Disruptors are reshaping consumer behavior. In response, retailers are stepping up their game. In our analysis, we examine six closely intertwined strategies retailers are using to stave off disruption and better attract and retain today’s mercurial shoppers. The underlying theme of these strategies: to create an immersive, seamless, brand-defining experience for consumers across all channels, one that will keep them coming back.
Disruptors are now competing on speed, variety and convenience. In fact, shoppers told us their motivation for shopping online isn’t always dictated by price; almost 45% selected convenience as the main reason for shopping online. Across all channels, however, low price continues to dominate shopping decisions for some two thirds of shoppers.
Brand loyalty, while hard-won, is not easy to shake. That's good news for retailers who have cultivated close ties with shoppers over many years with individualized coupons, marketing, and pricing. It also reinforces the power of one-to-one connections with customers via personalization, which new entrants online cultivate rigorously.
Cost-prohibitive last-mile delivery issues continue to challenge retailers who are experimenting with a combination of options in response to customer preferences for speedy delivery. Trained to expect two-day or next-day delivery, customers have decided they like the option for home delivery or in-store pickup.
Ultimately, retailers need to entice customers to interact with them — whether online or in-store — and keep coming back. At physical stores, they can do so by providing a convenient, frictionless in-store experience, with the added advantage of knowledgeable sales staff who can explain product offerings, the number-one preference of in-store shoppers, ahead of ambience.
For a technology platform to succeed, it has to be part of an overarching digital strategy that encompasses the entire organization — rather than an ad hoc point-in-time initiative. Respondents to our survey were more open to using mobile payment via smartphone this year than they were last year.
Continual experimentation and ongoing course correction is at the core of disruptors’ success — even when they are ahead of the game. From self-checkout devices to circumvent long check-out lines to touchscreen fitting-room mirrors that offer immediate help from sales associates, retailers are experimenting with a raft of options to make the shopping experience simple, convenient, personal, and engaging.
Consumer Markets Tax Leader
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