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Today’s news headlines show growing unease with the connected world. Even Facebook is failing to sustain the huge growth in users it once boasted. With the rise in high profile cyber crime leading to increased privacy concerns online, the once trusting public are turning away from the rapidly advancing technology big businesses are using to target them.

BearingPoint reveals new research identifying the conflicting behaviours, or ‘paradoxes’ companies face as a result of inconsistent digital customer activity

Speaking at the launch event in London, Sarah-Jayne Williams, co-author of “Addressing Customer Paradoxes in the Digital World” said:

“The digital world is barely 20 years old, but human psychology has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Unable to evolve our innate behaviour, we are increasingly alienated by the technology that is supposed to help us.

“For businesses, dealing with digital consumers is complicated. BearingPoint consultants have been looking at the strategic issues around customer behaviours in the digital space. For every trend, we also discovered a counter movement – consumers are presenting us with a set of paradoxes”.

The BearingPoint research highlights five key paradoxes arising from customer behaviour:
1. Physical versus Digital – I want touch and trial a product but also buy it quickly
2. Form versus Function – I need to transact fast but also enjoy the experience
3. Empowerment versus Privacy – I want to use GPS to navigate but don’t want companies to track my location
4. Person versus Persona – I want to be recognised but don’t want my personal information exploited
5. Choice versus Recommendation – I want choice and personalization but am confused by too many options

The BearingPoint research concludes that companies must recognise and understand these paradoxes in order to deliver the online experience consumers feel comfortable with. Being over-familiar online can challenge a customer’s comfort zones, while providing too sterile an environment risks alienating valuable repeat business. The key to getting it right is to provide a digital experience with a human touch - achieve this and the competitive advantage will be huge.

Review copies, media briefing and interviews are available.

About BearingPoint:
BearingPoint delivers business consulting with management and technology capabilities. As an independent firm with European roots and a global reach, BearingPoint serves leading companies and public sector organisations worldwide to align and optimise processes, IT and operating models with business strategy. Driven by a strong entrepreneurial mindset and desire to create long-term partnerships, BearingPoint’s consultants are committed to delivering value to their clients. The firm’s approach to working with clients is highly collaborative and designed to improve business performance, from strategy through to execution. BearingPoint currently employs 3,200 people in 15 countries.
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