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February 24, 2021 | Authored by: Jesus Luzardo

The next-gen shopper: Three characteristics that every subscription-based business should know about

The world is not what it used to be. Once, a short walk to the corner grocer was enough to stock up for dinner. Now, consumers can get same-day grocery deliveries with Amazon Prime, order takeout via Doordash, or subscribe to a meal kit program like HelloFresh.

There is a massive range of products and services available in every consumer segment, and it only increases as time goes by. For businesses and brands, that means more and tougher competition. For consumers, there is a powerful impact on buying habits and fundamental changes in their character as a shopper.

Faced with endless choices, shoppers are more discerning, demanding, and complex than ever before.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing created even more radical shifts in consumer behavior. In fact, 75% of consumers tried out a new way of shopping during the pandemic. Now, as the dust settles, it is vital to examine what makes the new consumer tick, and what will make them turn to your subscription service in the emerging post-pandemic landscape.

Here are three characteristics of these next-gen shoppers that every subscription business should know about:

1. They want personalized offers

Consumers are no longer happy to be one in a crowd – they want more from brands. They have come to expect and demand that brands relate to them as individuals, curating marketing messages and even product offerings to meet their needs. The proliferation of customer data available to business owners today and new artificial intelligence-based marketing tools indeed make it possible for businesses to personalize their interactions with each customer.

But personalization is so much more than just sending a promotional email with the customer’s name. For subscription-based companies, personalization can mean customizing renewal offers based on the user’s interests or recommending extra services based on past user behavior and predictive analysis of the customer’s future needs. Investing in personalization makes complete sense when you consider that 91% of consumers say they will shop at a brand that provides offers and recommendations relevant to them.

2. They prefer seamless, cashless experiences

The new consumer engages in shopping experiences anywhere, anytime, via laptop, tablet, and increasingly, their mobile phones. By the end of 2020, mobile purchases were estimated to make up 45% of the total US e-commerce market. During COVID, social distancing rules made it even more important for brands to offer convenient, frictionless shopping that doesn’t require physical presence or interaction.

Things like BOPIC (buy online, pickup in-store), curbside pickup, and cashless payments are becoming more common as consumers demand easier, smoother shopping experiences. There is a sweeping move towards omnichannel experiences, providing an end-to-end brand journey that meets the customer wherever they are in the conversion process, both online and offline. Subscription-based businesses are increasingly relying on advanced data analysis to gain an understanding of customer behavior throughout the acquisition and retention journey, and what is needed to keep them engaged and connected with the brand at every stage.

3. They are hungry for flexible subscription services

One of the characteristics of the next-gen shopper, which only strengthened during the pandemic, is just how much content and services they consume, wherever, whenever they want.

In media, the subscription model continues its steep rise as the preferred choice for navigating content in every market segment, especially as consumer behaviors move more online than ever before. According to Deloitte, the average US consumer today has no less than 12 paid media and entertainment subscriptions, and 25% of consumers plan to subscribe to more services in the year ahead.

With so much competition out there, it is vital for subscription-based companies to start innovating with products, services, and bundles that meet the customer’s true needs. And that means giving customers more flexibility in their subscription purchase. For example, enabling customers to pause and reactivate their subscription as needed, or providing increased visibility for the customer about their usage patterns, so they can have the power to manage their own subscription and make better buying decisions.

Next-gen shoppers require next-gen solutions – MarketONE 

Understanding the next-gen shopper is no easy feat, and for subscription-model businesses, there is an added challenge. Getting customers to subscribe involves much more than a one-time purchase. Retaining subscribers is an ongoing transactional relationship that requires continual nurturing and attention. Only by understanding the mind of the next-gen shopper can businesses develop the next-gen solutions that can meet their expectations and satisfy their needs. All these functions and benefits are possible today with advanced tech-based subscription platforms like Vindicia MarketONE.

About Author

Jesus Luzardo

Jesus Luzardo

Jesus Luzardo is Vice President, Head of Growth at Vindicia. As an international technology industry veteran, Jesus brings over 30 years of experience in commercial, marketing, strategy, operations and technology roles. Prior to Vindicia, Jesus was Head of Marketing for Amdocs in the Caribbean and Latin America region, driving marketing to significantly expand Amdocs’ sales pipeline. Before Amdocs, he was Head of Sales for Utiba (acquired by Amdocs in 2014), focusing on mobile financial services. His experience includes two years as Head of Corporate/B2B and CCO at Cable & Wireless, and 15 years with Motorola. He lives by Vince Lombardi’s motto: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Jesus holds an MBA from Universidad del Zulia (Venezuela), a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from Universidad Rafael Urdaneta (Venezuela), and Advanced Management certifications from Kellogg Institute of Management and IESE (Universidad de Navarra, Spain).