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Kiwi SMEs urged to simplify customer journey

In 2024, SMEs are encouraged to be even more simple and clear as recent research says 74% of customers feel overwhelmed and are likely to walk away from ‘purchase workload’.

Managing Director of Smarketing Lab, Assia Salikhova says SMEs’ business strategies for 2024 should be stripped back and take a more simple, clear and comprehensive outlook if they hope to succeed.

A study by Accenture, titled ‘The Empowered Consumer’ study took a look into what influences consumers in their decision making in an attention economy, where businesses are fighting for customer attention.

Alongside the 74% statistic that customers feel overwhelmed and are likely to walk away from a purchase, the study reveals that 73% of percent of consumers feel overwhelmed by the volume of options.

Seventy-five percent of consumers wish they could identify options that meet their needs more quickly and easily.

Many SMEs are fearful of missing out on opportunities which are leading to specialisation, such as failing to be upfront about prices, but Salikhova says that this strategy is counterproductive.

“When customers enquire about a service, they are frequently met with incomplete quotes that exclude essential details like printing costs for promotional items. This piecemeal approach forces customers to cobble together the full cost, which causes overwhelm,” she says.

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“Moreover, sales interactions often lack educational guidance. Customers are presented with options—such as choosing between 10mm or 12mm drill bits—but without the necessary information to make an informed decision. The focus is on selling a product rather than solving the customer’s problem.”

For SMEs, having a defined and systemic approach will remove any confusion and feelings of being unsupported during their purchasing journey.

To combat this, Salikhova suggests a different approach for SMEs to tackle when getting customers to purchase an item.

She says there are three process strategies to implement.

First, value over price. It’s not just about the costs, it is also about the value the product provides.

Second, customer perspective. Look at it from a customer’s viewpoint, understand what problem they have and how can your product address their needs and wants.

And finally, be customer-centric. Be transparent and provide as much information as possible to help them on their decision-making.

“Instead, send your customer a simple guide that details every aspect of the service—for instance, a wedding catering guide explaining food, decorations, music, tableware, and more; rather than leaving the customer to figure it out on their own,” suggests Salikhova.

“The research is emphatic that businesses who want to succeed must work to create a more transparent, supportive, and efficient buying experience.”

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Review overview