Consumers continue to prioritize convenience, simplicity, and speed in their retail exploration, and are turning to digital means and virtual tools as sources of ease and excitement. What were once exclusively in-store activities–browsing shopping racks, visiting showrooms, and last minute visits to longtime local staples–are now largely offered online, providing consumers much appreciated options when it comes to their shopping behaviors.
This research paper explores the ways in which traditional aspects of the retail experience have been not only shifted online, but also expanded upon (and often, improved) in the process. It examines how businesses are quickly advancing their tech-centric offerings through shoppable content, AR options, digital one-on-one consults and more, to bring long-appreciated aspects of shopping into the safety of consumers’ own homes.
Published October 2020
Using AR platforms to create 3D simulations that bring products to life and allow customers to virtually try before purchasing.Anticipatory Support
Retailers are applying machine learning and data aggregation tools to anticipate consumers’ needs based on situational or emotional contexts and provide service or product recommendations. This includes using data generated by mobile apps to create a unified view of members’ behaviors and preferences, as well as leveraging RFID and other technologies to detect items that shoppers are interacting with in order to target shoppers in the moment and drive incremental sales. It also encompasses taking targeted advertising offline with recognition technologies that allow brands to pinpoint and deliver the most relevant ads to specific consumers near physical point-of-purchase.Influencer Engagement
Rewarding brand evangelists with exclusive access to events and products, strengthening the bond with highly engaged customers and inspiring other brand-fans to achieve similar status.Social Recommendations
Creating spaces on social platforms that enable consumers to share their brand experiences and seek authentic product recommendations and reviews from others. This includes shoppable social platforms that allow in-app purchasing, as well as peer-to-peer marketplaces that enable selling and buying among like-minded audiences.