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When less can deliver more

Dan Edelman, VP Marketing, American Express

Connected phones, connected lives

It’s no secret that the increasing digitisation of our modern lives means that we are more connected and accessible than ever. Our phones, tablets and computers are now powerful devices that provide us with instant access to information and services in a way unimaginable to previous generations.

While this has meant that everything from buying books and music, to booking taxis and flights, are now just a few clicks away, the mobile age has also fundamentally transformed our lives into a constant stream of data, notifications and information. We can receive dozens of notifications, emails and messages every day – all while research has shown that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in recent years.

Information age or information fatigue?

Abundance of information and choice does not always liberate; indeed, it can cause confusion and indecision. A well known Columbia University study found that providing consumers with more choice can reduce the likelihood of a decision being made. The “Jam Study” as it became known, saw participants offered a choice of either a selection of 24 or six jams from which to make a purchase. Researchers found that while more participants were drawn to the large assortment, those who sampled from the small selection were significantly more likely to make a purchase.

For merchants and retailers, this has an impact on the way they interact with consumers. Bombarding them with information and alerts will do little to prompt engagement or, in the long run, foster loyalty. In fact this year, an American Express study found that consumers expect personalisation with almost of half of Millennials (48%) expecting brands to customise offers to suit their needs. As a result, retailers increasingly need to find innovative ways to reach consumers in today’s crowded market.

Solutions, not problems

The key to cutting through the noise and reaching consumers in meaningful ways is not to outdo one another by ramping up activity – it is to pare down to ensure consumers are offered the most relevant, streamlined offers that address their particular needs. The risk of overwhelming consumers with complex processes or information isn’t just that it is confusing, but also that it tends to complicate the decision-making process, forcing them to question their choices.

Successful offers are those that provide consumers with relevant, timely, and easily-digestible information which helps them make educated choices and simplifies decision-making. Brands who follow this advice stand to be generously rewarded by their customers.

In Summary

To reach consumers and foster loyalty, brands and retailers must focus their attention on understanding intent – what is it exactly that this specific consumer is looking to receive? – and then focus on how they can deliver this in the most clear and streamlined way. This simplicity is what will help retailers cut through the noise. The American Express Amex Offers programme helps retailers reach customers with a tailored approach to offers, leveraging our customer insights and underpinned by our simple digital platform.

For more information on Amex Offers please visit:

Dan Edelman, VP Marketing, American Express



Twitter: @AmexUK

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