Customers still want the personal touch in a digital age

11/06/2019

The digital revolution was predicted to consign everything from printed books to vinyl albums, film cameras to handwritten cards to the dustbin of history.

Why keep that stack of old records when you can just stream them on your phone? Why bother printing photographs from the last family holiday when you can just upload them to your computer? Why let your books gather dust on a shelf when you can just read them on an e-reader?

Customers still want the personal touch in a digital age

But while our increasingly digitised world has made life better in so many ways, it would seem that many of us miss the warm rich sound produced by a vinyl record, the feel of turning the pages of a photo album filled full of treasured pictures or the smell of a new book.

Charter Savings Bank recently carried out a survey* which revealed many of us still crave the type of physical experience that a purely digital world threatens to remove from our lives.

The survey found that 86% of adults have purchased at least one non-digital item in the last year, and many of them are planning on increasing their spending on alternatives to technology.

What’s really interesting about the research is how the trend is seemingly being driven by the under 30s – the generation which has grown up online.

Despite being digital natives, our study found that 74% of 20-somethings bought printed books in the last year compared with only 63% of 60-69-year-olds. It was a similar story with vinyl records. Despite growing up in a world where music is consumed digitally, nearly a third of 30-somethings and 30% of 20-somethings said they purchased a record in the last year. Two out of three of those surveyed said it was exciting to receive cards and letters in the post, while less than one in five agreed that sending handwritten cards no longer makes sense in the digital age.

So what’s behind the renaissance for formats that only a few years ago seemed to be on their way out? When it comes to books, 60% of people who took part in the survey said they would rather read physical pages than a screen, while 44% of music fans see their vinyl records as collectables. Nearly a half of photography enthusiasts prefer having photos printed so they have something to keep, and more than eight of 10 people said they had recently sent or received handwritten letters, cards and packages in the post.

The common theme seems to be people’s desire to possess tangible items, and the need for a tactile physical experience that the digital world can’t provide.

It may explain why our new Postal Fixed Rate Bond accounts have proven so popular since their launch. While other savings providers encourage people to do all their banking online, our new accounts allow you to choose how you manage your savings, either through the post or online.

It’s all part of our commitment to being an inclusive bank which gives customers as many ways of banking with us as possible. We launched them after listening to customers who told us they would choose a postal savings account if they had the option.

So if you’re looking for a more traditional way to manage your finances, our Fixed Rate Bonds could be ideal. In a world where the personal touch is still so highly valued, friendly members of our UK-based call centre are here to take your call seven days a week.

If you’d like to find out more, take a look at our savings accounts and see if one of our Fixed Rate Bonds is right for you.

*Opinium conducted research among 2,006 adults living in the UK on behalf of Charter Savings Bank between 29th March – 2nd April 2019

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