A lot has changed in the last decade. The one field where the impact of these changes have been felt the most is communication. Advancements in the field of technology and communication have changed our perception and methods of connecting with the world around us. With this, there has also been an evolution in the way businesses formulate their strategies. While the adage ‘the customer is always right’ has been around for ages, the ability to always stay connected have taken that to a whole new level. In an age and time where it takes less than a minute to besmirch the reputation of a company, organizations, now more than ever, are paying increased attention to what the consumer has to say.
Any business venture worth its name has to take into account the impact that connected consumers can have on their business. This is especially true in case of the retail sector. With the growing rate of penetration of smartphones, one no longer needs to go shop-hopping to find the best price. They can check out the pricing offered by all the shops in the neighborhood while standing within the premises of a single store. As a matter of fact, research on global markets has shown that over 50% of consumers search for products on their mobile phones while inside the premises of a shop. It is of little wonder that a majority of the businesses have a dedicated mobile app. Some platforms have even gone so far as to ditch their desktop presence altogether and go only for the mobile app version. These apps invite inputs from customers – both about their experience when using the app as well as when conducting business with the company.
Social media has also played a major role in the rise in importance of the connected consumers. Consumers have taken to posting about their grievances on the social media pages of the companies as well as tagging them when posting complaints on their own page. This results in the complaints getting much greater visibility and forcing the companies to take faster and effective steps to address those grievances. In the competitive landscape of the current business world, an organization can hardly afford to appear apathetic to its consumers’ complaints. Connected consumers on social media are ensuring that this remains the case.
Connected consumers are much more vocal about their experience when dealing with a particular company. They are the ones who help form opinions on products and decide the fate of a product. When searching online for reviews and information on a particular product, it is their voice that gets heard first. As such, connected consumers have come to form a major segment of the how the retail industry forms its marketing strategy. And this is one factor that looks set to dominate the shape of the market for the foreseeable future.