Developments in the digital sphere have given consumers the ability to use the internet to research and voice their opinions more than ever before. The G2 eCultures Europe report looked to uncover specific reactions to how brands have evolved with the rise of digital and how consumers think they should be making the most out of their online presence.

The big challenge for brands online is to engage consumers with new proposals that will enrich their leisure activities through inspirational and enjoyable experiences. Digital activities tend to learn towards management rather than entertainment, but today’s consumers are looking for new experiences that add excitement to their life.

There are opportunities to increase interaction by making brand information more relevant, inspirational and appreciated by consumers. The G2 research also found that online privacy is a serious issue for EU users and is a key barrier that prevents some consumers from digital adoption and online shopping. Therefore brands need to build trust by showing that they respect the importance of personal information and remaining unobtrusive when users are browsing.

The desktop computer is the most common device for surfing the web because of its easy and efficient ability to complete routine activities, but consumers are increasingly using smartphones to interact with social networks and accessing the internet. Brands need to improve communications through mobile, to achieve emotional brand engagement in a less intrusive way to the consumer. Following the premise ‘less is more’ and using short messages in a very visual and graphic way, will project messages without bombarding the recipient.

Social networking is becoming more and more relevant for marketing and advertising. Facebook has become a key touch point that brands should take advantage of to communicate with their consumers. It has the ability to allow companies to share ideas, provide entertainment and experiences to an active audience.

It is very important to provide support for consumers by creating a customer service team. This will allow people the opportunity to ask questions and seek help, which will ultimately build brand loyalty and satisfaction. Supplying assistance and advice to help customers find the best options with the most suitable prices will also build better relations and brand reputation. Offering tangible benefits like sampling, discounts and offers will build a strong commitment and urge consumers to recommend good deals to friends and family. Moreover, brands need to remember that consumers are different and therefore require extra effort to be applied to help to facilitate their digital adoption process and personalised experiences.

The report additionally found that conventional advertising was negatively perceived in comparison to a more accepting attitude towards branded content. This form of promotion is more credible and accepted by the digital consumer; brands should adopt codes of branded content in their communications.

While shopping online has achieved consideration among digital users, it still lacks conversion. Brands can increase sales by helping users have a more satisfactory experience and making them feel comfortable and safe with the process that will lead to online transactions. With online privacy and the threat of potential theft or fraud remaining a dominant issue for consumers, it is essential brands communicate their commitment to maintaining a safe environment for shopping.

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