Friday, 2 February 2018

IMPACT OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IN DIGITAL ERA


Digitization of products and processes has changed consumer behaviour in several ways.  Changes  can  be  found  not  only  in  human  actions  but  also  in  attitudes  and  ethics.  The music industry has been a pioneer in digitized societies.  In the  new  millennium it has also faced the downsides of the development: digital piracy and, as  a  consequence  of  it,  declining  revenues. These  threats  are  not  limited  to  the  music  industry  but  concern  many  other  sectors  whose  products  can  be  digitized.  The mainstream of previous and contemporary IS/IT research has been optimistic and emphasized the positive impacts of digitalization. Those who have considered the negative impacts, such as the consequences of digital piracy, have done it from a single perspective, usually from the business perspective. A wide understanding of how digitalization takes place in societies is missing.  This research gap is addressed in our thesis. Although the focus is on consumer behaviour of  digital  contents, in general, and of digital music, in particular, the objective is to get a more comprehensive   understanding of digitized  societies.  

1.      Consumers now have their own benchmark of what “Looks Good”
With advent of Digital Marketing, the consumers are a troubled soul; they have different definition of “what Looks Good” to them. They will compare an FMCG product’s service with that of TV’s service. They expect one brand element to be equivalent to another brand’s element. There have been instances where people tweeted on FMCG companies’ handle on how let’s say Samsung has a better Quality of Service than what they provide. I mean these two products are far apart. But, consumer is King. So, now every company has to be on their toes now because, they are now competing with anyone and everyone on Social Media Space.
2. Consumer Tolerance is reducing at an alarming level
Consumer wants response as fast and as clear as possible. It takes merely one Viral tweet or post to destroy or build a company’s rapport. Platforms like, mouthshut, quora, twitter, facebook, etc. are being used by consumers to share their misfortunes that they had faced with a company. Negativity attracts people and this is human psychology. Very few users will put a grateful post on FB or Twitter. To tackle such situations, a brand must follow ORM strategy (Online Reputation Management). ORM is basically a management system where you respond to people who are talking about you. If they are talking good, then thank them and ask to visit your website. If they are talking negatively about you, ask them to chill and ask them to register a complaint on the helpdesk. Make sure that the helpdesk solves the problem because again the customer will go to Social Media, but now he/she would be even angrier! Such interactions create a positive impact on people.
3. Consumer Dialogue- Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing tools. Before Digital Marketing people used to ask elders, or people who have domain knowledge of the specific product they are about to buy. But, now the list has new entries like Rating, Reviews (User and Expert), Testimonials, etc. The decision of a consumer to buy a product, online or offline, they will first Google search it, and then they will go to review sites and read what experts and users have to say about the product.
4. People are not afraid of experimenting
Gone are those days when people are afraid of using a new product and would use it only when somebody else puts a trust deal on the product. Now, a new product with good features and quality is lauded with applause by our consumers. Best example can be Renault Duster car. This car became national sensation in a very brief period of time. It was also not backed up by a trusted brand like Maruti or TATA. Experimenting concept prevailed and due to which many companies like OYO, Uber, Ola, etc. came to life.
5. Consumers are now switchers instead of Loyal
Loyalty in consumers is now an extinct feature. There was a time when people in India just had a trust in one brand in mobile phone industry, NOKIA. Now, NOKIA is nowhere to be seen. Likes of MNCs like Samsung, Apple is now being threatened by new comers like Oppo, Xiaomi, Gionee, One+, etc. Flash sales and people getting mad over these low cost ultra-features phones. Another close to home example is Patanjali, Baba Ramdev initiative. Patanjali has made MNC sweat. Colgate accepted that they have a new competitor in town. Patanjali as of now is a Rs. 5,000 crore company!
6. People use more than one Social Media channels now
It is not upto brands to decide which social media platform they want to be on. It is now decided by the consumers. If consumer is on FB, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, G+, Tumblr, Instagram etc. brands have to be present there. They have to interact with people to create a buzz among them. Once a positive buzz is created, word of mouth spreads like fire.
Conclusion
It is an attempt to understand the behaviour of Consumer towards online shopping. The data analysis has given clear indication of increasing significance of online buying of the consumers. The ease and convenience of shopping and the discounts available has made shopping convenient for consumers buying online. The majority of consumers buying online are youngsters and the majority of goods and services demanded are laptops, mobile phones, electronic goods and booking of travelling tickets and hotels. The major fear in the consumer’s mind during online purchase is the difference between the product shown on website and the delivered one. By improving after sales service, providing more secured payment options, timely delivery of products can boost the online shopping of consumers.

Mudit Tomar
Assistant Professor

JEMTEC School of Law

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