TheCustomer QT - Thanksgiving

TheCustomer Quick-Take: November 24, 2021

TheCustomer Quick-Take Refresh. Back from a brief hiatus, having literally piles of news & developments to sift through, we’ve done our best to distill the important stuff down for you.


Also – if you’d like to receive the Quick-Take directly in your inbox each week, or if you’d like to pass the word on to your colleagues about us, you can do so here.

Massive Missed Opportunities

Social commerce, which encourages the discovery and purchase of products via social media channels, is expected to grow at a 31.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2020 and 2027, and the global social commerce market is estimated to grow to $604.5 billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets. According to the study findings, fewer than 30% of social commerce leaders are prioritizing customer engagement, failing to cultivate and nurture customer relationships throughout the social purchase journey, and putting their long term social commerce growth at risk.

Editor’s Note: I’m not sure what constituted “customer engagement” for this study but even if this number is close to correct, it points to a huge opportunity for merchants to make up competitive ground.


Breaking Up Over Breakfast

After analyzing customer experiences at a Swiss luxury hotel in Zurich, brand breakups were found at two seemingly minor touchpoints: the breakfast area and the dining area. Typically, a luxury brand breakup does not happen because of the core service delivery, such as the hotel room or the purchase experience. But in many instances, it happens because of seemingly tiny details. Paying precise and rigorous attention to their customer journeys would prevent luxury brands from losing millions of dollars in revenue.

Editor’s Note: Further evidence that the devil is in the details, so to speak.  What are your vulnerable touchpoints? Where can you shore up the experience?


GDPR’s Big Teeth

WhatsApp is taking the action after getting hit with a record 225 million euro ($267 million) fine in September from Ireland’s data privacy watchdog for violating stringent European Union data protection rules on transparency about sharing people’s data with other Facebook companies.

Editor’s Note: Even though this is a record-breaking sum, GDPR guidelines allow for even larger fines.  Note as well that this is one of very few effective levers against Facebook’s (now Meta’s) unwillingness to bend toward sensible data policies.


Growing Trust in Local

Meanwhile and Uberall report finds that most shoppers (67%) will trust local brands over internet-only merchants more. About two-thirds do consider chain stores like Best Buy or Kohls “local” if they have store locations close to them.

Editor’s Note: As evidenced here, “local” can mean several different things.  The key is to capitalize on your customers’ self-identifications and their tendencies toward ideas of “place”.


The Fading Primacy of Price

Changing social conditions are also causing prices to lose importance in purchase decisions. Data gathered by B2B International over 15 years found that price is not the main priority for 80% of B2B buyers. Marketers who seek to compete based on price alone and
neglect value marketing leave most of their market vulnerable to capture by savvier promoters.

Editor’s Note: Said another way, value (also known as experience) is the new black and is the best way to de-commoditize your brand in a post-modern marketplace.


Small Data Revolution

According to Gartner analysts, as much as 70% of businesses will shift their focus from big data to small and wide data by 2025. Like small data, wide data relies on businesses tying together the data it produces across a range of different sources – like website traffic, store visits, social media engagements, and telephone inquiries. This is a seismic shift that points to more organizations opting to act on more cost-effective but powerful data insights in the coming years.

Editor’s Note:  The big data honeymoon has been over for some time for many enterprises.  Big data balance sheets have become to risky and unwieldy to own. As with so much post-pandemic customer strategy, it’s time to focus on what is practical and useful instead of what’s simply available.


Experience Against Amazon

Molson Hart, the owner of the educational toy company Viahart, told me that he believed it was still possible to build a great brand with lasting customers. It just takes fresh skills. Products that might have been drive-by purchases on Amazon can encourage repeat buyers by tucking in welcome messages in the product packaging or reaching out to people who post raves on social media, he said. We don’t usually step back and think about why we buy certain products. When we do, it’s remarkable how much we’ve changed, and all the ways our habits have bent the shopping world.

Editor’s Note:  Overcoming the power of convenience might be as simple as thinking like a human.  What does your customer “feel”?


Driving AmazonGo

The automated retail store has been available for several years now. Why has it not expanded faster?
A. The pace of growth in retail has been impacted over the past 12-18 months by global events. At the end of the day, the customer will drive what works best for them, and retailers will adapt to fulfill their brand promise and deliver effectively on business objectives

Editor’s Note: We’ve been wondering the same thing. With the massive amounts of buzz and press these stores received when they first opened, we predicted they would quickly start appearing on street corners everywhere.  We were wrong.  It turns out the customer was right.


Amazon Trading Price for Privacy

According to an investigation by The Wired, some low-level employees at Amazon “were using their data privileges to snoop on the purchases of celebrities, while others were taking bribes to help shady sellers sabotage competitors’ businesses, doctor Amazon’s review system, and sell knock-off products to unsuspecting customers”. It appears that despite Amazon’s customer-first mentality, company officials have allegedly failed to prioritise securing its customers’ most personal information.

Editor’s Note:  This isn’t about bashing a big brand so much as it is a warning to other big brands that internal data security and privacy and real issues with real consequences.


Data Breach of the Week

Web hosting giant GoDaddy has reported a data breach, and warns that data on 1.2 million customers may have been accessed. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, GoDaddy’s chief information security officer Demetrius Comes said the company detected unauthorized access to its systems where it hosts and manages its customers’ WordPress servers.

Editor’s Note:  This isn’t about bashing a big brand so much as it is a warning to other big brands that external data security and privacy and real issues with real consequences.

To our U.S. readers – Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

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