‘Lazy’ brands risk alienating the new digital audience

digital_hell_2The Covid-19 rush online has been well-documented but the new influx of consumers are finding that their digital experiences are leaving a lot to be desired, with brands simply not putting in enough effort to retain them in the long term.

So says a new study commissioned by AI-powered personalisation platform Kameleoon and experimentation agency Conversion.com. It shows that while over a quarter (27%) of people say they will now do more activities digitally, nearly three-fifths (59%) are unhappy with the level of personalisation and reassurance delivered online by most companies.

The research, found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of the 1,000 consumers surveyed said the current digital experience would change who they bought from, and their future spending.

Those brands that do provide a personalised experience now will benefit long-term – 50% said they would spend less (or switch completely) from brands that had not delivered during the crisis.

Time currently spent online across a range of activities has grown by 32%, led by watching/listening to streaming entertainment (a 51% increase) and reading the media (46% more). The crisis is changing other activities – nearly one in five (17%) said they had increased the time spent accessing medical consultations online and a third (31%) were learning new skills through digital courses.

However, many brands are not meeting their needs – three-quarters (76%) of respondents said that not all companies were making the effort to customise the online experience. That is despite the fact that a similar proportion (73%) expect online personalisation as standard and even more (83%) want to receive personalised emails from brands.

Kameleoon chief executive Jean-Rene Boidron said: “What is clear is that the current crisis will lead to long-term change in consumer behaviour, and that brands need to react now if they want to safeguard their future revenues.

“Half of UK consumers will switch from brands that don’t deliver the personalised experience that they want – yet 76% say that brands are failing them. This needs to be a wake-up call for brands to focus on experimentation and customizing the experience for each and every consumer if they want to retain their business in the future.”

Consumers identified the top benefits of digital as saving money (ranked first by 31% of respondents), ahead of having greater choice (23%). They are willing to exchange these benefits for sharing their data – 43% listed being tracked by brands as the least important factor when embracing digital.

Conversion.com CEO Stephen Pavlovich added: “Covid-19 has accelerated digital adoption. That means late adopters are coming to market for retail and grocery shopping. But it also means a larger number of customers are engaging with digital products and services for the first time, like medical consultations and e-learning.

”That’s a huge opportunity for brands that adapt quickly – those with the leading edge will benefit most. But as their audience profile changes, brands need to invest in upfront research to better understand their new customers’ needs.”

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