Digital Consumer: 14 great characteristics you must know

Table of Contents

The Digital Consumer

We have made the empathy map to get to know in detail our digital consumer. But how does this digital consumer behave? What does this digital consumer do on the internet? These are questions that we will answer in this post.

According to Nielsen, today’s new consumer is more connected than ever. 

This new consumer has more access to and has deeper engagement with content and brands, thanks to the proliferation of digital devices and platforms.

You remember (if you are over 30) or can imagine (if you are in your 20s) what the 90s were like. To consume information, we only had television, radio, magazines and the library.

To have internet access was the privilege of a few people.

Now, anyone who has a smartphone has access to a colossal amount of information within a few seconds.

To have access to information has changed the way consumers behave.

To have information is power, and now getting information is easy.

If we have a product or service to offer, we must know what the behavior of this new digital consumer is.

5 Stats You Need To Know About Digital Consumer In 2020

Looking for information for this post, I found this Forbes article about digital consumer statistics in 2020 that I want to discuss with you.

digital-consumer-stats-2020

51% – Digital commerce executed via mobile devices

Right now, this new consumer has lost the fear of making transactions from cell phones.

Purchases have been made on the internet from a computer (laptop or Desktop), but we already see that in 2020 purchases will happen more from cell phones.

I believe that purchases from cell phones will increase more because of the crisis that we face globally.

The Asia Pacific always led the habit of buying from cell phones:

We can see in the video that for the Korean consumer, buying from their cell phone in 2011 was normal.

This digital behavior will be normal in 2020 for the rest of the world.

According to the video in China, there is already a culture in which they do not need wallets. 

They can pay for all purchases from a cell phone using the QR code.

It will only be a matter of time before that activity becomes normal in the rest of the world.

2.3% – Online purchases made via voice in the U.S.

This is a fact that surprised me a lot, but I knew that the moment would come.

Nowadays we use our cell phones using voice commands such as “Hello Siri, what are my tasks for the day?”, Or “Ok Google, what is the fastest route to get to work?”.

Now with more and more houses or apartments equipped with smart speakers, it will be normal for people to speak to these devices to make daily purchases.

As more smart devices come out, this new consumer habit will change.

Around 28 percent of households in the United States own at least one smart speaker in 2018.

32% – Professionals expect Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance website searches

Artificial Intelligence is developing fast, which will improve website search results.

This evolution of Artificial Intelligence will allow companies to offer better discounts or promotions to consumers.

42% – Professionals expect 5G to enable more personalized mobile commerce experiences

Because of the global crisis we are facing, I think the evolution of 5G will have to wait one more year.

5G technology not only means more speed on the phone, it means greater connectivity at all levels. This video explains it best:

4.2 billion – Number of internet users globally

Yes, there will be more and more people on the internet and that is good.

Everything changes fast

Technology evolves in great strides, which has the consequence of consumer behavior also changing practically every year.

You should always investigate the trends of the new digital consumer.

If you do not investigate trends, you will not have the opportunity to adjust the strategy we used to approach the digital consumer.

Content is king

Content is king and will continue to be king because this new consumer needs to consume information.

Why do I say that this new consumer needs to consume information?

Because information is power.

This new consumer needs to feel powerful.  

That is why the consumer watches several hours of videos on YouTube, reads their favorite blog posts and uses their social networks.

That is why you must understand this new consumer to know what type of content you can make, and what social networks you can use to connect with this new consumer.

Let’s find out the characteristics of the digital consumer

You have seen how the behavior of the digital consumer has varied according to the statistics shown.

With the appearance of the internet in the 90s, this new consumer adopted new characteristics that have been reinforced over time and it is good to know them.

The digital consumer has grown by adopting the following characteristics I have taken from Juan Carlos Mejía Llano‘s book:

digital-consumer

The Digital Consumer is Expert

This new consumer has all the information on the internet to find out what they want to know. 

It may be the characteristics of a new plasma television, a new cell phone, I dare to say that the digital consumer often knows more than the store’s vendor.

