Recent data indicates that traditional views on the way customers behave and make decisions are no longer correct; consumer behavior has shifted considerably due to the influence of the internet and the new opportunities it brings for connecting with both corporations and fellow consumers.
Millennials, aka Generation Y, are the driving force behind the trend of ‘connected customers’ – customers who are confidently connecting across varied digital channels, making use of blogs, web-chat, email, social media and more to aid their interactions with companies and help them in the buying process.
Digital analyst and author Brian Solis renames Gen Y as Gen C: The Connected Customer, and has gathered some interesting data:
- Connected customers are three times more likely to follow a brand or business on social media than they are a family member.
- Connected customers are more likely to share their opinions and experiences on social media and other platforms and believe other consumers are more likely to listen to them than businesses.
- Connected customers use their connectivity to aid them when visiting a store: 38% compare prices online, 32% read online reviews and 24% search for coupons for money off.
- More than 50% visit coupon and offer sites every day and 29% use their phone to make purchases.
Finally it should be noted that by 2025 this generation will make up as much as 75% of the workforce in America, representing a large proportion of the target market for most businesses.
These customers expect more from businesses: more and better ways to get in contact, more ways to shop and more engagement with the latest technological trends. For businesses then this rise in connected customers represents an opportunity to engage with and do business with a growing number of tech-savvy customers.
The sudden increase in connected customers also carries with it a stark warning: adapt or fade into obscurity. Right now a large percentage of customers are connecting and interacting online, in 20 years nearly every customer will be. Businesses who fail to change their business model will be left behind, while those that keep changing to stay relevant will experience growth and increased revenues.