McKinsey Digital
What’s next for digital consumers

The Post pandemic “new digital normal”

This article analyzes the implications for companies of a recent survey´s results on “the level of consumption of digital services by industry”. The survey, conducted by Mckinsey among 29,000 respondents in 24 countries, shows how "digital growth has stagnated in the last six months and may begin to recede once the pandemic subsides, even if total digital adoption remains well above pre-pandemic levels.".

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital channels across countries and industries, a recent survey conducted by McKinsey shows how “consumers say they will spend less time in digital channels once the pandemic ends”. The main survey´s finding are as follows:

The acceleration into digital channels now seems to have leveled off in both Europe and the United States. The industries most vulnerable to the loss of digital consumers may be those that saw the biggest gains during the pandemic: Education, health, public sector, utilities and grocery.

  • The reduction of digital consumers from the peaks achieved during the pandemic has to do with the fact that some consumers simply prefer the experience of going to a physical store and with a poor user experience as some digital services had been provided through newly built channels.
    In the six months prior to April 2021, there was an increase in the use of digital banking of 28% in Europe and the United States. 43% of these new users started using digital banking because of the convenience and availability it provided. Once the pandemic ends, it is estimated that between 10-20% of users will use digital banking services less.
    Improvements in the provision of digital services and user experience are needed to increase the digital consumers’ expected usage. Key areas to improve digitalization are:
  • Improve trust in digital services by increasing privacy and security. About 44% percent of consumers surveyed don’t fully trust digital services. The survey shows how the banking sector ranks the highest among all industries in “consumer trust” however it has opportunities to improve in implementing more secure payment processes and enhancing cyber resilience.
  • Improve the user experience in digital channels by refining user interfaces and by creating “phygital interactions”, which would be digital processes in which at some point a person can be involved (as 20% of dissatisfied users still prefer to talk with a physical person).
  • Improve the end-to-end consumer experience by making all products and services digitally available, by improving after-sales services, and by offering better prices and deals in digital channels. (for instance, 23% of dissatisfied users don´t like after-sale experiences).

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