These days, consumers are paying attention to your company before they are even in the market for your products. Beyond the look and feel of your marketing efforts, customers are evaluating everything from the way you interact with the environment to how you treat your employees. Your brand fuels your customer journey, a more multifaceted experience than ever before.
Salesforce Connections is a premier conference that brings together marketing, commerce, and service providers from across industries to explore how your brand can connect with consumers. The event explores topics ranging from B2B/B2C marketing automation, to customer lifecycle management and omnichannel experience, to digital engagement, self-service, and chatbots.
For the second year in a row, Deloitte Digital is proud to be an Emerald sponsor at Salesforce Connections, and the exclusive sponsor of the Connections Equality track. We share Salesforce’s core values of equality, diversity, and inclusion, and are dedicated to making an impact for the communities we serve, the customers we work with, and the individuals we employ.
We’ll be bringing those values to the conference floor with a discussion on how brands are deepening customer connections through thoughtful marketing that reflects and amplifies the diverse communities they serve.
From their first search to your post-purchase service emails, every interaction should feel deliberate and personalized for your customer. As brands aggressively compete when it comes to personalized product, price, and experience delivery—it’s imperative to foster an omnichannel experience that caters to the human behind the purchase.
But figuring out exactly who your customer is, and what they want, is a fast-changing game. And conventional wisdom tells us that there has been a seismic shift in consumer mindset, including countless assumptions surrounding both millennial shopping habits.
To get a better understanding of today’s consumer, the Deloitte Retail industry marketing team launched The consumer is changing, perhaps not how you think, a yearlong study that analyzed government data, conducted interviews, and surveyed more than 4,000 US consumers. The goal was to examine the current state of the consumer and to study their behavior to identify if there were nuances and intricacies that were being missed.
Despite popular assumption, consumers aren’t only shopping online even though we are seeing a rise in online purchases across demographics. Customers are still making choices based on convenience, value, and price.
As a whole, the United States has a more diverse, more educated population than seen in decades prior. We’re seeing a greater gap between high- and low-income earners, with new costs like smartphones and data plans, and expenses including student loans and healthcare impacting discretionary spending, especially for low earners.
Perhaps a main concern should be not that consumers (and especially millennials) are spending less, but that they are spending differently. With their huge collective buying power at roughly 30 percent of the United States population, we’re paying close attention to when and how millennials are spending their money. Notably, we are seeing millennials delaying major lifetime milestones including marriage, childbirth, and homeownership, which may greatly influence how they manage their wallets. Additionally, home ownership, education, and medical care cost exponentially more now than they did even a few decades ago—yet the median salary hasn’t increased in this time.
Interestingly enough, our study revealed spending on categories including food, alcohol, furniture, and food away from home constitutes roughly the same percentage of the consumer’s wallet today as it did in 1997. Consumers still look to value, product, and convenience when making purchasing decisions. At the end of the day, the modern consumer is a construct of growing economic pressure and increasing competitive options. Consumers are still spending their money on the same things, but also stretching their wallets to cover expenses like education and healthcare.
People are still shopping but are spending less time doing it than before. It’s natural to think the decline is a result of growing disinterest in shopping, but this assumption fails to account for an important difference—the multitude of shopping channels available.
Over the past few decades, digital has forced traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to evolve and incorporate e-commerce into their B2C practices. Today, more than ever before, consumers have more efficient ways of shopping, so this decline may not actually reflect an aversion to shopping itself. With more options to buy and easier ways to do comparison research, customers are inclined to make purchases based on the journey that feels most personalized to their needs, and from companies that align with their values.
Want to delve deeper into the motivations of today’s consumer? Join us at our speaking session! We’ll dig into the research and learn how B2C companies can make the most of this changing consumer environment by delivering robust, omnichannel personalization across every touchpoint of the customer journey.
The Consumer Is Changing, But Perhaps Not How You Think
Tuesday, June 18 | 12 - 12:40 p.m.
Conventional wisdom about the customer is prevalent, but how much is actually true? Deloitte’s year-long study peeled back the complexity of today’s consumer. Attendees will learn how the consumer is changing, what these changes means for consumer engagement, and how companies can adapt to better serve their consumer segments.
- Robert Stephens, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP
- Art Sebastian, VP Digital Customer Experience, Casey’s General Store
- Praveen Moturu, Chief Enterprise Architect, Mars Inc
And, don’t forget to stop by the Deloitte Digital booth #4 on the show floor or check out the Salesforce Connections website for more info.