The Future of Shopping – Insights From Nick Shackelford

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 Nick Shackelford, Managing Partner, Structured Agency.

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

The consumer can now buy and return items at ease, reducing risk and improving their relationship with a merchant. Although sites like Amazon were still prevalent 5 years ago, the emergence of more and more after pay methods and return at ease commerce platforms has effectively limited the trepidation a buyer may face before purchasing a product. The window shopper age has been transformed into a physical experience where one can now try out a product after buying with virtually no hassle if the need to return it presents itself. The shopper is in the driver’s seat more than ever. From click to conversion, social media and its incorporation of swipe ups have increased the purchasing rate and speed into an almost instant process.   

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

The top three buying trends are purchasing directly from social media, Amazon, and services catering to physical, mental, and ethical wellness. The latter’s market will continue to blossom as the consumer is privy to more transparency on what they consume, promote, purchase, and how it is produced. 

What’s the future of shopping?

With digital marketing and interactive branding spearheading the future of brand building, I envision businesses incorporating metaverse technology and its aspects to advance products, services, and the customers they represent. Including the consumer in the brand’s narrative and allowing testimonials, and in turn, your average consumer to become a product pusher and influencer, will streamline companies’ advertorial campaigns and push brand awareness to new levels. I see this concept rapidly evolving into an interactive experience before purchasing while perpetuating further engagement between the brand and its buyers. Shaping the buying experience and the buyer persona will continue to be the future trend as more consumers utilize social sites and their targeting ads as the new “shopping mall.” 

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

  • Streamline your purchase to return protocol.

  • Integrate a virtual shopping experience.

  • Create a highly targeted click to conversion method via social media.