Consumers expect brands to offer -
- Loyalty programs.
- Readily available information of products/services.
- Novel shopping experiences that integrate augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR).
- Responsive and interactive social media presence.
- Value added services along with core products/services.
Along with experience-based buying, many consumers are becoming increasingly worried about the environmental and ethical impact of their purchases.
A study conducted by Forrester with a representative sample of US consumers suggests that over 41% of the respondents evaluated brands and their offerings based on their ethics and values. Additionally, consumers also associate themselves positively with brands that are in line with their own social, environmental, and political ideals5.
Thanks to social media and easy access to the internet, consumers are beginning to expect brands to adopt sustainable practices like ethical sourcing, carbon footprint reduction, and waste reduction.
Due to this trend, retailers and consumer brands need to source Strategic partners who -
- Adopt a multi-disciplinary, multi-trunk, and agile approach to solving problems.
- Apply a problem solving mindset to make the most of the opportunities created by this trend.
- Prove ethical behavior, a sustainability mindset, and eco-friendliness, as well as a robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
The importance of social media and the rise of ecommerce
As social media evolved to become more than just another type of website on the internet, it became an important part of several people's purchasing journeys. Consumer research has shown that products/services accompanied by a relevant social media presence are much more likely to be purchased6.
As consumers increasingly use these tools to interact with brands, retailers should be actively engaged with them.
As a result of the pandemic, social media usage is at an all-time high. Consumer and retail companies have heavily tapped into the potential of ecommerce in this trend.
Ecommerce sales in the UK rose nearly five times before the pandemic in 2020. Several other countries also posted large gains, including the US with 3.3x, India with 2.0x, and Germany with 2.3x.7
Pandemic shutdowns drove people around the world to adopt and embrace ecommerce channels for online shopping. The amount of ecommerce sales grew exponentially compared to in store sales, and retailers expect these new buying habits to continue even after the crisis ends.
As a result, retail and consumer brands should seek Strategic partners who -
- Have expertise in digital marketing as a service.
- Can understand the client’s brand better via social media listening and analytics.
- Have the capability to protect and enhance the client brand’s revenue.
- Can provide omnichannel coverage and help with piloting innovative solutions.
In total, the outsourcing Strategic partner selected would have to deliver on the 11 aspects mentioned in this article. Retailers and consumer companies can condense all 11 into five key points to focus on to ensure a successful partnership:
- Experience — Provide a unique selling proposition to a unique value proposition.
- Delivery — Help companies cope with the accelerated adoption of ecommerce.
- Empowerment — Ensure value alignment for socially conscious consumers.
- Technology — Provide solutions for digitally and socially connected consumers.
- Insights — Hyper personalization of the shopping experience.
Wipro has provided stellar services to retail and consumer companies for over 15 years. The information in the article is a compilation of our rich experiences, and we hope it will prove useful in your outsourcing strategy.