A Decisive Moment in Retail Transformation
From evolving consumer behaviors to technology, industry, and global trends, a state of perpetual disruption influences shoppers’ new expectations and drives innovation in the retail sector
The Next Norm Unified Commerce
As customers return to levels of pre-pandemic shopping in stores, retailers need to accommodate rising expectations for convenience, fulfillment, frictionless experiences, and price sensitivity.
Market Watch: Retail Transformation by the Numbers
Shoppers are back in stores with heightened expectations as retailers wrangle tight labor markets, supply chain shortages and inflation.
Through the Years: Key Events That Shaped the Retail World
The world is dramatically different today than when the shopper study began in 2007.
Human Aspects: Connecting With Shoppers
The modern store is playing a new role, and retailers are under pressure to keep up.
Most consumers increasingly blend e-commerce and in-store, with seven in 10 saying they prefer shopping with online retailers who also have brick-and-mortar locations. More fulfillment options—from buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and click-and-collect to curbside pick-up or ship-to-home—mean more work for retailers with increased picking, staging, delivery and return solutions required to meet shopper habits and expectations.
While the reality of simultaneously operating separate fulfillment channels is complex for retailers, most consumers have a simple view: They see online and instore as two sides of one retail experience and bring similar expectations to both.
Over three-quarters of shoppers are satisfied with the shopping experience—both instore and online. Satisfaction with online shopping trends down with age, with digitalnative Millennials and Gen Xers both slightly more satisfied than the global average. Comfort with everyday consumer technology likely influences their experiences.
As further confirmation of a blended approach to shopping, mobile ordering continues to increase, with 82% of all consumers surveyed having used it.
Retail Shifts: How Tech Enhances the Shopper Experience
Savvy shoppers likely recognize when retailers are laggards to tech adoption.
Tech is a must for any retail business seeking to align with how their current and future customers shop. Both shoppers (76%) and associates (84%) expect the retail environment to be just as technologically advanced as their everyday lives, and decision-makers know just how important technology can be for generating positive customer sentiment and increasing workforce retention.
The benefit of technology ripples throughout a retail organization, creating a more positive experience for shoppers and associates and helping to generate a positive ROI for decision-makers. For example, self-checkout and mobile checkout deliver the speed and convenience customers expect and give associates more time on the floor with customers. By the same token, over eight in 10 associates say more inventory visibility would be beneficial, helping speed up in-store fulfillment and ensure more shoppers leave the store with the items they wanted to purchase.
Device investments are brought to life with software solutions that apply automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence to functions like workforce and inventory management, bringing retailers into the next generation.
Perspective: Providing an exceptional customer experience is the ultimate competitive advantage
The future of retail will continue to see the shopper in the driver’s seat, and retailers will have to remain nimble if they want to keep up with shifting preferences and priorities. Retailers must consider future disruption, prepare to reassess strategies, and take advantage of new opportunities.
Getting Ahead of Emerging Technologies
The pace of technology can be overwhelming. Topics like the metaverse seem to go from niche to mainstream in the blink of an eye, leaving retailers wondering what role they will play—and what emerging technologies are worth investing in as the future quickly unfolds.