Think about a purchase you made ten years ago. Maybe that’s too long ago to remember. What about a purchase from the past year? Now ask yourself, what resources did you have at your disposal to ensure that your purchase was exactly what you wanted? In the digital world today, we have more resources than ever to keep companies accountable for their products and experiences. While this might sound great for consumers, it’s forcing companies to constantly change and evolve to the needs of their customers.

A recent study by Accenture reveals that today’s digital technologies have reshaped customers’ buying behavior to the extent that almost all customers have become digital customers. The study largely attributes this switch to the emergence of what they call “The New Fabric Of Life.”

The New Fabric of Life

Accenture’s research explores the evolution of the ways customers learn about companies, purchase products, and access customer support over the last ten years. Today’s customer, for example:

  • Post-traumatic Growth – Consumers are looking for deeper relationships and an appreciation for life.
  • Look for sustainability– Customers are buying less clothing, footwear, and furniture.
  • Discovering other worlds – The Metaverse is giving consumers new ways to meet and interact, but also buy and sell virtual items.
  • Seek trustworthy opinions – In the past 18 months, consumers tend to trust those in their social circle rather than strangers.
  • Moving Care and Compassion to the forefront – From Covid-19 to mental illness consumers are looking for brands that care about health.

The New Fabric of Life has a personable and compassionate approach to reaching consumers. While also discovering new technologies and cultures that come with it. While businesses may contribute to this growth of the Metaverse, they could be missing out on a deeper relationship with customers.

Five Struggles to Keep Up with Consumers

Smart businesses acknowledge the evolution of society’s needs and wants over the past decade. However, the struggle for these companies isn’t changing their strategies to meet their customer’s needs, but rather keeping up with the constant changes and improvements that are required to stay trusted by their customers. The Accenture study gives us five consumer trends that are causing companies to struggle in meeting the demands of their customers.

Customers are always looking for individualism.

People are desiring more control and might need more details when considering purchases.

Consumers are looking for a balance of affordable and sustainable.

Many businesses lose customers because there is a shortage of products. This shortage can be from many different sources such a supply chain issues, a lack of convenient solutions to repair a means, or a worldwide shutdown.

Customers look to the Metaverse for a new place to interact, consume, and earn. 

Digital worlds are new to consumers and businesses, but it proves to have almost infinite possibilities to create value for your company and consumers.

Expectations for consumer answers.

Some of the most popular customer complaints are failure to deliver on promises, slow customer service, and lack on interaction. Defining how to
answer the consumer is a major design challenge, doing it well will earn trust and have a competitive edge.

Customers want to feel cared for.

Even though customers are looking for individualism they want to feel cared for, but also be health conscious.

How to Keep and Win Customers

These trends show the challenges that companies face in today’s marketplace, but don’t worry, there’s hope. Accenture explains how companies can break these trends and expand their brand to keep and gain more customers.

  • Companies should reflect on the implications of your organization, clearly verbalize the value of collectivism, and get creative to evolve their value to accommodate people with multiple sources of income.
  • Rather than being reactive contemplate what supply chain disruption means for your business, create innovative solutions, and establish a roadmap of sustainability.
  • Instead of focusing investments geared toward addressing internal improvements, companies should look to optimize the experience of their customers.
  • Research the types of questions consumers are looking for answers for, ensure confidence in the client’s purchase, provide a community that answers questions.
  • Treat care as both formal and informal, communicate that care is not transactional.

Final Thoughts

The journey each customer goes on when making purchasing decisions is different for every individual, but the growing dependency on digital resources is creating problems for many businesses. The access to vital information has created a level of expectation by customers that businesses are expected to meet. The Accenture study breaks out five of the most common trends that are today’s companies are having to deal with. By devoting more attention to meeting the demands of their customers, businesses can improve and profit from the changing nature of the digital environment.