Who’s who (and where are you) on the digitally demanding spectrum

Modulr By Modulr on 27 October 2021   •   5 mins read
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Who’s who (and where are you) on the digitally demanding spectrum

We live in a world of instant gratification. We've all been Netflix'd, Amazon Primed and Uber'd and have all come to accept ultra-seamless, on-demand, real-time experiences as the norm.

This ‘Instant Economy’ is increasingly becoming the benchmark for customer experience. And, as we collectively move toward an all-digital reality with more and more experiences delivered online, we've all become more digital and demanding, in both our personal and professional lives.

We may think we know them, we are likely to be one of them, but who actually is this digitally demanding customer?

The rise of the digitally demanding

At Modulr, we’ve been talking about the digitally demanding customer for some time now. We may be a B2B Payments-as-a-Service platform but that doesn’t mean that businesses are our only users. After all, Modulr was set up to help businesses to rewire their payment processes to suit not just their proposition but also the needs of their customers.

We may have long-held assumptions about who the digitally demanding customer of today is but we believe it pays to stay curious. So we enlisted the help of research house, Insights Avenue, to survey over 2,000 adult consumers in the UK to help us challenge or substantiate our own assumptions and pass these insights on to our clients, so they could better meet the needs of theirs.

As we suspected, the digitally demanding customer of today expects fast, intuitive and convenient solutions. Their interactions with brands must be smooth and hassle-free and nowhere more so than when it comes to payment services.

But what was surprising was that this assumption no longer applies to just the digital natives (those who were surrounded by technology from their birth in the new Millennium). The survey shows that older generations (aka The Boomers) have broken free of the digitally dismissive stereotype and the results uncovered overarching, intergenerational behaviours and expectations.

Customers of all ages now expect instant payments, instant receipts and super-easy processes. In fact, the majority say there’s no excuse for brands not to offer the same kind of instant services they enjoy in other areas of their life, as slickly delivered by the Ubers and the Amazons of the world. Even the most technologically sceptical among us are now open to using new financial services or payment methods that make things quicker and more convenient.

So if, like many innovators and FinTechs, you’ve been concentrating on a customer base of digital natives, these results show that your audience is potentially much wider and you’re missing a trick by ignoring older generations. 18-25 year-olds are the easy wins. They are the first adopters, the low-hanging fruit. But it’s clear that older customers are gravitating towards brands that provide the most convenient and trusted user experience and could offer a large untapped market..

While all agree that the digital world needs great digital experiences, some age groups are shown to be decidedly more digital while others are more demanding.

But who, we hear you ask, is who?

The digitally demanding spectrum

On the digitally demanding spectrum, it’s the younger demographics that are the most digital, while it’s the boomers that are the most demanding.

The 65+ cohort is now the most likely to expect digital payments to be instant and convenient. They are also the demographic who most felt that outdated and inefficient payment processes undermined their experience as a customer. And they most strongly agreed with the statement ‘there is no excuse for online brands to have outdated, inefficient payment processes’. What’s more, the majority of those aged 65+ said there had been no change in their expectations in the last 18 months, meaning that this discerning demographic has been setting the customer experience bar high, for quite some time.

But perhaps this isn’t really so surprising. After all, this was the first generation to experience the radical changes brought about by computerisation. We’re talking about the people who were in their 30s when Amazon launched. They’ve gone from cheques to debit cards to online payments to contactless payments, and they know what good service looks like.

In contrast, the 18-24s were found to be the age group with the lowest expectations around confirmation of receipt and the most accepting of longer payment processing times. And, just to challenge the stereotypes even further, these younger, tech-savvy digital natives are the cohort most worried about fraud and security, with the majority believing themselves to be at greater risk of online fraud now, compared to 18 months ago. While the older amongst us, traditionally seen as the more risk averse, were the least likely to answer yes to this question. 

Digitally demanding by degree

At the start of the research process, we set out to look for the ‘digitally demanding’ customer. What we found was that, while we’re all on the digitally demanding spectrum, some of us are more degrees digital, while others more degrees demanding.

The digital natives may be more digital (the clue’s in the name) but it’s the boomers that are more demanding and they have a stronger financial awareness as a result. With money to spend and high expectations, those aged 65+ are the generation that no business, FinTech or otherwise, can afford to ignore.

For more of this, together with the recommendations you need to please your digitally demanding customers, download the free Digital Now research eBook. In it, we’ll tell you what we know now about this discerning audience, who they really are, what they really want and how to attract and keep them in this, the Digital Now.