Customers change, trends evolve and technology continues to develop. Customer experience is constantly evolving, and companies need to make agile decisions to lead the way. Staying ahead of changing demographics and preferences, as well as technology and trends, can help brands build strong relationships with customers and establish themselves as industry leaders. This week we saw three stories of how the world is changing and how companies can and should change with it.
America’s Largest Cities Are Shrinking
After seeing post-recession booms, America’s largest cities are starting to shrink as people move to smaller cities or the suburbs. The country’s three largest cities: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, each saw tens of thousands of people leave last year alone. At the same time, fewer people are moving to the cities from overseas. What’s the reason behind the mass exodus? It often comes down to price. It’s simply less expensive to live in a smaller city, from the price of housing to the overall cost of living. People are also moving towards the sun, with areas in Texas and other parts of the southern U.S. seeing huge amounts of growth in the last few years.
America’s cities have seen ups and downs over the years, but many recent trends have contributed to the shrinking of large cities. With more remote work options and connectivity, young professionals can often find a great job in a big city and then work remotely in a more affordable, smaller city. The trend away from huge urban areas shows that Americans value their money and are open to more ways of living than just the urban lifestyle. Appealing to the growing number of people leaving cities could be a huge boost for brands.
Apple Jumps Into Streaming Game
It seems like we’re constantly surrounded by announcements of new streaming services, and this week was no exception. Apple unveiled the details for its entry into the competitive streaming game with Apple TV Plus, a service that will offer nine programs for $5 a month. The service will soon expand to include more original content from big-name stars. Customers who purchase an Apple device will also get a free year of the service.
Apple’s release of its streaming service on November 1 seems to be in direct response to Disney launching its Disney+ service on November 12. Netflix has dominated the streaming world for years, but these new additions from big players with big pocket books could disrupt the industry. At just $5 a month, Apple’s service is much more affordable than Netflix or Hulu, which could be an incentive to some customers. Increased competition in the arena means streaming services will have to continually update their content and make sure their technology leads the way.
Finance Industry Has Worst Websites
The results of a recent report likely won’t surprise many people: the finance industry has the worst websites of any other industry. The report found that investment firm websites are difficult to read and use long, complex sentences in passive voice. The readability scores for some financial services websites came in worse than the notoriously dense and complicated classic Moby Dick.
Modern customers get the majority of their information from the internet, so companies need to optimize their websites with accessible content. By not using their websites to connect with customers and create leads, many financial services companies are missing out on huge amounts of potential customers. When the industry average is so poor, those financial services companies that do create customer-friendly websites can have a huge advantage over the competition.
Staying on top of customers, technology and preferences can help companies create forward-thinking experiences that connect with customers. These stories show how drastically and quickly things can change and how agile brands need to be.