Since the onset of the pandemic, brands have prioritized digital channels for everything from customer support to commerce. In fact, the rise of digital commerce has accelerated in almost every consumer facing industry: kiosks are the new waiters; mobile apps the new foyer. Businesses saw digital channels generate profit like never before. The question for chief marketing officers today is which of these changes are here to stay.
New research from CX customer engagement software and services firm Khoros explores the consumer trends that have reshaped the commerce landscape and reveals the opportunities and blind spots marketing executives should be preparing for as we look forward to 2022.
Leveraging insights from more than 1,300 consumers and marketing leaders around the world, the firm’s latest whitepaper, Navigating the Rise of Digital Commerce, provides marketing executives with foresight into consumer preferences, both in 2022 and beyond, to inform key decision making and future-proof marketing investments.
Key findings from the report include:
The purchase journey will become increasingly hybrid
Two-thirds (67 percent) of consumers believe the best shopping experiences in the future will incorporate both humans and digital channels.
Marketers need to preserve human connection over digitized interactions
Fifty-seven percent of consumers want the option to talk to someone before buying a product or service, but that doesn’t mean they are going to ignore the convenience of e-commerce.
Social commerce is here to stay, but conversational commerce is the next frontier
While conversational commerce is a powerful strategy in achieving this balance of digitization and human touch, only 12 percent of marketers consider this to be a very high priority in their commerce strategy today.
Digital-forward consumers are painting the picture for the future of commerce
This segment expects a simpler, more convenient, and hyper-personalized purchase journey—and they are willing to share more of their personal data to get it.
“Commerce strategies over the last two years have largely been placed in reactive mode as marketers have had to adapt to the quickly shifting digital landscape,” said Katherine Calvert, CMO at Khoros, in a news release. “Moving forward, CMOs should be looking to the new doors that have been opened by the rise in digital commerce to proactively address the new needs of consumers. The future of commerce will be more connected, more convenient, and more personalized than ever before. Brands that invest in the toolkit to serve these needs now will be able to remain relevant and capitalize on this wave of digital growth.”
Khoros commissioned Illuminas, an independent market research consultancy focused on generating insights for the tech industry, to conduct a two-pronged research study to assess what consumer behavior and marketing strategies would look like in a post-pandemic world.
1200 consumers in the US and EMEA (UK, France, and Germany) completed a 20-minute online survey, and the survey was localized and translated into local languages outside the US. The consumer sample was sourced from third-party online panels and represented a natural mix of demographics across key variables such as age, gender, and ethnicity.
104 marketers in the US completed a 10-minute online survey, and the sample was sourced from the Ad Age subscriber base. The sample is comprised of marketing professionals in leadership positions, but a small subset of the sample self-described themselves as marketing managers (14%) or individual contributors (2%).
Khoros was not revealed as the sponsor of the research, and the data collection periods took place between August and September 2021.