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Is FOMO Ruining Your Customer Experience?

Is FOMO Ruining Your Customer Experience?
August 1, 2014 Anya Anderson

Tech Marketing gurus, Concentrate, recently published an article ‘Is your tech business suffering from FOMO?’ which sparked a bit of conversation in the office about just how prolific the FOMO phenomenon has become.
There’s a raft of new technology geared to help retailers improve their businesses, and the way their business interacts with customers. This article will probably tread a fine line between the positives and negatives of new tech in your retail business. It’s important to note that we’re not against new tech in retail. In fact, being a tech company ourselves, we’re very pro!

What we do advocate for, however, is a well considered and systematic approach to introducing new technology into your business. Technology is what is driving most of the change we see in the world today, but for it to benefit your business it needs to be the right solution, with the right implementation.

We preach the importance of keeping things simple in retail. Creating solid foundations of sales and service within your team before you get fancy. But, we’ve never really explored the phenomenon known as FOMO and how this could be having adverse effects on your customer experience.

So what is FOMO, anyway?

A relatively new concept, FOMO is an acronym which stands for ‘Fear of Missing Out’. Most cases of FOMO have been strictly concerned with individuals social interactions and described as a form of social anxiety. As the term would suggest, FOMO focuses on the fear of missing out on an advantageous social interaction. In Concentrate’s article, author Achan Bedi defines it as “…one of the by-products of our new hyper-connected ultra-social world, where nobody wants to be left out.”

Bedi highlights the fact that FOMO doesn’t necessarily apply only to individuals anymore. FOMO can affect your business just as much as it affect you and an individual. And, in the retail world, FOMO manifests itself in new technology.

How does it affect customer experience?

By now you’re probably wondering how FOMO affects the level of customer centricity in your business. After all, focusing on technology to enhance your in-store experience is going to enhance your customer experience at the same time…isn’t it?

The sheer nature of FOMO means that the focus is solely on what others have. Your business should be solely focused on what your customers want. While sometimes the ‘copy-catting’ strategy may yield positive results, it’s important to remember that what suits one business doesn’t necessarily suit another.

Another thing to consider is that with the fear of missing out comes the pressure to react quickly. This often results in snap decisions being made. When implementing new technology, it’s important to enter into it like any new investment; make sure your decision is well educated.

Without giving yourself time to discover and prove a strong case for implementing any new technology, you may find yourself taking on too much, too fast. Don’t lose sight of the goal here; to improve your customer experience.

As a starting point, answer the following questions before committing to anything new:

  • How does this benefit my customer?
  • Does my customer want this?
  • How do I know if they want it or not?
  • What other alternatives are there?
  • How long will this take to implement?