Understanding the Digital Consumer
The digital era is upon us, yet has only just begun. With the typical cell phone user now touching their phone 2617 times a day, the rise of the tech connected generations and an ever-changing digital world makes it imperative to understand who the digital consumer is to allow your publication to be ahead of the game and fully prepared for the future.
Digital: the most effective medium
The mobile tipping point which has taken place in the last decade is more significant than ever to publications as smart phones have become a must have device globally. Deloitte’s consumer panel highlights 91% of 18–44 year olds now own a touchscreen phone, consequently making the world more connected than ever before and as a result has underpinned a generational shift in the way consumers live, work, play and shop. It is now crucial to have a strong digital presence to cater for the ever-increasing use of smartphones and the growing generation of digital natives who are a part of generation Z who are forecasted to reach 2.56 Billion by 2020. 50% of this generation spend 10 hours or more online in one day and have an attention span of 8 seconds so all must be done to retain them. Currently, 75% of consumers go online to research businesses and four out of every ten will rely on social media or review sites to do their research. If digital platforms are overlooked, a large segment of consumers are missed. As a result of this generational shift, digital marketing is now the future and for upcoming generations digital may become the only medium that is effective.
Digital Consumers in the UK
Within the last 12 months, just 7% of UK magazines showed readership growth, intensifying the need for publications to further understand their consumer. The UK has recently topped the euro monitor digital consumer index, making the country a digital frontrunner and one of the most digitally advanced commerce markets worldwide. A report by Verto analytics found British consumers are quick to adopt new apps and services on mobile devices and are predominantly mobile-oriented, spending 47% of time online on a mobile device. UK consumers are also more engaged with apps they use with the average stickiness for mobile app categories in the UK being 40%, compared to 37% in the U.S. This means people who download and use apps are more likely to stay loyal and active with a brand.
What makes a Digital Consumer Tick?
Customers are interested in two main things: user experience, and personalisation. For digital publications or brand content, the experiences on desktop and mobile should compliment each other as part of a cohesive digital strategy. Mobile Apps have an advantage in that the user experience will be better designed for the mobile and the personalization opportunities are much bigger by using user data such as geo-location to enhance the experience.
User experience is made up of many factors including usability, accessibility, performance, design/aesthetics, utility, ergonomics, overall human interaction and marketing, all of which must be straight forward and engaging to use for consumers to be effective in retaining them. It has been reported that 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a brand and they would only access branded content when it is optimized or appropriate for the smaller screen. Yet 96% of smartphone owners have experienced sites not optimized for smartphone use. Consumers want to be engaged with the applications they use through new out of the box ideas and experiences. Accenture’s engaging the digital consumer survey highlighted that it is essential to deliver an exceptional experience that could even include going back to the “drawing board” to reinvent execution strategies to be more integrated and digitally transformed.
According to E-consultancy, only 19% use personalization in their marketing, despite 74% of marketers knowing it improves customer engagement. Personalization is key to engaging and retaining a digital consumer. It offers key opportunity to gather consumer data, which can be used to enhance user experience and connect with deeper emotions. Accenture recently reported 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes their name, knows their purchase history or recommends options based on past purchases. The more personalized the experience, the happier the customer. A satisfied customer wishes to purchase more, are retained, upsold to and become advocates for your brand. Additionally, digital natives, who are of millennial and generation z, seek personalization. As reported in VentureBeat study, 77% of digital natives expect a personalized web experience. This is key factor to consider because by 2020 Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers.