Pokémon GO or Snapchat filters – and are actively promoted by media pioneers across sectors. The hype is not over!
In the fashion scene, for example, the Ralph Lauren flagship store in Manhattan introduced a connected fitting room that was merged with digital technology which helps consumers make smarter merchandising decisions and experience a whole new level of retail therapy. Consumers can stay informed about the product information at their convenience too.
Organisations are coming up with a better user experience through technology to remain competitive. Presenting customers with more immersive and interactive content can elicit excitement, positive advocacy, loyalty and plenty of referral traffic.
Organisations are vying for a piece of pie in the latest trends; let’s admit we all want to be in there. However, it's important to note that you shouldn't compromise the quality of service. At some point in their life, most people experience frustration with the e-commerce self-help desk for not responding quickly enough, or it could be that they just aren't getting to the queries. According to Forrester Research, while simple chatbots work well, most of them disappoint with their outright failure in intuitiveness, like setting up the wrong expectations or acting in a completely bizarre way.
Chatbots are here to facilitate; they are not ready to replace human interaction. It is advisable for organisations to always back the chatbot experience with human intervention or sophisticated machine learning technologies. Where businesses are concerned, capability should be embedded to recognise when they can't help the customer, and when to send the consumer to a human for better customer interactions.
Organizations should also leverage on social listening to understand consumers’ needs or pain points and train the chatbots according to what they learn.
By 2017 more than a third of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphone – up from just under 10 per cent in 2011. This implies an increase in mobile activities and the ease of making online payments are crucial, as younger generations drive transition to mobile commerce and they are most likely to adopt new technologies. In fact, at Isentia, we have witness a huge surge in social media interest and conversation on mobile wallets when it was first launched, such that it superseded the buzz of all other financial products!
One caveat though. We also witness consumers’ lack of understanding in the different value propositions of such contactless payment technologies. It fuels much of the inertia around mobile wallet adoption.
At the convenience for being able to shop 24/7, consumers are able to shop online hassle-free. E-commerce trend is ruling the market. Through another study by Isentia, there are some instances where 65% of brand mentions are on e-commerce sites while only 35% of the buzz is on social media.
The world of e-commerce is evolving rapidly and early adopters are the ones who get rewarded. As consumers have more options than ever, to remain at the top of their priority list, organizations should offer the best user experience and understand consumers by listening to needs on social media and strategise accordingly.