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As we ease into 2022, an analytical look back at 2021, throws light on some interesting facts about customers. You may know some of these trends while others may be new to you. 

Either way, we’ve identified 5 factors which were not so apparent in earlier years and which will tend to grow over the next few.

Let’s dive into what we learnt about customers in 2021 that will help us in 2022 and beyond.

Related: Why Listening To Customers Is The Key To Your Organisation’s Success

1) Customers like resale and secondhand shopping

This point may come as a surprise to you, especially in the modern ‘use and discard’ era. However globally, the resale market grew in 2021 with opportunities to up-cycle, reuse or recycle products. 

The resale trend is in tune with the sustainability model that many companies are aspiring to build. Customers favour brands that portray a sustainability side.  We can look forward to e-commerce sectors such as clothing, accessories such as jewellery and watches, children’s products and automobiles to take on the resale initiative in a big way in years to come. 

But how does sustainability make customers happy? It’s economical, satisfying and triggers interesting conversations! 

2) Live streaming and events engage customers

It began with audio and then video content storming the internet. Customers are still lapping up graphics and video-based marketing content. But if you wish to gain focused traction for your brand, try live, interactive events hosted by famous personalities and influencers. 

The 2021 consumer was greatly affected by online influencers and this will continue. 2022 is a good time to bounce off live streaming content ideas with your consumers to check what they prefer. You may use almost any social media platform as most of them support live streaming. Webinars and question-answer format interactions are preferred and tend to result in higher customer engagement currently. 

In late 2022 or even early 2023, the live streaming genre is expected to grow, develop and become smoother to result in a live streaming boom. 

You may also like: 5 Ways To Go The Extra Mile With Customer Service 

3) Hyper-personalisation is key to success

Though this is not a brand new idea, it is one that keeps getting refined and gaining more importance. 

In 2021, we realised that personalization can decide the fate of a brand. Consumers will always opt for a more personalised experience with regard to marketing, shopping, payment, after sales or customer support. To make this happen, companies should invest in understanding details about their customers. 

Unifying data, keeping up with changing customer preferences and using smart customer support tech are some ways in which companies can tailor customer experiences and offer hyper personalisation. A 360 view of customer behaviour across channels is required. Also, a friendly tone works best for all customer communication for every touchpoint.

4) Customer Experience or CX has taken centre stage

CX covers the entire customer journey from the point of choosing to buy a product till it has been delivered and used for a while. It involves various departments, employees, technology, partners and such. 

In 2021, by focusing on CX, companies realised that they could affect their popularity and profit margins. This was a huge discovery that changed the perspective from ‘how to dazzle a consumer’ to ‘how to make her feel’. 

Once companies realised this, it became easier to retain customers. Retail players made CX their top priority by enhancing the browsing, choosing, trials etc more convenient and enjoyable than ever. Improvements in every area of the customer journey will continue to propel industry and help companies carve out individual brand identities while offering unparalleled CX.

5) Focus on advanced customer IT ecosystems and infrastructure 

Retail software showed immense improvements in 2021 with advanced, cloud native technology to enhance the customer experience. 

In 2022, we can look forward to more agile tools to support the non-linear customer journeys.  When it comes to customer service, it was noticed that a customer will appreciate a brand even more, after it has assisted the customer in resolving a problem, rather than a company that triggered no problem at all! It’s called a Customer Service Paradox. 

An omnichannel shopping and customer support platform will be the only viable option going forward.  A unified, data-driven function that is safe and proactive will be expected by every consumer in 2022 and beyond.

It is an exciting time for companies to empower themselves and their customers with digitization and technology. 

If you would like to know how to improve your customer relations in 2022, contact us today!

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