Business has always been related to certain aspects like product, price, place, promotion and people. What has transformed in the last few years is the perception of businesses and the probability with which consumers frequent a place for their needs. This led to a major transformation in the way people have been doing business along with the way businesses are being perceived by the consumers. What has always remained constant is the need for convenience and facilitation of consumer wants. This needed the availability of businesses to provide with the facilitation of the services or products where the consumers want them to be.
Adapt or Perish
Adaptability has always been the core essence of evolution, whether it was for any species in particular or for business. The crux of staying relevant in the age of information is to be there where your consumers are; as per the TRAI performance indicator report of 2017 – 18 India has over 400 million internet / broadband subscribers of which more than 300 million are broadband subscribers and almost the same number are urban subscribers. Average penetration of the users in the urban centres is close to 70% and the growth percentage on an annual basis is around 5% which means that the online consumer base is both vast and is growing steadily.
Being a Click Away
Online Businesses are those businesses which are either directly a pure click company or a brick and click company with facilities of E-Commerce and Facilitation going beyond the Dot Com Bubble of the United States from 1995-2000 where the idea of businesses going online with their own websites and online presence without much of thought led to too many businesses doing the same thing together and collectively failing. What changed during that time was a few businesses that felt the need to take the Online business idea and convert it into a business model that is living and breathing. With the back-end support mechanism that can sustain the operations of online businesses. Websites like Google, Amazon, eBay started as facilitators and search platforms for products, information and services but slowly adapted to the changing expectations of their consumer base along with enhancement of their user experience by studying their buying behaviour and putting an effort in the fulfilment of the expectations by diversifying their offerings.
What changed in the early second decade of the Millennial Age into Post Millennials or Generation Z is the expectation of consumers who were well versed with using computers for all their needs and started asking all sorts of questions on “Google” like why can’t a certain product be delivered at my doorstep or what is the name of the most popular restaurant in my area. These questions needed answering and came the large army of discovery apps where consumers were searching for helpful applications on their mobile phones and using them with the relevance of their tasks getting done and wishes being fulfilled. In our experience, this led to a lot of businesses trying to shift from their regular business models that were dependent on walk-ins and traffic in the stores to visits on their pages on social media and orders on their listings.
Being There for the Customer – Always
The whole idea behind this paradigm shift is the simple notion of being where the consumer is and staying relevant by virtue of providing them with what they expect out of your business. The ones who have made themselves relevant by their offerings are seeing stable growth and sustainability, unlike the ones who have not come out of their comfort zones and are complaining about things changing too fast. The consumer is changing and so the businesses need to change with them.
Businesses that meet the expectations of their customers and businesses that adapt to market trends, as well as consumer buying behaviour, are the ones that will see a good future and adaptability will go a long way. The change in expectations and requirements of the consumers also led to change in the vital prerequisites that are required for doing business which is difficult to comprehend yet extremely important.
About The Author
Rohan Bhatt is the Head of Consulting at SQuare Consulting (INDIA) and it is his job to study and understand the trends that will work in the future by understanding present consumer buying behaviour. His job is to build businesses for their clientele that stay relevant to the expectations of consumers and building value.