The Customer of the future

The new year is behind the door and punctual as the zodiac all we need to make retail predictions.

What about the future consumer?

How can we involve the new consumer?

Are we prepared to face the new market?

Are we able to create attraction and revenue?

The only constant certainty is the need to recognize every change and respond promptly. In terms of reactivity, the optics market seems overwhelmed by a real tsunami and is focusing its growth on constant professional updating and adaptation to the needs of its customers. Many experts of Trend consumer talk about the need of the consumer to join companies and brands that can bring out the human side and there is no doubt that opticians have also taken this opportunity.

The customer seems oriented towards conscious and rational purchases, of which he knows in depth benefits and exclusivity, loves to customize every choice, requires sustainable products and not only in materials, but starting from the production process.

For the consumer 2024, sharing is the primary goal and the sense of community comes first. Before joining a Brand, the new consumer has to connect. Shopping experience represents the opportunity to know and learn.

Here are three main trends that will affect the consumer market next year:

1. Loyalty to a brand and/or a company will be achieved through personal relationships, the only operational efficiency won’t be enough.

2. Consumers will be less patient and more and more opened to competition.

3. Unstructured feedback will become relevant in understanding new needs.

There is no doubt that in the now a new communication has born to be used with the new consumer in the new optical centre.

As for the creation of lasting personal relationships oriented to loyalty, the real plus is represented by the ability to maintain a relationship beyond the sale and able to meet customization needs. The current attraction for the physical store, brought the sale back to the place where every exchange and sharing creates the basis for a memorable experience. Mixing the ophthalmic with fashion makes the difference and personalising in consulting is the key.

Organising events in store to promote the network and communicate with the same emphasis off line and online is a winning strategy because it creates differentiation.

For ECP being competent is no longer an opportunity, but a condition, but it is not enough to stimulate the adhesion to a product and consolidate the relationship with the expert in optics. Communication is the magic formula. Empathy plays a very important role in the purchasing experience and the optician must train himself to listen more, to understand and satisfy the needs of customers in order to retain them in the long term.

It will be much more important to inspire and create to motivate future visits than concretising an immediate and isolated sale.

The physical experience in store allows the optician to be considered as a Brand capable of spreading values and culture, similar to what happens for Fashion Brands, increasingly connected to their customers.

The customer experience is becoming more complex and requires targeted marketing actions to track the consumer. The strategy does not foresee forcing, but the most authentic way to make the connection, the relationship between optician and client perceived. Together with professional skills, the research of soft skills is a priority in the search for new resources to be introduced in the sales team in optics.

Proposing immersive experiences online and offline, also in optics, creates a relationship that intersects the emotional factor with the rational one. Creativity has a fundamental role and activate interesting formats that involve users, is the way.

The new consumer is less patient, search for immediacy in responses and fluidity of approach.

The first answers come from social communication, with which the consumer gets an idea of the professional approach, the brand portfolio in the store, the ophthalmic professionalism, the fashion attitude. The effective communication signs the distinctive feature, but also represents the quicker way to make information. Then, the visual elements and the power of images, motivate the new consumer to approach the purchase.

Windows have to be much more accurate in the future and not only for good aesthetic in exposure.

Psychological and commercial rules quickly reach different targets. Planning facilitates the alternation of brands to show and the associated adv images will give the user the fashion information already shared on social media.

A more effective customer service meets the needs of the new consumer and increases satisfaction.

The “fluidity” is its ability to give immediate answers and information easy to metabolize with access to customization that attracts the customer of the future, more demanding on the characteristics of uniqueness. The third point to consider for the optician is to request feedback and examine them to identify possible changes to take that can benefit the entire consumer community. This is feedback not only related to the product, but also to the environment, waiting times, the ability to use what purchased.

In this customer centric scenario, the new consumer is also content creator and has the ability to spread their opinion on social media and online reviews. Many brands require their customers to express their satisfaction, lifestyle and personal attitudes.

The consumer is used to this type of interaction that is also effective in view of being able to read and analyze a flow of data that meets their needs. Marketing automation is one of the tools available with which to track and decode messages useful for the creation of value within the reality of optics.

There are many uncertainties at the economic, political and health levels that will surround the consumer of tomorrow, but working with awareness and knowledge of the new consumer identity, will offer the optician the certainty of a huge heritage.

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