This new consumer is trained to find the best offers and identify the sources of information that best fit their needs.

The Digital Consumer produces information

Having a smartphone with us creates the possibility of being able to produce information daily. 

We upload stories to Instagram, share our day to day lives on Facebook, write tweets on Twitter. 

The digital consumer is always creating information.

This new consumer likes to share their experience about the product or service in the electronic store, or through blogs or social networks.

The Digital Consumer is always on the Internet

The digital consumer is permanently connected and communicates in real-time through different devices: a smartphone, tablet, laptop, personal computer, or all at the same time.

The Digital Consumer is well informed

This new consumer is getting better informed every day. 

This is the reason why your approach to them as a brand or product must be more complex and sophisticated.

The Digital Consumer expects honesty

The digital consumer contrasts the veracity of the messages of the brands through third sources that are generally other consumers.

If this new consumer detects manipulation in the message, they will reject it.

The Digital Consumer expects customization

This new consumer looks for communication with personalized brands where they treat you by name, offer you what you want and when you want it.

The Digital Consumer expects to feel heard

It is important for this new consumer to be in contact with the brand and feel that there is someone on the other side listening.

The digital consumers want to express to the brand what they don’t like, but also what they like and, as far as possible, engage in dialogue.

The Digital Consumer is impatient

This new consumer has become accustomed to having information quickly and efficiently. 

The consumer wants to make a quick decision. 

The wait causes rejection and often causes the consumer to look for other alternatives.

The Digital Consumer looks for the relevant content

This new consumer is always looking for interesting content to enjoy and then share it through social media.

The Digital Consumer is unfaithful

The internet allows the new consumer to compare prices of products or services, display positive or negative comments, etc. 

This knowledge helps the purchase decision of many consumers, sometimes disregarding the brand they use.

The Digital Consumer is powerful

The digital channel allows two-way communication, which gives the new consumer the possibility of becoming an opinion leader. 

When a consumer has an unmet need or an unanswered complaint, it can be the root of a major crisis.

When reviewing these characteristics, you can say with certainty that this new consumer has more power than the consumer of the physical world. Why do we say it? 

Because everyone can hear your voice through the internet, a single photo is enough to hurt a company’s reputation.

20 years ago, if a company did something wrong against the consumer, the consumer did not have the tools, now the digital consumer has a cell phone powerful enough to take photos and record videos and immediately upload the content to the internet to show what happened.

The Digital Consumer likes to try

For this new consumer, it is very important to try a product or service before buying it.

The Digital Consumer uses new languages

The consumer uses emoticons, cuts words, uses “nicks” and abbreviations. It is a new language that everyone can learn by dealing with other people via the internet.

The Digital Consumer is multitasking

While surfing the internet, the digital consumer may watch television, listen to music or eat.

Why is the digital consumer powerful?

Because the digital consumers have a lot of information at their disposal

Is the digital consumer powerful? 

I say yes again. You now have a lot of information at your disposal thanks to the internet. If something affects you, you can find the information on Google in a matter of minutes.

Customization and Convenience

The digital consumers want to get personalized products according to their tastes, for example, cups with their name on, cushions with their photo or of their loving partner. The more personalized you can deliver a product or service, the happier the digital consumers will be.

Experiences and entertainment

It is important to offer innovative experiences for the digital consumer. 

Digital consumers seek to be online in a novel and exciting way. 

They test innovative experiences.

At this point I recommend innovating with the designs of the web pages, publications in social networks and provide great experiences to this new consumer so they always look for us again.

The digital consumer uses the Internet and social networks to complain

When a consumer of a physical business is upset, in most cases the complaint has local scope (only the “neighbors” find out). 

When this new consumer is upset, the internet channels and social networks are used to manifest discomfort.

Why do you have to pay attention to the characteristics of this new consumer?

Ok now you know the characteristics of the digital consumer. You must know how to take advantage of them so that this new consumer falls in love with you.

I say fall in love because this digital consumer must love your product or service.

