The customer is always right; cash is king – there are tons of sayings about consumers and why they’re essential. Discover ways to stay consumer-centric here. Consumers are the bread and butter of any business – they’re what a brand strives to serve. There has always been an intrinsic focus on the consumer and meeting their needs that seem to be heightened at present as we meander through the rapidly evolving digital age. Companies must adapt and evolve to digital changes and trends to meet consumer needs. We’ve seen some huge changes and trends over the last few years – a lot of the focus centers around transactions and improving the buying experience. Below, we will explore four ways to adapt to the growing digital age and stay consumer-centric. Various Payment Methods Gone are the days when credit and debit cards were the only option at the checkout. Now, buyer habits have evolved, and brands must offer various payment methods to meet consumer needs. There are three big players – buy now pay later services (BNPL), PayPal, and most recently, cryptocurrency. BNPL has become a big trend, particularly with those who see it as a viable way of paying for things they can’t necessarily afford at that moment. It has opened up both businesses and consumers to transactions that were once deemed impossible to make. And, Statista states that thanks to the pandemic, the use of Klarna, PayPal Pay in 4, After Pay, and Quad Pay grew exponentially. Offering BNPL services is almost risk-free for a brand – you receive the payment, and the consumer owes the debt to the BNPL vendor rather than your business. Another payment method that’s creeping in is cryptocurrency. The once somewhat controversial and trustless currency is a widely recognized payment method. Brands like Lush, Tesla, Microsoft, and Shopify are just some which are allowing consumers to pay using their cryptocurrency – and that’s related to cryptocurrency being so easy to acquire. There are various ways to trade crypto, and it’s relatively easy to learn – from understanding the best staking crypto to trading patterns, there’s a plethora of information online that makes building wealth from crypto easier than it has ever been before. Therefore, it makes sense that brands have decided now’s the time to offer cryptocurrency as a valid payment method – thus proving it’s a lot less controversial than it once was. Offer Live Chats For Instant Customer Services The latest stats show 73% of customers find live chats the most convenient form of communication with a company, and millennials are 20% more likely to use a live chat feature. They’re convenient, easy to use, and enable your consumers to feel like you’re there for them in their time of need. Long gone are the days of waiting for lengthy periods on hold to a call center or waiting 72 hours for an email response. For brands, live chat technology – particularly if the technology uses bots instead of humans at the other end – is relatively inexpensive to source. Naturally, it’s more expensive to either hire or outsource the task of communicating to a third-party – bots are the cheapest answer. However, the stats show that 68% of shoppers would prefer to have a human answering their questions. Still, bots can be just as effective – there’s always the option to divert to an advisor if the bot can’t answer consumer questions. Artificial Intelligence For Personalized Adverts Artificial intelligence is one of the most influential pieces of technology in this era – its uses spread far beyond enabling businesses to be consumer-centric. Artificial intelligence, in a nutshell, uses computers and machines to replicate the human brain’s ability to problem-solve and make decisions. It’s an incredible piece of equipment that serves businesses to meet financial, marketing, and sales demands. Artificial intelligence is great for creating personalized adverts that enhance the shopping experience. Have you ever seen an advert appear on social media after you’d browsed a similar product? That’s artificial intelligence sending you targeted ads. You can do the same for your consumers to help guide and influence their buying journey based on their likes and dislikes. Artificial intelligence does this by accumulating a wealth of data, analyzing it, and transforming it into tangible information you can use to stay consumer-centric. You may also want to use artificial intelligence for customer acquisition. The technology can search multiple databases and collect contact information in seconds to give you a list of customers to contact – for example, via email marketing – with personalized adverts based on their previous shopping trends. Social Media Influence Social media has a huge influence over the world – and brands that maintain and consistently post to their social media pages have more power over buying outcomes than those that don’t. The stats show that 54% of social media users use it to research products, and people spend at least 2 hours a day on average scrolling through social media. That creates plenty of opportunities to not only stay consumer-centric by promoting products – but also by showing business legitimacy through regular posting. But remember – it’s quality over quantity. 83% of marketers think the quality of a social media post has more influence on buying decisions than the quantity. Posting random content simply to stay active can distort your brand image. The digital era has made it easier than ever to stay consumer-centric. The software and technology we have at our fingertips allow us to reach more consumers than ever before and meet their needs while doing so. Staying up-to-date with evolving trends is a key part of staying consumer-centric.