Ready or not, the digitally enabled consumer is here

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Changes to consumer behaviour usually arrive in waves. Most of the time these waves are small. They drive minimal impact, with minimal adaptation required by businesses. But every so often a wave comes along that’s much larger, demanding that businesses and brands make significant strategic and holistic adjustments to adapt.

The digital enablement of consumers is one such wave that has accelerated dramatically in recent years; from new technologies and omnichannel customer experiences to ubiquitous smartphones and a surge in app use. Today’s consumers want more from the businesses they interact with, and these expectations open up multiple opportunities for businesses to attract, engage and retain customers.

No industry today is serving customers unaffected by the shift in consumer experience and expectations. Your customer is also a customer of other leading businesses – and has been conditioned to expect extraordinary and personalised interactions when buying a product or a service.

“Consumer behaviour is changing faster than businesses can keep up. Digital transformation can help them keep pace – but not get ahead.”

                                                                                                   The life centricity playbook – Accenture

These changes have impacted the property industry no less than any other, if not more so; because buying a house remains one of the most high-value, and therefore deeply emotional buying decisions that any consumer will make in their lifetime.

It is therefore not surprising that by the time a customer walks into your (physical or digital) office to make one of their largest and most impactful decisions (whether that is buying, selling, or renting a home) they are expecting a simply outstanding customer experience, especially as the stakes are so much higher.

But how do you attract, engage, and retain the digitally enabled consumer?

The process begins with understanding who your customers are and what they are looking for. Whether you are in sales, lettings or both, understanding what your customers are looking for is an essential requirement to give them the best experience possible. But what does the consumer profile look like?

Consumer behaviour tends to change with time and rarely remains static over the course of a lifetime – this is particularly true when it comes to property, as requirements, desires, and affordability are all elements that evolve as the customer gets older. Understanding what drives each of the generation categories should underpin any strategy to attract, engage and retain customers: what they value most, and what their buying behaviour looks like during a high-value, high-risk purchasing decision.

Furthermore, major events in the macro environment (wars, recessions, pandemics) profoundly influence consumer behaviour and the COVID-19 pandemic was no exception, driving behaviour changes almost across all generations as each generation faced the same restrictions. So, the question is no longer merely understanding what each generation wants, but also what that looks like.

Find out more in the Digital Enabled Consumer Report

Reapit latest report – The Digitally Enabled Consumer – explores the state of consumer behaviour today, looking in detail at how customer expectations and engagement preferences have evolved over the past few years, what each generation values, and how they might approach a property purchase.

In addition, it offers strategies for agencies on how to attract, engage and retain customers in this new housing market era, so that property industry professionals are ready for the digitally enabled consumer.

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