Chief Executive Insights

Boost For The Economy: Customers Are Expected To Increase Spending As Vaccination Increases (New Global Survey)

A new survey conducted by SAS shows that customers intend to increase their spending as vaccination rates are improving. Participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire in August 2020 in a number of markets around the world (Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates).

A global sample of 6,000 adults was used. More specifically, 19% of respondents of the survey said they would increase their spending in contrast to just 10%, who said they intend to reduce their spending as the vaccination rates improve.

It is obvious that the pandemic will cause a permanent change in consumer behaviour. Also, 62% of all customers do not think they will return to “normality”, with 28% noting that they will use even more digital channels and online applications in the future than they do now.

However, low prices and special offers are not enough to keep customers anymore. And while 23% of respondents changed providers due to lower prices and better discounts, 20% preferred someone who offered a simpler and easier way to use online experience. Meanwhile, 16% of the respondents changed their options for faster or more convenient delivery solutions and 13% changed due to negative previous experience.

When participants were asked to rate the three main factors in the customer experience, the survey showed that just over half of customers (60%) see low prices and discounts in the top three priorities. Also, 55% consider convenience and comfort a key factor for the customer experience. Two thirds (48%) ranked companies that pursue a fair and responsible policy among the top three priorities. Lastly, 46% of people surveyed reported that good service during lockdowns played a major role in the customer experience. While the majority of respondents, 60%, consider low prices and discounts a priority, the pandemic highlights the fact that each price does not dictate consumer behavior. The above findings show that, in addition to price, there are other areas of the customer experience that are beginning to occupy an important place in shaping satisfaction.

Another important finding of the survey is that customers are now more willing to provide personal data to companies to help businesses deliver a more personalized service experience. For example, 33% of customers said they were more likely to share some personal data with businesses right now, compared to the pre-pandemic era. At the same time, 20% of the respondents said they were less likely to do so. One-third of those who said they were more likely to provide their data said they would only do so in exchange for an improved service experience.

Companies should also keep in mind that customer awareness about fraud issues has also increased significantly during the pandemic. According to the survey, 69% of respondents said they were either more cautious of scams or had been cheated. In fact, 16% said they have noticed a large increase in scam messages. As a result, research shows that businesses need advanced analytics solutions to offer effective fraud protection and at the same time a seamless service experience.

From the above it can be concluded that the flexibility of the business process in the post- pandemic era requires the transition of the majority of B2C operations in the digital world. So, businesses need to carefully consider the integration and adoption of analytics in their digital channels, as these channels may cause problems or congestion for consumers.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at maria-gourtsilidou@ceoworld.biz.