Enabled by technology, the continued year over year growth in online shopping has been fueled by a new generation of consumers who want greater convenience, value and options.
For consumer businesses, this trend poses both challenges and significant opportunities. Competition is no longer limited to local shops during business hours. Consumers today are shopping all the time and everywhere; and in a truly global online marketplace, products can easily be purchased from retailers and manufacturers located anywhere in the world—or from those with no physical retail locations at all.
Consumer demand for richer experiences and greater convenience means that retailers need to rethink their strategy, both online and in stores. Having the right product mix is no longer sufficient to attract the new wave of consumers including Millennials, who are entirely focused on one transaction—theirs.
Creating an online shopping experience enhanced by technology such as augmented and virtual reality or 3D is becoming at least as important as providing convenient and personalized ordering, payment and delivery options. However, despite the rise of online shopping, ecommerce still makes up a relatively small percentage of total retail spending. Retailers’ brick and mortar strategies also need to evolve to continue to draw customers into their stores, and to compete with the online retailers opening their own physical outlets.
Increasingly, we are seeing innovative marketing strategies, as well as new technologies such as smart shelves, robots, self-checkout, and interactive and virtual reality, being deployed in stores as retailers strive to compete on all fronts. Finding the ‘right’ strategy starts with one question: Given your brand promise, where do you want to compete? Only once a company understands their goals, customers and those customers’ needs can an appropriate strategy be designed.
And the key to a sustainable strategy is being able to understand and meet customer needs both today and tomorrow, across geographies, and across generations. In this report, we aim to raise and answer some questions about your company’s approach to ecommerce. Our global research on online consumer behaviors, preferences and attitudes can be leveraged by consumer companies seeking to improve their approach towards winning and retaining customers online.