Consumer E-tales | Outlook Business
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Graphically Speaking

Consumer E-Tales
Businesses are using digital reach to co-create products with customers

People are waking up and falling asleep to the blue light of mobile screens. Not surprising then, that the digitally-influenced spending of this generation is slated to touch $4 trillion four years from now. These spends are done based on online information, even if the items are bought offline. A survey by The Boston Consulting Group’s Center for Consumer Insight found that consumers across countries are maturing under digital exposure, from being ‘digitally aware’ to ‘digitally evolved’. Countries such as India are in between at ‘digitally advancing’. The three categories are based on share of e-tail spends in overall retail — less than 2%, between 3 and 5%, and above 10% — and online-influenced buying behaviours. In India, it holds sway over 12 to 25% of net retail expenditure while in ‘evolved’ markets such as China, nearly all (98%) purchases are done after online research. In all three, travellers and mobile phone buyers are highly digitally influenced — 60 to 100%, and 40 to 100% respectively. Automobiles and large appliances are researched online, but billed only after the customer gets to see and touch them. Social media is still the lead influencer (63%) especially in ‘digitally advancing' countries such as India, while the strongest pull is from convenience (73% in evolved category). Businesses are already harnessing the potential by changing their working models — a few are using digital reach to co-create products with customers, while others are using messaging platforms to reach their targeted audience.

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