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Do people in the UK still prefer apps to browsers? Has personalisation gone too far? If a brand receives negative press, will they lose customers?
These are just a few of the big questions we answer in today’s post, based on the responses of 1000 consumers aged 18-90 across the UK.
Out of touch
The first question we asked was how often consumers felt consulted by brands that they bought from?
45% of those surveyed felt that brands they bought from never consulted with them about their future plans. How connected to these brands do you think they are?
A further 7% felt that it had been over a year since they were last in touch with any brands at all.
It gets even worse when you drill into specific demographics, with an incredible 63% of those aged 51 and over believing that brands simply never bothered asking their opinion.
However Londoners do feel listened to, with just 34% of those who live in the Capital reporting that brands never consulted with them, while a respectable 33% reported that it was less than 4 weeks since they were last in touch with the brands they bought from.
The takeaway? How would your customers answer this question? When was the last time you explicitly included them in your decision making processes? If it is likely to be ‘never’ then you should make plans to reach out sooner rather than later.
Smart devices = smart money?
As a business, which technology platforms should you be investing in? Were you to make decisions based purely on press mentions, chances are you might get a distorted sense of what’s hot, and what’s not.
So instead of guessing, we asked about 8 of the biggest consumer electronics categories outside of mobiles and computers, to get a handle on what contemporary households actually own.
Which of the following do you own?
While it’s hard to read technology, marketing or business press without coming across articles telling us that Amazon’s Echo and other related connected-home devices are the next big wave of innovation brands should focus on, we see that penetration is still relatively weak compared to other more established categories.
The takeaway? Should you be investing in Alexa-connected devices, or perhaps think ‘inside the box’ and get your app on smart TVs and games consoles? Which will get you in front of a wider audience?
App-y or just browsing
Speaking of apps, I personally don’t love being railroaded into native app experiences and generally prefer to have a great mobile browser experience, but am I in the minority?
Would you prefer to use digital services as an app or in a browser?
For now, I am most definitely still in the minority, but quite a significant one. And with Google pushing Progressive Web Apps, this could well continue to grow.
If your target consumer is under 50, then native apps are an even stronger preference, with 81% of 18-30 year olds and 80% of 31-50 year olds preferring to use digital services as an app.
While age can’t explain my strong preference for the browser of apps, perhaps my gender can, with 37% of men preferring the browser over native apps, while this drops to just 20% of women.
The takeaway? If you haven’t yet invested in an app for your digital services, you may well be alienating over a 2/3rds of your audience. Meanwhile, if you do have an app, this doesn’t give you an excuse for crummy mobile web experiences, otherwise 29% of your potential consumers – particularly if they’re over 50 – might be put off.
Let’s get personal
From abandoned purchases stalking us across the web in the form of retargeting ads, to getting first-name greetings on websites, to ecommerce recommendations that we just wish our parents could see before they buy yet another pair of socks for Christmas…personalisation is everywhere.
But is the idea of computer algorithms making more and more choices for us behind the scenes becoming creepy, or do the public still find it helpful?
Do you find personalisation helpful or creepy?
A large majority clearly still err on the side of helpful, so if you’re investing (or thinking of investing) in software to help personalise the experience your visitors receive, then this would seem to be a smart bet.
Those aged 51 and over were more reticent about the idea of personalisation, with 46% responding that they thought it was more creepy than helpful, so if your consumer base is in that 50+ bracket, you will need to approach personalisation with more caution.
However for those 30 and under, 80% thought it was helpful rather than creepy.
The takeaway? Personalisation is popular, and seen as beneficial by the majority of UK consumers. Investing in experiences that drive personalisation should therefore help you forge stronger relationships with your audience, and particularly if they’re in the Gen Z/Millennials age group.
There is such a thing as bad news…
…but it’s nowhere near as bad as poor customer service when it comes to losing customers.
Have you ever stopped buying from a brand for any of the following reasons?
Almost a quarter of UK consumers have stopped buying from brands after reading negative news stories about them.
That is a large % of revenue that could disappear for brands when they publicly get things wrong, and as we’ve learned from Dove, Pepsi and countless others, failing publicly is a major risk for any brand.
However, this still pales in comparison to the destructive force that is poor customer service, where we see 56% of UK consumers have stopped buying from a brand after receiving bad customer service.
This begs the question, if you are going to invest a £ anywhere, are you really best off chasing the latest technology platform, or building native apps…or should you simply be investing it in better customer service?
It’s less sexy and headline grabbing, but having world-class customer service may just be the differentiator that helps you steal market share from your competitors.
The takeaway? Public fails can be costly, so why not use a consumer insight platform like Attest to gauge public opinion on creatives and product releases, to avoid easily preventable PR disasters? And then use all the money you save from putting out fires to invest in customer service.
Knowing what the public cares about is the first step to making smart investment decisions, and connecting with them on terms they will welcome.
For brands who really understand consumers, there are rich rewards to be had; while those that try to guess can often misjudge the moodand score spectacular own-goals.
For bespoke research, and to get a better understanding of your target consumers, get in touch today.
Our in-house marketing team is always scouring the market for the next big thing. This piece has been lovingly crafted by one of our team members.
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