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Why Consumer Electronics Brands Must Make Choosing Easier To Sell More – Example: Philips

Planning to shop online for a smartphone, headphones, an electric toothbrush, a TV, or something as seemingly simple as a light bulb?

If you’re not a tech expert, don’t have a specific brand preference, or a clear idea of what exactly it is you want, you’re in for a ride. Amazon’s “Headphones” category alone contains over 50,000 products and offers.

I’ve been down that rabbit hole and felt in no way like Alice in Wonderland.

amazon headphones choice overload
Amazon headphones category overview page

Where do you start? How do you find the right product without getting lost and frustrated?

Filtering by specs is an outdated concept, as filters are often not intuitive and rarely helpful to non-experts. Truth be told, they create more confusion than providing any clarity. What’s the difference between noise-canceling and noise-isolating? Is open-back a better option than semi-open back for how I will use the headphones? Should I go for Bluetooth, RF, Infrared or NFC? And what is KLEER?

This is not to say that purchasing consumer electronics goods has ever been easy. It’s a highly technical category and in almost all cases it requires expert knowledge to make sound and confident purchase decisions. But the proliferation of options and constant stream of updates and upgrades has exacerbated the problem and continuously intensifies the psychological effect known as choice paralysis for consumers.

Ulf Bockenholt, professor of marketing at Kellogg, explains choice paralysis as a state “where people are faced with so many choices that they can’t decide among them and make no choice at all.”

And no decision means no sale!

Consumers deeply fear making the wrong decision when faced a multitude of choices. It’s up to retailers and brands to make their expert category and product knowledge available to help shoppers choose and purchase with confidence.

Some consumer electronics manufacturers have already realized that they have to make a sharp U-turn in their marketing strategies. They have understood that not engaging and supporting shoppers impacts their sales performance massively – online as well as offline. And so, these companies are focusing less on touting new features and instead aiming to become the consumer’s “techie” go-to resource, someone who helps cut through the complexity. These manufacturers can be very influential when it comes to brand consideration and purchase decisions.

A Gallup study found that, in the consumer electronics industry, fully engaged shoppers visit their preferred shopping destination 44% more than disengaged shoppers. And when they do visit, they purchase more per trip than they initially intended to.

Download this whitepaper to read how Amazon, Microsoft, and Sonos are adapting their engagement strategies to meet consumer expectations.

consumer electronics whitepaper zoovu

 

Example: Philips

To do better for its customers, the giant electronics company has made a strategic shift to emphasize the customer experience and offer consumers an easy way to connect on a much more personal level.

Soraia Cardoso, Global Digital Optimisation Lead at Philips says,

“Customer obsession is a fundamental change to our business model. It is not just about numbers. It is about embedding consumer feedback into the digital development cycle at every stage and ensuring it’s a central part of our global continuous optimization strategy at Philips.”

Philips recognized that having a better understanding of customer behavior and acting upon that insight is a game changer. The power of data science and artificial intelligence enables Philips to focus on personalization that is based on customer behavior and preferences. The company uses digital technology to power customer choices, and it enhances digital experiences by anticipating consumer needs, desires, and emotions—showing relevant content and/or functionality at the right time, place, and in the appropriate format.

“We’re going back to that one-on-one relationship where people knew you, but now we’re doing it on the scale of 100 million,” explains Jeroen Tas, Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer of Royal Philips.

For example, Philips integrated a toothbrush assistant, which engages shoppers in a 1:1 personal conversation and helps them quickly find, choose, and buy the right electric toothbrush based on their dental needs and preferences. Data and a better understanding of consumer needs and demands are natural byproducts of this approach. It allows Philips to generate the essential insights needed to create optimal experiences and products.

phillips toothbrush digital assistant
Philips’ digital assistant for electric toothbrushes

 

4 tips how consumer electronics brands can provide better digital engagement

1. Select the right platforms and tools

Shoppers in the world of consumer electronics, more than in other categories, expect instant support, easy-to-use platforms, and quick explanations when they have a question or problem.

Your digital engagement strategy should prioritize finding the ideal ways to provide consumers with the quickest way to make informed purchase decisions without having to pick up the phone.

2. Be active on social media

Tune into the social media conversations happening around your brand. CE consumers go public quickly when it comes to sharing a negative experience. Chances are they will post a negative review on social media before trying to contact you.

Monitoring social conversations and paying attention to what your customers have to say is vital. Not only does it help you quickly deploy containment strategies, but by proactively responding and engaging with them, you can further deepen relationships and trust.

3. Shift the focus from customer service to customer success

In 2019, much of your focus must shift from customer service to customer success. Currently, customer service is mainly executed reactively where the company begins engaging with customers only after they have experienced a problem and initiated contact.

Customer success, on the other hand, is proactive and aims to engage consumers in the early stages of their journey to assist them throughout, so they have fewer problems. By taking an interest in each consumer and helping them, you can reduce negative experiences.

4. Gather, measure, and analyze data

Deloitte stresses that tracking user behaviors and other analytics information is mission-critical to any effective plan for digital engagement. Data is your customer’s voice and collecting it is your way to listen to them intently.

By analyzing this data, you can identify patterns and glean powerful insights to anticipate and meet consumer needs. Taking it a step further and combining this kind of information with direct customer responses, captured through digital assistants or quizzes, provides you with a more complete understanding of what your customers want.

In today’s digital landscape, consumer electronics companies are an integral part of customers’ everyday lives. They must strengthen their customer engagement strategies by being easily accessible to the customers when they need. Engaging them early in the journey can lead to fewer problems, reduced customer service costs, lower return rates, and heightened customer satisfaction, bringing in the sought-after customer loyalty and growth.

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