The future of UK shopping is shaped through technology. We live in a world where changes in consumer behaviours are driven through technology and what we can learn as a business is more than critical to the reactive market.
As shopping experiences evolve through the ecosystem, we see a change in consumer behaviour. Social media through influencers being the driving force brings about the new change. Consumers like to follow people they value their comments. There is nothing wrong with that drive but as a business, we need to understand the consumer’s behaviour.
Data analysis & having a good website is a critical part of how a business should do when they choose the technology to support its growth. As the access to the internet has created a vacuum of space for consumers to use, they have a shop window to browse and consider their options.
As the space on the internet allows them to build their confidence in your product or service, your business website becomes a critical part of the buying cycle. Consumers whilst being interested in the marketing and influencers you choose to promote the business, have to build confidence in your business through your online store, that is your business website.
Through research, some consumers stumble into the buying process. Referred to as the discovery stage of the buying cycle, the notion around the want and need basis of buying have moved to a new cycle. Consumers at times look at products and services, in which they may not be interested at first, but would consider buying. This also depends on how well you can market the product or service.
Recent Google trends explain how the buying cycle of intensive research prior to purchasing, is creating opportunities for new entrants into the market. This brings our topic of how the future of UK shopping is shaped through technology. The access to the online market through your business website is bringing new changes in consumer behaviour.
There are changes in the way consumers buy and technology is shaping how UK consumers are changing their shopping behaviours. They are not searching for brands but more of what they need, for example, a sofa or a professional service. This means, whether you are a small business or an enterprise, the product or solution of what the consumer wants, is being made available through online searches and less demand of the brand. Obviously, if a consumer is given a chose of a branded and non-branded product, they will always consider the branded product but then the price would dictate whether a consumer would consider spending more money on that product.
There are those for whom price does not matter when it comes to branded products, but consumers’ attitudes toward buying are changing. The change is more down to choices that the online platforms are providing. This means, new entrants such as new brands, are able to compete in the market, with the global space available for start-ups and small businesses.
We know how many social media and also professional networks including LinkedIn play towards the buying process. They do influence the buying process. However, it is not so much now, because Google, Bing & Yahoo, are occupying spaces for the research platforms for the consumer.
The growing financial turmoil in the current market, throughout the world, will draw people to look at the pricing model. The shifting power of the brands will remain for the minority, whereby the smaller players with less overhead costs will be the next driving force of the new ever-changing market and consumer behaviours.
It’s interesting to see the consumers change. Why? We were a society at some point, looking at branded products, going to our usual place to buy and then this shifted with retailers coming into the market, with the current fashion but an affordable pricing model. Now, post covid and the change in online ordering, have shifted the buying process globally and become more digital.
We are becoming a trusted society, using the digital currency with credit card companies protecting your financial asset, to help drive the globalisation marketplace. Interesting times are ahead of us and for start-ups including small businesses, it’s a good time to be part of this.
I am sure, things are changing for the better, as we are becoming a society of change and bringing communities together. Becoming socially tolerant of cultures can only drive globalisation and acceptance of equality.
This brings our attention to consumer reviews. When consumers don’t recognise your brand, they will turn to online reviews. Whether you are a product reseller or a professional service, your consumer reviews become an integral part of the buying process. That being said, following a recent study by a consumer watchdog, reviews alone should not be taken into consideration as part of the buying process. Consumer experience in product or service suppliers does not always reflect the correct view.
Where there are very good reviews, the ones that provide a bad review, tend to voice an opinion and not on the product or service they have bought. The expectation levels have changed to what consumers want and not what they have bought. When something does not work, they turn to online reviews, which creates serious implications for small businesses.
For the larger businesses or brands, that do receive bad reviews, they tend to be ignored by the most consumer. This is so, the trust created by the brand. For small businesses, this becomes a vacuum of space that needs regulated and controlled. A consumer must provide a fair reflection, rather than what they had expected or failed to read the product or service description before the purchase.
Technology will always be the driving force of change in the buying process. We saw that in 2020, when consumers moved to new brands by 24%, this then changed in 2021 to 34% and now in 2022, that has moved to 51%. What does that say to the online market and new businesses? Well, there is space for start-ups and small businesses to enter the market, whether you are selling a product or a service, there are opportunities to sell to consumers.
Novelty, well consumers like to try and buy new things but are we really buying new products or services? Maybe not, because consumers need to be familiar with what they buy but if this could be shaped to show it’s new, then it increases the changes of the buying process.
As Derek Thompson refers to “MAYA”, which is “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”, the future of UK shopping is shaped through technology. Businesses need to help choose consumers for what they buy and through this, smaller enterprises can have the confidence, that consumers will turn to them and when they do, they must not fail.
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