New research from customer experience design firm Tallwave explores how consumer expectations and behaviors have shifted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing that consumers want a choice for how they can interact with a brand, making retail hybrid experiences more important than ever.
The firm’s newly released 2021 Data-Driven Insights Into Evolving Customer Experience Report highlights the most influential components of customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty, and how organizations can transform experiences for a digital-first, hybrid, and hyper-personalized world.
Key findings include:
- 50 percent of survey respondents reported at least one experience they won’t return to in person after the pandemic is over, signaling a shift to digital-focused consumer behaviors.
- 41 percent of respondents reported convenience as the primary benefit of using digital experiences during COVID-19. Price and cost savings still played a factor, averaging 20 percent of respondents’ primary vote.
- Older customers were more likely than younger to choose “safer” as a primary benefit of digital experiences.
- Interest in exclusively digital experiences decreases with age, typically dropping off starting with the 45-54 age demographic. Of respondents 55 and over, 66 percent reported no desire to continue any type of digital experience in a post-COVID world.
“Brands who shifted quickly to digital models during the pandemic developed a more favorable impression with customers,” said Jesus Ramirez, VP of strategy and innovation at Tallwave, in a news release. “As we move forward, the data reinforces the importance of meeting customers where they are, and giving them the option of digital and/or in-person experience.”
Whether consumers return to pre-pandemic behaviors or if the digital shifts we experienced over the past year are here to stay, the trends point to consumers seeking a seamless and personalized customer experience that they can control. Going forward retailers can win by redefining the role of the physical store and integrating CX technology at the right points in the customer journey to enhance the shopping experience.