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Navigating the service landscape

Insights from Service Insider's consumer survey.
Navigating the service landscape

Brand Influence, an agency that pioneers explosive social brand conversations through nano-influencer campaigns, conducted an insightful survey in collaboration with its vibrant online Service Insider community. The survey aimed to delve into the behaviours, motivations, and preferences of consumers regarding various service brands across multiple industries.

Service Insider, the go-to platform for all things service-related, encompasses a broad spectrum of sectors including technology solutions, finance, dining, hospitality, travel, fitness, and more. The survey was completed by 3,994 respondents from individuals mainly in their 20s and 30s. Their backgrounds range from suburban (47%), township (27%), CBD (23%) and rural (3%).

The survey provided a comprehensive snapshot of consumer sentiments on service oriented categories and brands. Here is a snapshot of some key insights that arose from the survey results:

  • Financial burdens and pursuit of personal improvement
  • Despite facing significant financial burdens, respondents expressed a strong inclination towards self-improvement and skill enhancement.
    A notable 56.47% of respondents indicated they enrol in online courses and e-learning platforms, reflecting a proactive approach towards personal development.

    However this is contrasted by their tough financial reality where 64% of respondents admitted to having personal loans, only 26% reported having insurance, and a mere 15% mentioned utilising investment services.

  • Mobile is revolutionising convenience
  • The ubiquity of mobile devices has revolutionised consumer expectations, particularly in terms of convenience and efficiency.

    A staggering 85% of respondents utilise banking apps, highlighting the widespread adoption of mobile banking services.

    Additionally, mobile food delivery services such as Mr D (62% usage) and UberEats (61% usage), along with innovative grocery delivery platforms like Sixty60 (41% usage), have witnessed significant traction among consumers.

    Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Bolt also experienced considerable popularity, with 60% of respondents utilising such services for transportation needs.

  • Mobile status loading
  • The survey data reveals a profound trend indicating the South African consumer's perception of their smartphone as a status symbol, particularly evident in the overwhelming preference for Apple devices. With a staggering 50% of respondents opting for Apple, it's evident that for many, owning an iPhone is not merely about functionality but also about projecting a certain image or lifestyle. This inclination towards Apple devices suggests a strong association between the brand and notions of prestige, sophistication, and social standing. While other brands like Samsung and Huawei also command notable shares of the market, the dominance of Apple underscores the significance of smartphones as more than just communication tools but as emblematic accessories that reflect individual identity and social status in South African society.

  • The rise of the challenger brands
  • The survey identified a rising trend towards challenger brands disrupting traditional market dynamics.

    In the loyalty program space, Xtra Savings that was only launched in 2019 has gained a 86% penetration and is outperforming well-established programs like Clicks Club Card (79%) and PnPSmart shopper (78%).

    Furthermore, global service offerings, characterised by competitive pricing and convenience, pose formidable competition to local brands in South Africa. For instance, online Chinese clothing brand Shein with 56% usage has overtaken local counterparts like Superbalist with 43% usage. Netflix also has surpassed 79% of respondents subscribing to the international media giant, while local media moguls DSTV has declined to 46% and Showmax to 51% of users. This can be attributed to Netflix’s affordable global monthly subscription model.

  • Motivations for social media advocacy
  • There is a strong motivation amongst consumers to share their brand experiences on social media platforms for various reasons. The majority (74%) cite a personal connection with the brand's values as a primary motivator for advocacy. Additionally, unique and interesting experiences (69%) and attractive discounts and special offers (58%) also play significant roles in encouraging consumers to share their experiences with others.

The insights gleaned from Brand Influence's Service Insider community survey underscore the evolving landscape of consumer preferences and behaviours within the service industry. As consumers gravitate towards convenience, value, and personalised experiences, brands must adapt their strategies to meet these evolving demands. By leveraging digital platforms, nurturing brand loyalty, and embracing innovation, brands can navigate the competitive landscape and build meaningful connections with their audience.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact Brand Influence az.oc.ecneulfnidnarb@ofni.

4 Mar 2024 12:05