The Future of Shopping - Insights From Allana Wass
Expert Panel

The Future of Shopping – Insights From Allana Wass

Sep 09, 2021

Raydiant’s new series, the Future of Shopping, interviews experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding what organizations can do to prepare themselves for what lies ahead. 

The following is an interview we recently had with Allana Wass, Co-founder at Comfybeddy.

How has consumer shopping behavior evolved over the past 5 years?

According to statistics over 50% of mall department stores are on their way to shut down indefinitely. This is a clear sign of how much shopping seems to have evolved in its overall dynamic, leading to what used to be crowded malls, quickly becoming obsolete to your average shopper. Now brands are trying to keep up with consumer demands for a more comfortable method of shopping that is as personalized as an in-store experience.

Shopping is now often influenced by Instagram trends and the influencer industry. Brands are looking to invest in this lucrative form of marketing and promotion that has only grown during the pandemic and is now worth 13.8 billion dollars. These influencers encourage in-store and online traffic because Instagram now has become a dominant aspect of the shopping experience.  

The automation of shopping has also become a necessity. Brands now offer the ability for you to virtually try on makeup and clothing, this has become a much more preferred method of shopping as opposed to going to a crowded store.

What are the top 3 trends shaping the way consumers shop?

The rise in Instagram businesses has resulted in more competition between brands and has made innovation that constantly evolves and improves a crucial aspect of sales growth. Consumers are now able to find an alternative to everything on Instagram and has led to the growth of fast fashion brands such as she-in.

Installment plans have become common for consumers who are looking to make a larger purchase but don’t want to splurge all at once. Buy now pay later being a common option, when purchasing for pricey furniture or technology.

Sustainable and ethical organizations are now more sought after.

Buyers understand the importance of sustaining our planet and have started to prioritize purchasing from brands that promise ethical sourcing.

What’s the future of shopping?

The future of our shopping experiences will be centered around technology. We now see clients selecting and paying for products online, then dropping by the nearest outlets to pick up their purchases. This allows for consumers to avoid crowded stores as well as long lines when new products launch, ultimately benefiting from hassle-free shopping whenever they please. Making a return is also more convenient than ever, with businesses offering to pick up returns and exchanges to encourage contactless shopping during the pandemic.

What are 3 actionable steps an organization can take to prepare for the future?

AI

Organizations looking to stay on top of new shopping trends must utilize an AI. With the assistance of an AI businesses can closely monitor their consumer’s shopping habits as well as preferences, while being able to alter the shopping experiences in accordance with their buyers’ demands, making purchasing products a much more personalized experience overall.

Competitive Intelligence 

Businesses looking to effectively prepare for changes can benefit from incorporating competitive intelligence. This refers to the ability to collect, analyze, and utilize the information that they accumulate, to stay competitive and to improve customer experiences. This allows you to identify gaps in the market, recognize risks, and test your plans, resulting in improved decision-making abilities. 

Planning for capacity growth

Malls and stores may be shutting down, but businesses that were well prepared and made virtual shopping an option for their clients, in time saw immense growth. This also makes planning for these changes an important factor, and with the help of an effective capacity growth benchmark companies are able to optimize their ability to grow and make these necessary changes in a manner that is cost-efficient while bringing in high amounts of revenue.

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