Braving the global pandemic for the past two years has changed online transactions for consumers and businesses alike. As a result, the digitization of customer online activity with retailers and other businesses has become the preferred way to engage. According to my company’s Global Insights Report, there has been a 25% annual increase in online consumer activity since the start of the pandemic – and that number has remained steady. While there has been an uptick in digital transactions, consumer loyalty is trending downwards at 61%, a 6% decrease from the previous year.
The extra time consumers have spent online has led to higher expectations for their digital experience. Online security, data privacy, and convenience are paramount, and consumers are sticking with businesses that offer it. Businesses now must satisfy the demand for personalized, real-time, secure, and convenient online transactions for a broader audience. As a result, businesses are prioritizing investment in AI and digital technology to ensure a smooth and secure digital environment for consumers.
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Meeting these demands is essential when the emerging two-lane economy is taken into consideration. On the one hand, some consumers have more funds than they had when the pandemic started and now they’re ready to spend. On the other hand, a significant portion is still suffering from the financial fallout of 2020 and is in a different lane when it comes to spending. With a lower number of consumers able to spend, businesses will face increased competition to satisfy their demands.
What does this mean for the financial services industry? Companies are increasingly exploring the use of expanded data sources, but they need to be steered in the right direction. Around 50% of businesses are exploring and expanding new data sources that can enrich and improve the accuracy of customer insights. Because the potential consumer audience is expanding and behaving differently online, companies need to better understand the context of their customer to support their financial needs.
As businesses continue to implement and expand AI, they need to ensure they’re satisfying two main objectives: automation and insights. Automation will further streamline the customer journey beyond the point of origination, and it will also lead to cross-selling and upselling. To implement these processes across various audiences, it’s important to derive customer insights and the AI continually refines the models as additional data about the online experience is delivered.
For businesses to increase their customer acquisition, it’s important to consider the roots of machine learning environments. Beyond automation, the true benefit of using AI is the ability to update and enhance strategies going forward. It’s time to recognize the two-lane economy and the increasing fluidity in the consumer base so practices and strategies can appropriately reflect the changing market. For businesses to adapt and stay relevant to the digital consumer, it’s essential to invest in advanced analytics and agile decisioning technology.