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 Mikaela Jaconelli, Director of Client Success at Tipser.
How has consumer shopping behavior evolved over the past 5 years?
Consumers rarely go to individual online stores to browse for ideas. They look to social media, blogs, lifestyle media outlets and influencers that they trust for ideas. It’s not just about finding products, it’s about belonging to communities and sharing experiences.
People are also much more conscious of their shopping habits than before. Eco-consciousness is no longer a buzzword – it has made its way to the actual behavior of consumers. Consumers want to know where their clothes were made, how much emissions producing them has created and how long-lasting they are. This is partially driven by the very vocal Gen Z, which to date is the most progressive generation regarding social and environmental matters.
Consumers are also much more open to buying from new channels, testing new brands and products, and that’s also why inspiration for shopping comes from so many different places.
There is also a strong social dimension in shopping: consumers want to enter into a dialogue before they make purchasing decisions. They may ask the community following the brand for their experiences and opinions about the product and check what kind of an experience an influencer had with the product.
Live shopping events have also become much more common. They bring people interested in the same thing together and it’s much easier to make a purchasing decision in those situations.
And although we’re slowly leaving the pandemic behind, COVID-19 still impacts shopping. Because there was such a strong movement to online spaces in 2020, it forced a large part of the market to explore e-commerce more. We may go back to physical spaces over time, but there’s a strong trend of brick-and-mortar stores turning into showrooms while shopping stays online.
What are the top 3 trends shaping the ways consumers shop?
One trend is the social dimension of shopping. Instead of just reading reviews in online stores, people ask around online to understand other people’s experiences. They also want to talk to the brands and have conversations.
Another trend is shopping in the channels where inspiration happens. It’s no longer just the traditional store or online store, it can be a social media platform or a live event. All platforms are going transactional.
Finally, people want to make more conscious shopping choices. What helps them make them is when they are provided with plenty of information about the products. And with access to more information, people become even more conscious of their shopping decisions.
What’s the future of shopping?
We can base this vision on what we do know about today. The consumer has all the power here: consumer behavior shapes shopping. We can’t keep consuming the way we do, but we also need to meet customer demands. It is up to brands and merchants to supply products in a conscious way.
What are 3 actionable steps an organization can take to prepare for the future?
- Foster conscious shopping by providing plenty of information.
- Involve as many senses as possible in the shopping experience.
- No more one-way marketing or shopping – focus on creating spaces for your customers to interact with you, influencers and with each other. A space for your customer and the brand.