More than two-thirds of UK consumers return to brands that cater to their needs

62 percent of UK consumers would return to a brand that treats them as an individual rather than a number.

This demand for personalized brand engagement is mirrored across Europe – in Italy (70%), Spain (63%), France (59%) and Germany (55%).

An OpenText study revealed the extent to which the pandemic has changed customers’ expectations of brands, as well as the growing importance of a streamlined digital experience post-COVID.

Tailored deals

In a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, 43% said they only buy from brands that understand their preferences. This includes communicating with them via their preferred channels and offering tailored offers..

A bad experience would deter more than half (56%) of UK consumers from returning to a brand. Customers for life may not exist in 2021, according to 60% of respondents, implying that brands cannot rely on long-term customer loyalty to recover from bad experiences.

Creating a frictionless experience for customers is critical. Easy search is important to nearly three-quarters (72%) of UK consumers when buying products or services online. Also, half (48%) prefer brands that remember their details and auto-fill. Brands are under pressure to store data correctly: half (54%) would pay more to do business with a company that values their privacy.

“The COVID-19 crisis has forced businesses to change how they communicate with customers,” said Lou Blatt, senior VP and CMO at OpenText.

“Client expectations have shifted as a result. They now demand more from brands – more channels, more personalisation, and most importantly, a more seamless digital experience. Achieving scaled delivery of rich, ultra-personalized communications across all touch points and channels is now mission-critical.

The pandemic has changed expectations for 54% of UK consumers when it comes to brand digital offerings. One fifth (19%) will not use brands if their online shopping experience is poor.

The pandemic has made nearly half (46%) more comfortable with digital-only businesses. A personalised digital experience is now vital for over four in ten (43%) UK consumers to return to a brand.

Optimal experience

The study also revealed consumer perceptions of which organizations have excelled in providing an optimal experience during the recent turmoil. During the pandemic, 40% say bigger established brands were able to provide a better digital experience than smaller ones.

“Creating a positive customer experience is all about removing friction and increasing relevance: the easier and more relevant something is to each customer, the better the experience.

“Today’s customers expect a seamless digital journey from product research to order tracking, delivered on any device, at any time. Brands should invest in a digital experience platform that allows them to seamlessly integrate data, information, and assets across environments.

Without it, brands will struggle to deliver cohesive, personalized experiences that win and keep customers.

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