The Digital Savvy Customer
A report by consumer and media research company, Scarborough Research has revealed that nearly 6 per cent of the US population are leading edge consumers.
A report by consumer and media research company, Scarborough Research has revealed that nearly 6 per cent of the US population are leading edge consumers. The report, Understanding the Digital Savvy Consumer, surveyed consumers based upon characteristics such as Internet behaviour and ownership of specific consumer electronics and labelled the group as 'Digitally Savvy'.
Above: Sites such as Kelkoo have changed the way consumers shop
In a sample of 111,051 US citizens it was found that 5,672 of those fell into the digital savvy group. For the digital marketer, the characteristics of the group make for an interesting read.
Richer, cleverer, influencer
The research shows that Digital Savvy are more upscale with more than half of the group living in a household with an income of $75,000 or more. They are also 56 per cent more likely than the average consumer to own or lease a luxury vehicle and 49 per cent more likely to own a second home.
It was found that they had a higher level of education than the general public. 36 per cent of Digital Savvy have a college degree compared to 24 per cent of total consumers.
Unsurprisingly, Digital Savvy consumers were almost twice as likely to have a broadband connection as a 'regular consumer' and were highly unlikely (only 3 per cent) to have no Internet access at all.
With regards to their spending power, the majority had spent over $500 online during the course of a year, with more than a third spending over $1000.
The Digital Savvy consumer should be a target for marketers, particularly in the B2B tech space. Digital Savvy consumers have a higher level of influence when it comes to making purchasing decision. With IT related purchases, 23 per cent of the digital savvy consumers were involved compared to the national average of 9 per cent.
As online spending continues to rise, the Digital Savvy group becomes a more important group to monitor. The group sets the tone for the Web and are heavy online spenders, with a particular penchant for luxury goods. However, it should also be noted that the group does not suffer fools gladly. They are more likely to research their products, often preferring to buy goods cheaper from wholesales stockist than the higher street.
Joe Brown, VP of EMEA, customer relationship management solutions provider, RightNow, believes that price is no longer of upmost importance to the digital savvy consumer.
"Price comparison sites, independent user reviews, bricks and mortar stores offering online discounts, blogs...the web-based sources of information that influence a purchasing decision are seemingly endless. In fact, the IMRG claims that £80 billion of consumer spending is either on or influenced by the Internet," said Brown.
"The sphere of influence wielded by the Internet, coupled with the transparency it creates, means that brand and vendor differentiation based purely on price or product uniqueness is a thing of the past. For the i-generation, or digitally savvy consumer, prices and product specification are laid bare by Price Runner, Kelkoo and the like.
"For the more progressive vendor the emphasis on customer experience presents a clear opportunity to win the hearts and wallets of these i-generation shoppers, but not without some serious contemplation about what consumers expect when they transact online, and we're talking the entire consumer journey here - pre-sale, sale, and post sale.
"A recent poll of Internet-savvy consumers found that nearly a fifth (19 per cent) had abandoned a purchase either because they couldn't find specific product information or ask questions about a product. Lack of information can be a deal breaker, especially for big ticket items like LCD TVs etc.," he commented.
What should marketers do?
According to RightNow the following best practices will go a long way to improving the customer experience:
Clarify essential information
Be clear early on what the delivery charges are and how the delivery process works. Either have a tab where all the information can be found, and/or call out standard charges and processes on each web page. Empower staff with the ability to quickly update and communicate anything impacting on delivery times.
Present dynamic content in context
Learn what customers look for and what questions they ask so that information provided is dynamic, timely and relevant. Present information in the context of where the customer is in his or her shopping experience. Work with manufacturers to syndicate product information from their websites so that customers have access to up-to-date information.
Offer multi-channel choice
Ensure customers have access to multi-channel contact options (live chat, email-to-agent, click-to-call) throughout their journey so that they can ask questions about their intended purchase. This multi-channel support can prevent them leaving your site to look elsewhere for information.
Make it easy for customer to do business with you
Allow customers to create a personalised 'my orders' portal so they can keep track of orders, deliveries and returns.
Drive towards repeat business
Learn from pre and post purchase interactions with customers so you can segment your customer base to offer more relevant or personalised customer experiences which can drive future revenue.