Welcome back to the ESG company newsletter. This month we will be focussing on technology and consumer behaviour.

Before we dive into the world of consumerism, a quick roundup of the month’s news.

As many of you know, April began with the long-awaited company rebrand. However, with the Exclusively shows in London right around the corner there was no time to dwell on this. We are currently designing a new stand and hope to see many of you there.

In other news, we have also started creating packaging for various Christmas products. For those of you who don’t work in retail supplies, Christmas comes early for us. Very early.

 

Technology and consumer behaviour

 

This week it was announced that scientists could now control the flight patterns of beetles using a radio transmitting miniature backpacks. The aim being that one day they could be used for rescue missions. It’s quite clear that technology will continue to develop faster and faster. However, the ramifications of technological advancement run much deeper than life-saving, cyborg beetles.

Whether it be a laptop, games console, smart phone or smart watch. There is rarely a moment where we aren’t connected to the internet. This constant exposure to technology has undoubtedly changed the way humans behave in a variety of contexts. Sitting at the epicentre of this change is consumer behaviour. The way we shop, connect and interact with brands is not only creating new opportunities for retailers, but its also forcing them to redefine who they are and what they do in this digital era.

So, how is technology influencing consumer buying habits, and how can retailers get the most out of this change?

One of the most important models of consumer behaviour derives from the consumer decision making process. The model describes the various stages that customers go through when making a purchase.

Recognition of a needInformation searchevaluation of alternativespurchasepost purchase evaluation.

Technological advancements can be argued to have altered every stage of the process. However, there is one stage which has undeniably been influenced more than the rest. The evaluation of alternatives. This relates directly to customer expectations. An increase in the ability for the customer to evaluate alternatives now means that they are less likely to remain faithful to a brand.

The explosion of ecommerce has allowed customers to effortlessly compare prices and therefore save money. Put simply, better offers and deals are ever only a click away. In fact, ecommerce experts Salmon found that nine in ten consumers see ‘speed of delivery’ as more important that than brand being ordered. This helps explain how a staggering 37% of total online spend now goes through Amazon.

What can retailers do?

As the old adage goes- When one door closes another door opens.

Technological advancements have raised customer’s awareness of brands but they have also raised brand’s awareness of customers. An increase in customer data means that companies can now evolve their advertising to be more personal; targeting individuals on what they have shown interest in.

Leading companies are already using big data algorithms to create customer profile with tracking technology allowing companies to target ads to website users as they surf the web. I’m sure you’ve noticed it before. You have a look for a pair of shoes on your lunch break and then go home to find every website you load up containing a Clarks advert.

However, it’s not only the likes of Google and Facebook that do this. Most retail businesses are coming to realise that traditional advertising is no longer as effective. Instead, being aware of your ideal customer and developing buying personas is a much more fruitful approach.

Technology means that we know more about each other than ever before. Whether it be your neighbour’s Facebook photos from Tenerife or comparing hundreds of train fares with one click; there is a wealth of information out there.

Although, the customer has been empowered by choice, the seller has been empowered by personal data.