Welcome to the expectation economy

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Between 2012 and 2013, Twitter’s fastest growing demographic was between ages 54 to 66, growing at 79% (Buffer, 2013). Women make up the highest percentage of gamers (IAB, 2014), while sub-Saharan Africa is now the world’s largest mobile technology market (Gallup, 2014).

These statistics fly in the face of conventional wisdom about consumer behavior.

Conventional wisdom holds that behavior is essentially constructed using social and demographic norms. It says that if you draw up two or three profiles of who your customers are, you can make an educated guess about what they would want, and how you would target them. Yet consumers are no longer behaving as they should, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stereotype and construct cohorts around these parameters.


The reality is that your customer is not who you think they are anymore

Disruptive brands are driving new habits and human behavior. Just as screens are changing the shape of our children’s brains (according to Baroness Susan Greenfield), brands are changing the nature of human beings.

Companies like Uber are making us less patient and more demanding than ever before. Londoners have become 29% more impatient in the space of 12 months. In 2013 we were happy to wait seven minutes for a taxi, according to the latest research from Uber; yet in 2014, we refused to wait more than five minutes. Uber repeated this research in 9 other cities around the world and saw the same results. The longer Uber has been operating in a city, the less patient the population becomes.


Welcome to the expectation economy

How can you stand out when you’re forced to compete with players that not only sit within your market, but even operate outside of it? Facebook, Airbnb, Uber have literally changed the rules of the game. The power of expectations is creating a mind shift. Businesses like Uber might not operate directly in your industry or sector, but they are setting an ever-improving precedent for what “good” really means.

In order to compete in this era of post-demographic consumerism, you need to know who your customer is and understand what they’re looking for, in order to make their experience seamless and enjoyable.

The new rules

People are constructing their own lifestyles regardless of their age, gender, location, or economic status. Segmentation still matters, but meaningful segmentation is around behaviour and interest as opposed to outdated models of age and gender. It requires big data matched with big, real-time insights.

Qubit serves 31 of the top 100 online retailers in the UK. Last year, we surveyed our retail clients and discovered some interesting behavioural insights:

  • Customers will visit your site an average of five times before they buy anything.

  • Email is where your most loyal customers come from.

  • Customers are 10 times more likely to buy again when they have bought just once before.

  • For every one converter on your ecommerce website, 32 will abandon.

  • For more insights – read our full report here

The questions we asked in this report are of the retail industry at large. But our hope is that this analysis will inspire you to drill down into your own data, wade through the noise and hear what your customers have to say. Once you get to know your real customers, you can clearly mould the experience around their needs, increasing your chances of success in the new expectation economy.

Isn’t it time to meet your real customers?




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