What Will The Consumer Journey In Retail Look Like In 2025?
Back in the 70’s, dealing with customers was a piece of cake. You could simply create an advert and hand it over to the media guys for distribution, or create 6 to 10 pieces of content and sustain your business for over a year. But today, the general customer behavior is defined as impulsive and inconsistent. Though marketers have gained access to an overwhelming amount of customer journey data, predicting and defining the customer journey has become more challenging than ever.
The future of the retail industry looks bright and promising. With new business models and omnichannel marketing strategies, businesses are stepping up their A-game and getting all prepped up for the future. But since the retail is a customer-centric industry, understanding customer behavior in different stages of their journey with the brand is vital for businesses.
No matter how simple or complicated, the customer journey can be condensed into four stages – Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Commitment.
- Awareness – This stage defines the amount of recognition which a potential customer has with a particular brand as well as the extent of specific product association to a brand.
- Interest – Here, the customers become aware of the brand’s products and services and put forward inquiries to know more about the offers being proposed.
- Evaluation – In this stage, the consumers evaluates specific products and services offered by the brand and become willing to engage with the brand.
- Commitment – This is the stage when customers are ready to commit to the brand and become loyal advocates.
The Age of the Millennials
There’s no doubt in the fact that by 2025, millennial will rule the world of retail business. According to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey Report for 2018, 75% of the workforce in 2025 will comprise the millennials. This is a generation of tech-savvy, connected, and yet diverse individuals that we’re talking about. Though they’ll cross all the four stages of the consumer journey just as their former generations did, they’ll do so in a rather different manner. There’s one thing for sure – every stage of their journey will pose a new set of challenges for retailers.
Here are some characteristics that define the millennials:
- An inclination towards convenience above cost – Millennials seek retail experiences that are easier and effortless. They expect to use the latest technology in all the stages of their interaction with a brand.
- A preference for experiential retail – Gen Y individuals not only expect interactive customer journeys, but they prefer involvements that are one-of-a-kind.
- A dislike towards traditional advertising & promotions – Millennials believe in fast-paced digital promotions and instantaneous communication via mobile devices. This will lead to a decline in time-constrained deals and traditional forms of advertising & promotions.
- A disposition towards creative content – Millennials have a very short attention span. Being exposed to such huge amounts of content has made them particularly disposed towards content that is creative and eye-catchy. They are also the generation that creates their own content.
Though dealing with this new generation of customers might seem challenging, millennials have definitely impacted the world positively. They are known to push the business forward and not back.
So, what will the consumer journey in retail look like in 2025?
- Hyper-personalized experiences will become the strategic pillar
The future of the customer journey will be all about hyper-personalization and understanding millennials and their successors. Data gained throughout the customer journey will enable marketers and brands to communicate well with their audience. Customer experiences will become hyper-personalized and this will help meet customers’ expectations and needs.
- Throwing marketing to customers won’t work anymore
With time, companies will need to create a process for engaging with customers, implementing various tools and channels. Throwing marketing to customers will not do the trick anymore. Since millennials are exposed to vast amounts of information and they have a voice as well, it will become utterly important for brands to track what works and what doesn’t, and then adapt the journey experience accordingly.