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Do customers prefer humans or machines?

Raconteur | Alice Broster | Apr 21, 2022

customers - Do customers prefer humans or machines?Digital technology showcased new ways for brands to communicate successfully with consumers during the pandemic, even removing the need for human input in some areas. But which changes here to stay?

When it comes to picking the brands you support, many factors can come into play. Sustainability and ethical consumption might be high on your list of priorities. Alternatively, low costs and quick delivery times might be the number-one factor for you.

However you feel, the pandemic changed how we interact with brands, as we had no choice but to go online for everything. As companies have necessarily responded to the influx of online shoppers over the past two years, our relationships with brands and shopping have also evolved.

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Philip Graves, founder of behavioural insights consultancy Shift and author of Consumer.ology says

Most brands realise that customer experience is part of the competitive landscape, so they need to constantly adapt to changing customer expectations. Tech has played a major role in the changes we see in customer behaviour. Consumers don’t want technological change but if it brings a better experience, they are drawn to it for the psychological reward

This is confirmed by the findings of an Acquia consumer experiences trend report, Digital Experiences in Disruptive Times, in which 77% of UK respondents said their digital experience with brands has changed, with 43% of UK consumers buying more online than before the pandemic. The fact that 48% of organisations surveyed said they created more content for customer engagement is revealing. According to a survey by the McKinsey Institute, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digitalisation in customer and supply-chain communications by three to four years.

“The familiar and frictionless nature of the purchase means that little conscious effort is required to make it,” he says.

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“In 2022, the best thing a brand can do is give a customer the sense that you’re reflecting their identity and their identity is aligned with your brand’s values,” says Hunter. “If you can tap into customers’ aspirations and give them an authentic experience then I think you’re in really good shape.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Do customers prefer humans or machines?The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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