In the past decade, consumer habits have shifted far beyond what was thought possible. Lisa Luu from Hitwise explains the shift towards digital channels in retail.
you have buyers, bookers or applicants, each business wants to grow their
customers and increase their conversions.
needs existed well before the digital age. But over the past decade, the
internet has transformed how consumers search for, consider, and buy products
and services. Martech has also transformed how businesses can reach their
have evolutions made it more difficult to identify, convince, and acquire new
customer journey is truly unrecognisable from the analogue
path observed just a decade ago. Seismic shifts have fundamentally changed the
manner that consumers discover, research, purchase and consume goods from
retailers of all sizes, types and across all channels. A plethora of varied
touch-points influence, enhance and intelligently ‘nudge’ shoppers through an
ever-expanding number of paths to purchase, from increasingly
personalised social media campaigns to stockless stores where merchandise is
viewed through augmented reality apps.
paradigm shift has created significant challenges for the
retail industry. The role of the store has evolved from mere product
distribution hubs to meaningful customer experience environments, offering
discovery, entertainment and escapism. Meanwhile, the physical and digital
consumer experience has been blurred with in-store digital touchpoints that
distort the purely analogue experience of old.
acceleration of digital consumer experience
retailers have had to reinvent themselves to stay relevant. The most
successful listen to their customers, embrace change
and invest wisely for the future. However, the race to digital
transformation is occurring at such a pace, many retailers are struggling to
keep up with disruptive frontrunners, leading to the recent wave of retail CVAs
we gaze into the future, we will undoubtedly see the rate of change accelerate
as artificial intelligence and 5G connectivity dovetail to enhance retailers’
capabilities for speedier and cheaper online fulfilment. Meanwhile, innovative
new retail business models will emerge. Subscriptions, auto-replenishment and
more experimental stores will drive online sales to heights where the internet
will be the largest retail channel within the next 10 years.
The question of data
enjoying success appear to be those who quickly adopt new technologies to
leverage new opportunities. However, new risks are emerging
which concern the use and protection of consumer data. People are increasingly
conscious over their data protection rights and seek an equitable exchange of
value in favour of data relinquishment. With this backdrop, the impact of
future technologies and consumer acceptance is highly uncertain.
burning question for many retailers is whether they can pivot swiftly enough
whilst swimming against unpredictable tides of digitisation. Retailers must
embrace change, have a unique proposition and continue to innovate in
order to survive.
To understand and influence your customer’s path to purchase, take a look at Hitwise’s Buyers vs. Browsers Report. Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.
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