5 consumer behaviors changing the face of retail

When we think about the retail transformation, or as some people call it Retail Apocalypse (a little over the top if you ask me), we tend attribute the cause to technology. Many people think that the evolution of technology has created a new world for brands and companies to participate. We definitely believe that technology plays a crucial role in the retail evolution, but the biggest driver to the evolution is the shifting needs and behaviors of the consumer. 

79% of US consumers only consider brands that understand and care about ‘me’.
— Wunderman

The current landscape in retail is playing out because of a few key consumer behavior trends that we’ve been seeing over the last 5 years. And, being a human-centered organization, we need to look at the human behaviors we are trying to effect before we get to a full solution. 

What’s old is new 

There is still a massive play for “traditional” brick & mortar. In a recent survey by Poshly, 72% of Millennials and 77% of Gen Zers still prefer to make beauty purchases in a physical store. This shows that there is something to the touch and feel of a product before purchase. 

Mobile shopping on the rise

The convergence of mobile connectivity and shopping is finally making waves in the industry. More and more consumers are opting for always on shopping and now purchasing via their mobile devices. In fact, one-third of all Black Friday shopping was done on a mobile device. 

Pickup in store

The rise of some of these behaviors is the value of time and convenience. There is still a need for immediate gratification which is creating new behaviors in the retail supply chain. Buy online and pick up in store is one of those behaviors. As more and more consumers are shifting their buying habits to on-the-go mobile devices, they are also looking for delivery solutions that fit within their routine. In fact, 73% of shoppers preferred to buy online and pick up in store. 

Personalization is the engine

Repeat purchases and loyalty are finding their way into the consumer experience of retail - driven by the consumer need for personalization. Consumers are now expecting a company to know who they are and how they’ve interacted with the brand as they go through a shopping and purchase process. They expect companies to know what they’ve looked at, what their past purchases were and understand their tastes as they enter a store or a website. The scary thing is that this needs to happen across channel and progressively. 79% of US consumers only considered buying brands that care about them as an individual. 

Omnichannel is the only channel

As discussed above, the consumer doesn’t view their relationship with the brands they buy through one channel only. They see it as a progressive relationship across all they ways they may interact with the company. In fact, 89% of customers get frustrated having to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. 

Learn more about our approach to Retail strategy. If you’re ready to chat more, feel free to reach out