Which of these significant trends are on your small business agenda and what practices have you put in play to meet (and exceed) consumer expectations?
Because the world changes, so does the way customers shop. As a result of our evolving behaviors and expectations, technological progress and retailers experimenting with new, innovative business models to stay competitive, we’re always finding new ways to purchase.
Understanding how shopper expectations are evolving can go a long way towards driving company growth and preventing retail extinction. So it pays to inquire: Which of these significant tendencies are in your small business agenda and what practices have you put in play to meet (and exceed) expectations?
Omni-channel as the standard
Determining where and how people shop is always top of mind for retailers. Customers now check many channels until they make a purchase. EMarketer reports that 65 percent of clients anticipate”consistent levels of support across physical and digital experiences,” while 55% anticipate”frictionless flow of data between multiple stations.” Retailers will need to appear at which channels their clients expect to be served on and reevaluate the experience between them. Having inventory available across all of your channels and providing the broadest assortment of fulfilment choices to best fit customer needs is very important. Amazon and other market innovators have gone a long way to raise the bar on how easily and fast consumers can get the goods they want.
Retailers will need to realise that integrating their online and offline retail experiences has become less of a choice and more of a requirement — it’s no more about competitive advantage and more about fulfilling the default anticipation of savvy shoppers who have more choice than ever of where to purchase their goods.
Consumers anticipate hyper-personalisation from manufacturer s
Consumers are later richer, more personalised shopping experience both online and in-store. Research shows consumers are ready to split the data necessary to permit for those personalised experiences. 54 percent of consumers expect to be given a personalised discount in a day of making themselves understood to a new, and 71% express frustration when their shopping experience feels”impersonal.” Additional research indicates that 63 percent of consumers are interested in personalised recommendations and are prepared to talk about their data to get benefits like credits for vouchers and loyalty points, exclusive deals, and special offers on relevant products. Retailers will need to plan out their client travels, identify what information is very important to capture at every stage and establish the programs that could drive loyalty and growth.
Personal Data Protection
While shoppers are eager to enter into an exchange of the information to get a much better, more personalised experience, their expectations about privacy and security are greater than they’ve ever been. Perceptions are tainted in recent times because of misconduct and breaches from high profile brands. Gone are the days where clients would willingly hand over all their information without a clear advantage in return. Today, they need assurances that their information will be protected, and they would like to know why their information is required and how it will enhance their experience. 75% will avoid buying a product if they don’t trust the brand to safeguard their information. Given we’re seeing more dialogue about customer information rights; brands will demonstrate transparency and trust in how they manage data, and make sure that their strategy focuses on data collection methods that induce a better experience.
More than ever, people are rethinking their intake and tracking behavior to stop plastic contamination, reduce CO2 emissions and minimise their environmental footprint. Reusable coffee cups, bamboo straws and plastic bans are simply the beginning. Brands are taking the opportunity to make important changes in production. The more fair and transparent production approaches are, the more trust people place in these brands.
Google and Stella McCartney recently announced a new pilot made to promote fashion brands to rethink their manufacturing processes. Google has created a learning tool that provides brands insight to the effects of their supply chains. The tool uses data analytics and machine learning how to concentrate on sources that quantify the effect of raw materials. The accumulated information, relevant to crucial environmental factors such as air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water scarcity, helps manufacturers understand that the supply chains they’re using more clearly.
Another leader in this area, Nike, has released a new, open design design manual to provide designers and product founders with a common language for circularity. Nike’s Circular Design Workbook provides sustainable guidelines for many designers. It was created in collaboration with staff and students of Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and with input provided from International Fashion Agenda. The aim is to make products that promote circularity, last longer and are designed with the end in mind.
Voice search adoption is rising
20 percent of all searches are now completed using search. This behavior supports the trend toward rapid and effortless shopping experiences. While voice hunt is hands-free and quicker than typing, cellular shopping solves real-time problems associated with location. Retailers will need to take a look at how their electronic channels can be produced voice-search friendly earlier rather than later.
Over two-thirds of Australians have subscription services now, up from 49 percent only five years ago, according to the survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Zuora, a subscription management platform supplier. About 75 percent of Australian respondents to the survey believe people will subscribe to more services and less physical”stuff” from the long run, and about two-thirds stated that an individual’s status is no longer defined by what they have.
“Commercial goods like food, clothing and transport are being re-imagined as utilities to leverage where and if needed, much like gas, water or electricity is consumed now,” Iman Ghodosi, Zuora vice-president and general director of the Asia-Pacific region stated.
The question for many Australian and New Zealand retailers will be if they see subscription a commercially viable part of their business model (currently or in the long run ) or a potential competitor?
Today’s market is harder than ever for retailers. It is a tough gig. Unfortunately, shoppers are not in any rush to forgive those who don’t stay informed about key trends like those discussed in this report. Just dealing with ‘business as usual’ matters can be time consuming enough. However, retailers who wish to thrive in this new age must somehow carve out the time required to look at key shopper trends, work out that present the best opportunities and risks and determine the vital practices to set up.
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