For years marketers have tried to make it as engaging and easy as possible for people to buy their client’s products. Tactics range for cleverly crafted CTAs, slogans like ‘be more dog’, QR codes and one click services the likes of which Amazon provide.
The effect of the age of the customer is that many of the tried and tested tactics no longer work (or at least not as well). B2B and B2C buyers are more sophisticated than ever and loyalty can no longer be taken for granted. The past year has seen many global brands investing to become customer obsessed (for more information – see our report) so they can truly understand the needs of their customers and in turn drive sales.
So who are these brands and what actually are they doing?
Four brands that have been in the press lately Twitter, Facebook, Apple and… Rihanna.
Twitter has announced that users will very soon be able to buy items they see and discuss on their Twitter feeds at the touch of a button. Brands can now buy adverts on Twitter and embed links or buttons into tweets that enable people to purchase directly from messages.
Users will be able to access offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else instantly through any device that has the Twitter app. Advertisers in return, gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they’ve built through social media into direct sales. Users benefit as they no longer have to enter payment and delivery details each time as Twitter remembers everything after a first sale; meaning that users can buy specially discounted or limited edition products/services instantly and then go on about their day. To date Twitter has signed up 19 global brands and says the number is increasing daily.
Facebook is another to buy into the philosophy, introducing a buy button earlier this summer. The move has enabled brands to sell themselves directly to customers, and even pick others to sell for them. This has been huge success with brands and charities now allowing users to buy products at a touch of a button via their pages. It’s not just organisations that are taking advantage, musicians are now treating themselves more like brands in order to drive sales. Someone who has taken to this wholeheartedly is Rihanna. If you like her music or just want to dress like her (!) you can now buy a range of her products at a touch of a button through Facebook and a range of other channels. Spending money with brands has never been so easy….
Get rid of your wallet
… and it might just have gotten easier. Although most of the hype around the iPhone 6 launch last week was centred around new smartphones and the Apple Watch (both providing new customer-focused services) the potentially bigger news was the introduction of Apple Pay. Apple’s message was clear ‘get rid of your wallet – it’s outdated’. A big claim, but in reality the move to persuade consumers to get rid of their purses and wallets started a long time ago, many Android devices already have NFC. But with a customer base of over 500 million people and a service, which on paper looks to solve many of the old issues (security, lack of terminals) Apple has a genuine chance to make it happen (at least for people who have an iPhone). It’s also been heavily backed by global food, retail and banking organisations.
With consumers demanding easier, more innovative ways to buy, on their terms and brands understanding that the buying process has changed – how we buy and sell might be changing for good.
Marilyn Monroe once famously said ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’, well in the future it might just well be your phone or your favourite social media channel. Over to you Rihanna to write a song about that.