In my case, I try to make the content that I present useful to you and that you follow me on my social networks to know when I publish new content.

I will be the example to explain the following idea.

Why do I research before writing a new post or recording a video for you?

The answer is to give you the best imaginable experience when you visit my blog.

The Digital Consumer deserves the best experience

According to this McKinsey post: Digital customer service is now a strategic imperative

digital consumer experience mckinsey

According to the graphic, by digitizing customer service, customer satisfaction can be increased by 33%.

Ok, I know that this McKinsey graphic has been done for large companies.

But how can you apply it to those who have a blog, have a product or a service that you want to offer?

  • By answering every question that the consumer asks on the blog by email or by social networks
  • You can live stream on Facebook or Instagram to talk to your consumers.
  • Offer something for free. It can be an ebook on a specific topic.

I have recommended small and easy things to do but they provide a great experience for the digital consumer.

Do you remember the first post of this blog?

In that post, I wrote about the digital ecosystem and how to build your own ecosystem.

The digital ecosystem is designed to reach as many people as possible.

Now imagine that the new consumer, who is a powerful, avid consumer of information, who expects personalization and wants to feel listened to, finds your blog and asks a question.

You answer that question and the other questions that the consumer may ask you.

By answering every question from the consumer, you are generating loyalty. 

If the consumer asks you 1000 questions, you answer each one of them.

By answering each question, you are generating the loyalty of that digital consumer and the possibility of their recommendation of you to more people.

That is why a blog should be the center of your digital ecosystem.

Because that digital consumer will recommend either your blog or your social networks, but in either way, it will reach your blog.

Recommendations to make this new  consumer fall in love with quality content.

When you are writing your post, add photos or graphics to make reading more enjoyable. Writing a post with only text makes reading difficult.

Making videos with quality content is an excellent option for the digital consumer to love you.

It is a suitable option for you to have a YouTube channel that complements the content of your blog.

If your posts have infographics the digital consumer will highly appreciate that effort. 

People love good infographics.

Conclusions

You may have the best blog topic but if you don’t know your consumers/readers, it will be difficult for them to fall in love with your content.

The goal after thinking about your digital ecosystem, thinking about your blog topic and making an empathy map is to make your reader always return to read your content.

We are in an age where the digital consumer is powerful because all the information is available.

You should remember that when your consumers/readers reach your content, it is because they need quality information.

If you are investing in creating a blog, it is your duty to provide the best content possible.

You must optimize all of your content for consumer value. Your content must satisfy a consumer’s need.

Knowing the characteristics of your digital consumer is important to make an appropriate strategy to grow a community around the new consumer, a consumer who is powerful and has all the information and tools available on the internet to be heard.

If you use your blog to recommend products and earn a commission on the purchase of that product, you must be honest with the content you present.

You must always keep in your mind that the digital consumer seeks honesty.

Before recommending a product, you should try it and only recommend it if the product is good.

Digital consumers are powerful and if they discover that you cheat, these consumers have all the tools that the internet provides to report that your blog is cheating.

You must also remember that digital consumers like to be heard. 

Always answer comments or questions. 

Responding to each comment or question generates loyalty.

Let’s get to know the consumers, always review their characteristics, and with that in mind, you must write quality content for your blogs.

You can learn all about blogging by visiting: How to start a blog: A great and practical beginner’s guide.

General FAQs

What is a digital consumer?

They’re a person who buys and sells online. They’re also a person who interacts with brands and companies virtually.

Is the digital consumer powerful?

The digital consumer is powerful because they have a lot of information at their disposal to make a purchase decision.

What does a digital consumer expect from companies or brands?

The digital consumer expects customization. Digital consumers want to get personalized products according to their tastes.

Is the digital consumer an information producer?

The digital consumer can produce information. With a cell phone, anyone can make a video and upload it to YouTube to make their voice heard.

Is the digital consumer faithful?

The digital consumer likes to test various brands to have an opinion. Digital consumers are no longer loyal to a single Brand.