By: Kapil Sharma
The installation of 5G technology will make internet adoption much faster than previously possible as India's internet market expands. By the end of 2025, there should be more than 700 million internet users. These days, customer behavior is influenced by speed, simplicity, personalization, and discounts. They are pressed for time due to an increase in new-age consumers. And they are turned off by anything that takes a long time. Additionally, they are even pushier in their requests now that social media is a powerful tool for raising voices and sharing ideas.
Remember the good old days when we used to place grocery orders over the phone or in person by bringing them the ration list? Those were the days when consumers had more time and superior planning skills. We were okay, even though it took a day. Gen X, Gen Z, and Millennial consumers are now different in their approach due to the following main factors:
* Penetration of the internet
* Long working hours
* Larger choices
* Higher inflation
Penetration of internet
While technology plays a key role in our lives today, it has also affected us negatively. With significant penetration of the internet, content consumption has risen more than 1000 percent in the last 2/3 years. And this is largely dominated by millennials and the elderly population. E-commerce's growth story is all around content and influencers who drive millennial consumer behavior. Now with technology, users' expectations have grown significantly. When the likes of Swiggy and Zomato were launched, we found it interesting. Now with time, the average time spent on an order is around 10-15 minutes, if not more. This is because we are spoilt by choices. However, the new generation of consumers expects tech to solve this also for them. They want personalized recommendations basis mood, diet, past pattern, etc. They need it much faster. Same way, for shopping, they need to see the SKUs they would potentially like, much more quickly. This is because the time availability at hand is pretty constrained.
Long work hours
Youth today are slogging long hours at work, to make more money essentially to fit their lifestyle. With such long hours, they are pressed on time thus affecting their temperament. As an outcome wherever they go, they have little time at hand. Be it a visit to the store for buying groceries or for clothes. They want to hit the section and come out really fast. Also, this is impacting the loyalties of the consumers unlike earlier. If they do not get what they are looking for, they become restless. They prefer quicker check-in, shorter queues, and the fastest possible check-out.
No dearth of options
With 100+ big and small e-commerce platforms, and digitalization in traditional businesses, there is no dearth of choices. Millennials are okay to spend money if they get a good experience, which is equivalent to the time they save and ease of buying, simpler returns, etc. UPI and UPI Credit (soon) have disrupted the long queues for payments at shopping hubs. This means millennials are building trust and thus firming preferences if they have a seamless time-saving and value-adding experience. In a recently concluded survey, 90 percent of millennials said they will not hesitate to try a newer platform/store if they have even one bad experience. This reflects that the behavior is driven by a plethora of options made available. So, they expect highly personalized or hyper-personalized attention to their needs and expectations.
Millennials are the real cause behind inflation. Surprising, right? And this is the reason why we are seeing a huge surge in demand to suit their lifestyle. Mathematician within all millennials has taken over all potential calorie-burning logic. For every task, by virtue of higher inflation, consumers are looking for easy, at-home available options. With a recent study from NRN around food ordering behavior, 71 percent of orders are placed by millennials. So, either they become the face of their family, or they order online for feeding themselves. This indicates with millennials spending a significant amount of money are expecting superior experiences than their predecessors.
With money available at disposal, less time to spend, and wider choices, it has become imperative that the new age consumers or customers expect services to suit their preferences and needs. The future of commerce is revolving around companies delivering a great experience to their customers. Thus, the term 'Customer Effort Score' is gaining traction over and above NPS. As consumers continue to evolve and have newer expectations with respect to their experiences, businesses have a dire need or urgency to evolve faster delivering hyper-personalization. (KB/IANS)
(Kapil Sharma, CEO, FiveS Digital)