As a consumer in 2021, we expect to be inundated with choices. Thanks to industry growth and innovation, we continually have more products and services at our fingertips, giving us increased access to the things that bring us joy, convenience and more – and what could be bad about that?
Choice or decision paralysis is a common reaction to overanalysing a situation and can very much be experienced when faced with the increasing amount that is offered to us today, not only from various brands but via a multitude of channels. So much so, we can face a complete freeze response and not end up making a purchase at all.
Brands know a decrease in what’s on offer isn’t what consumers want, but how can we avoid being so overwhelmed with what we could purchase, that we avoid it completely?
Rather than wilfully narrowing their offering, many brands are opting to use and develop tools and tactics to help consumers with more personalised decision-making. If you’ve purchased, browsed, or engaged in any way with a digital platform, you’ll have experienced this in action. It’s Netflix knowing what you might want to binge next, it’s Amazon knowing what else you might want to add to your basket, and it’s definitely the next piece of content you see when you scroll.
We can now rely on a multitude of channels to navigate us toward better decision-making, without the time and energy wasted agonising over making the right choice. Algorithms are underway, working to base our next experience on our previous actions, and knowing it’s based fundamentally on us, we trust the suggestions – perhaps more so than a friend’s recommendation. After all, this is pure data and science!
This idea of data-driven personalisation is continually being developed, such as through the use of AI, allowing recommendations and curations to become more and more accurate. But this doesn’t just stop at your past habits – this is working toward even predicting your future ones!
This form of customer service and sales strategy is moving further away from reactive, and closer to proactive. An example, titled Psychic Pizza, explains the difference. Whilst a pizza brand like Domino’s may use your previous purchases to push you toward relevant deals at your next check-out, pizza brands of the future may well be able to deliver your pizza before you even knew you wanted one!
This is an extreme example but goes to show where brands are headed when it comes to this space. Whilst current reactive examples offer customers the benefit of removing a sense of uncertainty (you’re much more likely to try a new expensive face cream if you know it’s actively been suggested based on the routine you already have), proactive examples double down on this and also add the element of a pleasant surprise.
Whilst current technology and infrastructure may not be ready for psychic pizzas, brands can be taking advantage of the innovation already accessible to allow data-driven personalisation for their customers and thereby become a partner that consumers rely on, showcasing a want to sell them something right for them, rather than selling them as much as possible. Building trust in this way with increasingly accurate recommendations that hit the mark will build customer reassurance and loyalty over an increasingly short period of time.
*ding-dong* OH – PIZZA’S HERE!