How we buy goods and services in constantly in flux as economic and technological realities change every day for businesses and consumers.
Shifting values and access to the internet have created a great deal of new competition for customers and today’s consumers shop across multiple platforms and merchants must be prepared to engage with them anytime and anywhere. At its core, the megatrend ‘Shopping Reinvented’ is about the evolving notion of consumer engagement alongside this increase in technology.
Shopper experience defining value
The ideal customer journey weaves a brand into the entire experience, providing value before, during and after the purchase, converting a transaction into a relationship.
Consumers are increasingly expecting retailers to engage with them in ways that suit their interests and lifestyle. Selling via social media and social messaging (s-commerce), internet-enabled subscription programmes, pop-up shops and other innovative methods offer ways to tailor the transaction to the product being sold and the consumer.
For instance, the Japanese optical goods chain Megane SUPER has been one of the early adopters of s-commerce, allowing customers to complete their purchases through chat-style shopping using the messaging app Line.
S-commerce is one application of innovative retail models that allow companies to provide creative transactions with consumers in ways that suit their lifestyles and needs, such as fitting shopping into a busy schedule and providing a more personal interaction.
This also highlights how the shopper journey is evolving. In previous years, purchases revolved around the transaction itself, whereas today, shopping is a journey, whose purpose is not buying, but relationship building. Each element of the shopping journey is a place to strengthen the brand: pre-purchase engagement enables more items in carts while post-purchase service ignites the next sale.
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