Toward the end of last year, American shoppers reached a remarkable milestone: consumers spent more in retail stores on products that they had researched on the Internet than on those they had not. According to eMarketer, Web-influenced offline sales now account for the largest category of retail spending in the American economy.
The modern shopper has emerged in the wake of the two defining technological trends of the day: cloud computing and mobile. Cloud technology allows businesses to more effectively consolidate an ecommerce product with a scattered retail footprint, connecting the systems running in stores with their digital operations. And the broader proliferation of cloud software has also redefined consumer expectations, conditioning people to expect a seamless experience from whichever device: a website, an app and even a store.
Meanwhile, for consumers mobile has dramatically expanded the reach of retailers’ digital systems. Consumers can now access databases and applications which retailers originally built for digital stores, whether they’re at home, on the move or in in a brick-and-mortar location. Consequently, those systems have become immensely more influential in the consumer journey, impacting not only what we buy but how we but it.
Some retailers have resisted, but there is less and less separation between the retail and ecommerce. A new generation of retail executives who came up in ecommerce are bringing digital strategies to traditional retail operations; meanwhile ecommerce companies, faced with an increasingly competitive industry, are looking to stores for growth.
In the deck below, we take a look at the fundamentals of selling to the modern shopper. Informed, engaged and experimental, the modern consumer expects consistency and collaboration across a buying experience. More than anything else, however, shoppers expect retailers to listen, adapt and meet their demands across the digital and physical divide.