#section_0

Businesses are adapting to changing social attitudes and customer behaviours

Challenge 2

Customer Behaviours

In the digital age, the world of commerce is increasingly transparent and open. It’s easier than ever to compare products, services, prices and reviews. And it’s now possible to buy quickly and simply from companies on the other side of the world, not just down the street. This means power has shifted decisively towards consumers.

#section_1
#section_1_0

Businesses are very aware of the growing importance of customers.

64% identified ‘customers’ as becoming more powerful and influential – more than any other group.

#section_1_1

Customers’ were also recognised as the number one group in China .

74% of businesses here believe power is shifting decisively towards consumers. ‘Regulators and lawmakers’ and ‘government’ are also considered to be growing in power and influence by many Chinese businesses – more than anywhere else in the world in fact.

#section_1_2

Future ready’ businesses also recognise that customers are in control. Even more so, in fact.

86% of these firms acknowledge and understand the rapidly growing power of customers. In addition, FRBs are significantly more likely to recognise the increasing importance of influencers in broader society (i.e. those who aren't direct customers, including subject matter experts and employees).

Base: Q20. 1,813 (All respondents)

Businesses are very aware of the growing importance of customers.

64% identified ‘customers’ as becoming more powerful and influential – more than any other group.

Customers’ were also recognised as the number one group in China .

74% of businesses here believe power is shifting decisively towards consumers. ‘Regulators and lawmakers’ and ‘government’ are also considered to be growing in power and influence by many Chinese businesses – more than anywhere else in the world in fact.

Future ready’ businesses also recognise that customers are in control. Even more so, in fact.

86% of these firms acknowledge and understand the rapidly growing power of customers. In addition, FRBs are significantly more likely to recognise the increasing importance of influencers in broader society (i.e. those who aren't direct customers, including subject matter experts and employees).

#section_2

The growing ethical dimension

#section_3
#section_3_0

Future ready’ firms disproportionately recognise that customers are becoming more demanding and choosing brands whose values align with their own.

72% of FRBs believe customers are increasing pressure on brands to act ethically, compared to 58% of businesses overall. ‘Brands needing to have a purpose alongside their core business’ is also disproportionately recognised by 70% of FRBs vs. 53% overall.

#section_3_1

64% of Healthcare & Pharmaceutical companies recognise the growing call from customers for brands to act ethically.

These businesses were the most likely of all to cite this trend, with Transport & Logistics being the least likely.

#section_3_2

Increasing ethical demands are also felt differently by country, with 73% of businesses in China acknowledging this movement.

This is significantly higher than the US, where just 45% of respondents feel there is an increasing demand from customers for brands to act ethically.

Base: Q22. 1,813 (All respondents)

Future ready’ firms disproportionately recognise that customers are becoming more demanding and choosing brands whose values align with their own.

72% of FRBs believe customers are increasing pressure on brands to act ethically, compared to 58% of businesses overall. ‘Brands needing to have a purpose alongside their core business’ is also disproportionately recognised by 70% of FRBs vs. 53% overall.

64% of Healthcare & Pharmaceutical companies recognise the growing call from customers for brands to act ethically.

These businesses were the most likely of all to cite this trend, with Transport & Logistics being the least likely.

Increasing ethical demands are also felt differently by country, with 73% of businesses in China acknowledging this movement.

This is significantly higher than the US, where just 45% of respondents feel there is an increasing demand from customers for brands to act ethically.

#section_4

Addressing shifting expectations

#section_5
#section_5_0

The majority of businesses – particularly the ‘future ready’ – are actively investing in new technology to help address rising expectations.

FRBs are also more proactive than other firms across other activities, and are much more likely to ‘seek data-driven insights’ to enhance customer experiences and to understand opinions of their brand and ethics (42% of FRBs vs. 28% of businesses overall).

#section_5_1

Unsurprisingly, investing in new technology is by far and away the top measure Tech & Media businesses are taking.

More than half (55%) of Tech & Media businesses are also addressing rising expectations by ‘introducing new services’. They are also more likely than most to be changing their channel strategies’ (32% of Tech & Media vs. 27% of businesses overall).

Base: Q23. 1,709 (All respondents who chose “More Demanding” for at least one expectation at Q22)

The majority of businesses – particularly the ‘future ready’ – are actively investing in new technology to help address rising expectations.

FRBs are also more proactive than other firms across other activities, and are much more likely to ‘seek data-driven insights’ to enhance customer experiences and to understand opinions of their brand and ethics (42% of FRBs vs. 28% of businesses overall).

Unsurprisingly, investing in new technology is by far and away the top measure Tech & Media businesses are taking.

More than half (55%) of Tech & Media businesses are also addressing rising expectations by ‘introducing new services’. They are also more likely than most to be changing their channel strategies’ (32% of Tech & Media vs. 27% of businesses overall).

#section_6

Embracing social responsibility

#section_7
#section_7_0

Social responsibility is a key differentiating behaviour among the most ‘future ready’.

Behaving in a responsible way helps control brand perception in the eyes of customers. When asked about the importance of being seen as socially responsible, 92% of FRBs rated it highly (either a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) vs. 79% of businesses overall.

#section_7_1

Businesses’ views on social responsibility differ widely by country, with 90% in India feeling that it is currently important for their organisation.

India ranked first out of the ten countries surveyed – far ahead of Germany where 64% of businesses feel it is important for their organisation at the moment.

Base: Q24. 1,813 (All respondents)

Social responsibility is a key differentiating behaviour among the most ‘future ready’.

Behaving in a responsible way helps control brand perception in the eyes of customers. When asked about the importance of being seen as socially responsible, 92% of FRBs rated it highly (either a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) vs. 79% of businesses overall.

Businesses’ views on social responsibility differ widely by country, with 90% in India feeling that it is currently important for their organisation.

India ranked first out of the ten countries surveyed – far ahead of Germany where 64% of businesses feel it is important for their organisation at the moment.

#section_8

Share the Interactive Vodafone Business Future Ready Report 2020

Future Ready Report

Any business can become 'future ready' with the right mindset and behaviours. Download our report to find out how.

Download full report

Contact us

Want to know more about how to become a 'future ready' business? Send us an enquiry and one of our specialists will call you back.

Contact us