Happy Monday morning!
Today’s Curio includes:
🧠 More structure ≠ less emotion. [Consumer Insight]
🤖 CBDCs are on their way. [Digital Trend]
👩🔬 GenZ turns to social for brand discovery. [Market Research]
💡 Beating Amazon at its own game. [Case Study]
🧠 Why do we decide not to stick to the status quo?
You don’t pick between two different craft beers the same way you choose between two IT vendors.
Higher stakes call for more structure and less going with your gut.
It’s a decision strategy known as ‘Accuracy Maximisation.’
More structure means figuring out:
Your requirements, and
We mistakenly believe that more structure makes decisions less emotional.
More structure makes it easier to pick, prioritise, collaborate and decide.
But structure doesn’t make us immune to feeling bad.
Decisions that matter more personally (like missing out on promotion) or socially (losing status) are more threatening and likely to trigger avoidance.
And avoidance is a decision that we don’t make easily.
Feeling overwhelmed triggers our coping mechanism.
And choosing to do nothing (or postpone the decision) is just one of its outputs.
We want our decisions to make us feel good today and improve our satisfaction tomorrow. Anything less is a compromise.
Coping isn’t avoiding making a decision.
It’s deciding to minimise mental and emotional strain.
And you can minimise that strain for yourself, your colleagues, and your customers by thinking ahead and asking these questions:
What’s at stake? (Money, reputation, safety, etc.)
Are they more likely to end with a positive or a negative outcome?
How do they expect to feel after making the decision? (Good or bad)
Are they going to get the blame or credit for the decision?
🤖 What you need to know about CBDCs.
Crypto bros on TikTok will have you believe that the future of finance is decentralised.
But let’s pause for a minute.
Next year, China is introducing its official Central Bank Digital Currency.
Centralised digital coins and blockchain can bring financial services to millions of people who haven’t or couldn’t use basic banking services before.
But unlike Bitcoin or Etherium, a CBDC isn’t decentralised.
As Forrester explains:
“In countries that adopt a two-tier CBDC operating model where central banks sit on the top layer to manage the issuance and withdrawal of CBDC while banks sit on the second layer to manage the circulation and maintenance of the CBDC, banks will still play an important role in the circulation and operation of CBDCs together with the central bank. When it comes to CBDC risk management, responsibility is likely to shift from banks to central banks since the latter now have better visibility into cash flow.”
Their advice is to start considering “how to embed CBDC into your products and services to provide excellent CX is the key to maximising its value.”
👩🔬 GenZ turns to social media for brand discovery more than search engines.
So far, search engines, whether Google or Amazon, are where the digital path to purchase usually starts.
But since TikTok, that balance has been shifting.
According to recent research by GWI, the power of search engines as a brand discovery tool has declined by 7% since Q2 2020.
💡Amazon taught the world how to shop fast. Now Chinese e-com giants are optimising it.
Let me say it out loud: Fast fashion is bad for the planet, and its consumerism at its worse.
But that doesn’t stop us from shopping and businesses from innovating new ways to produce more waste faster.
Last year Shien, a fashion retailer from China, became the top-ranking app in 50 countries and the second most popular fashion website in the world.
Their sales jumped by 250%, and the company accounted for 28% of all fast fashion sales in the US.
As the Guardian analysis explains: (I added the emphasis)
At the heart of these issues is Shein’s aggressive business model. Comparisons to fast-fashion giants such as H&M miss the point: it’s more like Amazon, operating a sprawling online marketplace that brings together about 6,000 Chinese clothing factories. It unites them with proprietary internal management software that collects near-instant feedback about which items are hits or misses, which allows Shein to order new inventory virtually on demand. Designs are commissioned through the software – some original, others picked from the factories’ existing products. A polished advertising operation is layered over the top, run from Shein’s head offices in Guangzhou.
The lesson here isn’t to start your very own fast-fashion planet buster.
But Shein says it better than I can: E-commerce has changed for better or worse (the latter in this case). And Amazon is no longer the only, or even the best, benchmark out there.
Have a great week! And see you in January.