The Great Consumer Expectation Shift

Stuart Elmes

Today’s consumers have it pretty good, if you think about it.

In fact, they’ve never had it this good before.

With thousands of retailers and brands right at their fingertips 24 hours a day, the ability to comparison shop without even getting out of bed, and brands so desperate for their revenue that they’ll literally deliver almost anything right to their doorstep, it’s little wonder that the modern consumer has become just a little bit spoiled.

One can hardly hold it against them.

The fact that simple inconveniences which were commonplace just a few short years ago are rapidly coming to be viewed by the consuming public as completely intolerable and utterly unacceptable.

The big question is: In this fast-moving digital age, what exactly is it that consumers really expect, and what can brands do to give it to them? 

Let’s take a look...

The Great Consumer Expectation Shift

According to data collected by Salesforce, 70% of consumers in 2017 report that technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere if a brand’s user experience does not meet their expectations.

70% is a scary number, but what are those expectations?

Here are a few other interesting numbers from Salesforce:

  • 72% of consumers say they expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations
  • 66% say they’re likely to switch brands if they feel treated like a number, not an individual
  • 66% of Millennial consumers expect real-time responses from and interactions with brands
  • 75% of consumers expect a consistent cross-channel experience. 73% say they are likely to switch brands if they don’t get it.

A more personal connection

Today’s consumer expects to be understood by the brands they interact with. Anticipate your customer’s needs using available data and approach accordingly. The days of marketing to every customer in the same way are long dead.

In addition to marketing personalisation on a deeper level, brands must be more prepared than ever before to interact with customers and address their concerns. 

Seamless experiences

Moving a prospect clumsily from one channel to another, or offering inconsistent user experiences across different channels is no longer acceptable. Most digital sales which take place today involve more than one digital device.

Only brands which can provide smooth, seamless transitions from channel to channel and device to device will prosper in the new digital economy.

Instant gratification (or close to it)

Nobody likes waiting anymore (though nobody ever did, really). Finding ways to enable faster, easier journeys to purchase will become increasingly important in the next few years.

If a competitor can deliver a comparable product to yours more quickly, or with less effort from the customer than you can, guess who consumers are going to buy from?

The consumer-centric age has begun

Sure, modern consumers may be a little bit entitled – spoiled even, but they are in the driver’s seat now.

Brands will sink or swim  in the consumer-centric age based on their ability to adapt and evolve to meet it.


The technology to help any brand not only survive, but thrive in the consumer-centric age is available to all.  

Which brands will choose to make the most of it?