Focus this month: Seamless & Smart

Was the past couple of years the first time you experienced a virtual concert? Or maybe you really got into ordering groceries straight to your front door?

Most of us got quite a lot of firsts and formed new, lasting habits during the pandemic. While some still love the thrill of finding something special in a brick-and-mortar store, others are enjoying the convenience factors the disruption in technology brought us during this unconventional time.

Nevertheless, our expectations of brands and the experiences they offer us have changed. Instead of simply bridging the gap between physical and digital, IRL and online, we are expecting immersion, a full experience of the brand, and ultimately, to have the choice in our own hands, whether to enjoy the experience from the comfort of our own homes or not.

Why now?

If you look back to just a few years ago, it’s easy to see that some of the digital experiences we saw as mere entertainment, or at least eccentric and adaptable only by the dedicated tech enthusiasts, are now actually becoming essential parts of our online behaviour. Consumers expect a greater deal of convenience than ever before and after the pandemic, digital tools are not only expected but seen as necessary.

The blending of physical and digital shopping isn’t a new idea anymore and it has certainly become obvious that online can’t replace all aspects of the in-store experience but there’s still a gap to be filled there: can you as a brand create a new sense of confidence in consumers’ hybrid shopping journeys?

What’s in it for me?

Are you aware of the key elements that your digital brand experience is missing? Are you offering the convenience, the confidence, or even the thrill of discovery to those seeking it? If so, great, keep up the good work! But if not, ask yourself: what do I need to do to bridge the gap?

Technology can speed things up, and concepts like automation, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) can certainly help you meet your customers’ expectations. But experiences, whether they are physical or digital, are ultimately built on emotions: we remember how they made us feel. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends, but if the technology doesn’t serve your customer needs, it isn’t the right fit for you.

The perfect example

Brands love to lure the trailblazers: it’s easy to target those that adapt easily to new concepts, technologies and services. But what might be even more rewarding is turning over those that hold on to their preconceptions like their life depended on it. Electric vehicles (EV) are a perfect example of a product like this. One by one, traditional car brands are all becoming electric but moving from early adopters to the mass markets isn’t exactly an easy feat.

The US car giant General Motors (GM) launched a program to educate those that are still not quite sure if they are ready to go electric. EV Live is a website that allows you to schedule a live tour with a GM specialist who teaches you one-on-one about all the concerns there might be when moving from traditional to EV. The experience they provide is both human and interactive at the same time and ticks one the most crucial boxes in our 24/7 lifestyles: it’s on-demand from wherever you want to experience it from.

“What’s Next” is our weekly series focusing on a relevant trend that manifests one of the six forces of change by Kuudes. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to learn about the next trend.