The Future of Shopping – Insights From Taylor Ryan

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 Taylor Ryan, CEO of Klint Marketing.

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

It’s important to remember how dynamic customer behavior is. While values and beliefs evolve slowly, it’s the ever-changing nature of behavior that forces marketers and e-commerce owners to always have their wits about them. 

There have been a lot of shifts in the past 5 years, like customers becoming more ethically conscious and dependent on convenience and digitalization. 

It isn’t news that traditional brick-and-mortar shops have taken a pounding from e-commerce, but I think non-transparent brands increasingly seem out of date. Retail chains are focusing on taking their business online, and changing their in-store experience so that it offers more for customers. But again, this might completely change in a few years, new trends will float to the surface, and businesses with the best foresight or adaptability will dominate the market.

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

It’s tough to only choose three, but I believe it must be “sustainability”- people started falling in love with companies that have good, transparent CSR. For example, within the food industry, people love to know where various ingredients came from and how they were obtained. 

Another one would have to be “convenience”- I believe that this trend exploded with the COVID-19 situation, for example, online shopping and deliveries of groceries. Even after restrictions were lifted, many businesses haven’t gone back to their old ways of selling because people haven’t gone back to their old way of buying (satellite kitchens are a great example of this). 

Finally, the explosion of digital chat and chatbot solutions for e-commerce. AI bots are now helping customers with their shopping, rather than just complaints. Site navigation is significantly easier with bots, and this is something customers love. 

What's the future of shopping?

 I think the future lies in even more digitalization, more convenience, and personalization. 

Stores have been shifting to online retail for quite some while now, and meanwhile, e-commerce has been morphing into something different too. It’s not about order and delivery anymore, they want a seamless transition between the online and offline world at all times.

Furthermore, customers love human-like conversations with corporations, being addressed by their name, and getting suggestions for products and services they might like.

A truly personalised omni-channel experience can be difficult to implement, but it’s something that will be very common in the future. Therefore, I think that the most successful retailers will be those who can connect with their audience through online, omni-channel, and in-store technologies.

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

Be open-minded to the change! Look at Blockbuster and their denial of progress – where did that get them? Bankrupted. 

Research- audit your customers and try to cater to their needs in a new, unexplored way. 

Adjust your company culture – start thinking like an innovator and seek improvement for any process or operation within your company. Make sure this innovative thinking is part of the company’s culture as well – the last thing you want is people being stuck in old processes with old tools and old mindsets. 

Finally, Experiment – Implement your newly found solutions into the real world and see how they work and whether they bring value to your customers.