The company Lippincott conducted a large-scale study of buyers of the future on the basis of analysis of the main technological and sociological trends that fundamentally change the process of buying and interacting with brands.
Imagine a buyer of tomorrow. His t-shirt is connected to the Internet, the tattoo opens the door of the car, and he does not go shopping, but regularly receives parcels with everything necessary.
This is not science fiction, but the future, which is already due to the development and diffusion of technology, and in a few years retailers are waiting for a completely different world, with a completely different behavior of buyers. Those who do not begin to adapt today, there is hardly a place in it tomorrow.
Let’s talk about the critical changes in the behavior of customers, the challenges that arise for retailers, and the opportunities that need to be used today.
Trend # 1. “Right now” – it’s already late
In 2005, Amazon announced free shipping within two days, in 2014 – free delivery within two hours. Both seemed a real breakthrough, but today you will not be surprised at this. Users want to not just get the goods here and now, they expect retailers to anticipate their needs. Competitions in speed are already beginning to turn into a race of predictions and predictions.
Thanks to the data received from the connected devices, intelligent digital assistants such as Alexa will be able to order and deliver the goods even before we realize that it’s time for us to replenish stocks. Imagine a pharmacy that knows that you are ill; an electronics store that knows, then you forgot charging; an online store that knows that you are running out of toilet paper and pet food.
Almost ideal forecasts are the future of retail, and online stores need to change their approach to the strategy of building relationships with buyers of the future.
Trend # 2. Emotional and functional shopping
The buyer changed forever. And the requirements for the process of making purchases have changed. Instead of constant shopping trips, people begin to divide purchases into emotional and functional (forced) purchases.
Everything that brings joy is emotional; it’s buying clothes, children’s goods, a new smartphone or furniture, i.e. Actions from which we experience positive emotions.
Functional purchases include all permanent, forced purchases, such as food, animal feed, household chemicals, etc. – that is, the goods that we need regularly, but the purchase of which does not want to waste time.
This means that retailers should try to automate regular purchases and make the emotional brighter. In what ways can this be achieved?
Decision number 1. Introduce predictive analytics and forecasting of future purchases
To anticipate the needs of users, you need to collect data about their interests and preferences, purchase history and purchasing behavior. By analyzing these large data, one must learn to build consumption chains-the order sequences through which a large number of customers pass. In this way, you can build a variety of different consumption chains into which all new users will be “placed” and at the right time the store will be able to offer the products that are most likely to be needed at that particular moment.
With the analysis of online store orders, it is possible to calculate the probability of what goods and when they will be bought and at the right time to send an offer with the necessary commodity. For this, the trigger scenario “Forecast of the next most probable purchase” is suitable, the conversion to orders is up to 16%.
Solution number 2. Offer a subscription to the products on the site
One way to do this is to use a subscription, Amazon is already actively experimenting with it, offering not just buy the product, but subscribe at once for several copies, and not only for such obvious purchases as podge nickels or animal feeds, but also health & beauty products. For example, instead of one jar of cream, an Internet retailer offers to subscribe for at least two and get a 5% discount or increase this discount to 15% with a 5-piece subscription.
For items that are purchased regularly, the opportunity and benefits of the subscription are listed immediately on the category page to gradually accustom the buyers to a new format of purchases. Instead of constantly going to the store or storing stocks, users can get the right products when they need them.
Solution # 3. Use specialized email scripts
Another good way to forget about regular purchases is to use the trigger scenario “Recommendations for regular goods.” Based on the purchase history, the forecast of the following most probable purchases among goods that have a limited period of regular consumption. When the buyer is about to finish the goods, he sends a letter with the proposal to replenish stocks. The conversion into orders for this scenario is up to 25%.
Solution # 4. Increasing Brand Emotionality
In contrast to regular purchases that can be automated, emotional shopping requires branding more vivid impressions. This means that the online store is becoming something more than just a place to shop. He forms a community, creates his own atmosphere at the expense of content and helps the buyer to feel the joy of the process of choice.
Offline creation of emotions is much easier, but the process of shopping in the online store can be made more fun, for example, using 3D-fitting, interactive features, and technologies of augmented reality.
Changing the paradigm of consumption entails a change in the approach to retail with all its aspects. One of the most urgent tasks of retailers is to justify and exceed the expectations of speed, personalization, innovative experience, and other aspects that change the world in technological and social terms, making the new generation of buyers the most demanding in the history of the retail industry. The future promises profound changes, but apart from the complexities it carries a sea of possibilities. So retailers who can anticipate the needs of customers in the coming years will succeed.