The Changing Face of Retail : I will shop when and where I want to
- November 2, 2011
- by Holly Wilde
Online retail has become established as a fundamental part of a consumer shopping behaviour. Consumers don’t just want to purchase online they want to be able to research, price compare, access reviews and read recommendations from others.
It is forecasted by Forrester that that there will be 190 million online shoppers in the EU by 2014 (up from 141 million today). More shoppers’ means brands and retailers are facing challenges as consumers demand convenience, choice and value.
Those that succeed in this marketplace will need to adapt and become more engaging in order to retain and gain those all important customers.
The future of retail
1. It’s all about me. “I will shop when and where I want to”
Mix and match retailing is prevalent across the board. Users are becoming more confident and adept at using multiple platforms when shopping.
A few examples: iPad users might read a newspaper which contains an advert which then clicks straight through to the advertiser’s online store or those users in store who check prices on their mobile before purchasing. John Lewis actually encourages their customers to do this by offering free wifi within all stores. If a customer then finds the same item on sale online anywhere else for a lower cost they will match it there and then!
Buying journeys are becoming more fragmented which means brands need to explore and exploit cross – platform opportunities from PPC to ipad display advertising.
2. The shop is in your pocket
Mobile devices are with you no matter where you go enabling you to compare, locate, scan, download, click to call and ultimately purchase. Predominantly we see users browsing on mobiles and then actually purchasing on desktops however as consumer confidence grows and brands develop their mobile sites this is set to all change.
The next generation of Smartphone’s will be enabled with NFC technology so the consumer will be able to pay with their mobile device, something which Barclaycard are pushing with their own ‘swipe points’.
Mobiles are a as some may say ‘a digital wallet’ now is the time to create that application you have been planning for a while and optimise your mobile website.
3. Love for a brand
Developing greater intimacy with customers should be high on an advertiser’s agenda. This can be in the form of utilising dynamic ad formats or by utilising augmented reality technology to generate engagement.
By creating a ‘real’ shopping experience in customers’ homes fashion retailers can offer a ‘try on before you buy’ solution. Upload a picture of yourself and the clothes will feature on your body which should mean fewer returns for the retailer to have to contend with.