Digital marketers are constantly struggling to keep up with new developments, a situation that encouraged Razorfish to take a deep dive into the qualitative and quantitative data of four international markets (USA, UK, China, Brazil) to examine which digital technology is shifting traditional brand-consumer relationships.
As part of the study "Digital Dopamine", the digital agency interviewed around 1,600 Internet users to find out how brands can remain relevant and how the digitization alters the relationship between brands and consumers, bringing to light the following five key trends that will shape digital marketing in 2015 and beyond:
- Generation chasm: There is a huge difference in the use of eCommerce services between Generation X and Millennials: For instance, more than half of US millennials name their smartphone as their main in-store shopping tool, compared to just 28% of the Generation X. In addition, 74% of US millennials trust that brands protect their data, whereby in turn only about two-thirds of the Generation X believe that.
- The digital experience economy: Generally, Internet users try to avoid advertising and feel attracted by brands that make their life easier with digital solutions. Brands should therefore try to be more useful than just interesting, as the following figures exemplify. More than half of consumers in the UK and the US, and nearly 70% of consumers from China, indicated that they would "do everything in their power" not to see any ads. On the other hand, 70% of consumers in UK and the US, and more than three-quarters of consumers from China, don’t mind to see ads if they can get access to online content that way.
- Digital conditioning: The advantages of digital technology and interactions are mainly examined on a rational basis, although a good digital brand experience acts on an emotional level. Against the background of the infinite choices of the Internet, it is exactly what caters for brand loyalty. Remarkably, 76% of respondents from the US, 72% from the UK, 73% from Brazil and 82% from China said that they would be more pleased about an online purchase they receive by mail, than buying things in a shop.
- Seamless commerce: The omnichannel customer makes no difference anymore between online and offline shopping. Convenience that works across all channels is most important. However, when switching from offline to online - and vice versa - he still encounters disruptions: Thus, about 70% of the customers in the US and UK indicate that they buy products only online when they have an opportunity to exchange them. In Brazil, the figure is even higher at 77%. In fact, there and in China, the percentage of those who would like to make all their purchases online is significantly higher than that in the US and the UK, where around half of the respondents can envision doing so.
- Emerging markets in the fast lane
Consumers from Brazil and China have higher demands on technology-based experiences than those from other countries, although the Internet penetration is relatively low there. Hence, the digital experience has a much higher effect on brand loyalty, the study revealed. Actually, 79% of China's and even 87% of Brazilian consumers said that most online shops have to improve. In the US and UK only about half of the respondents see it that way. That goes hand in hand with the opinion of 92% of respondents from China and 84% of Brazilian consumers that indicated that a bad website would influence their opinion of a brand negatively.
Feel free to download the whole report.