If grocers could look into a crystal ball to see what the industry is going to be like one year, two, five or even ten years down the road, what would they see? The Future of Retail study tries to answer that question each year. The 2018 edition was recently published. Here are some important pieces that I wanted to share after reading the study:
- Consumers are quickly embracing voice-activated interactions via digital assistants and hand-free devices, like Amazon Echo and Google Home.
- The key to success when it comes to customer data will be for brands and retailers to use this data to power more immersive experiences – without compromising consumer trust.
- Amazon’s dominance forces competing retailers to evolve. On average, two in five consumers (41%) receive 102 packages from Amazon per week. That number jumps to half for consumers ages 18-25 and 57% for consumers ages 26-35.
- Social media has grown as a commerce channel… new and more integrated forms of social shopping, like Instagram ads, have been a key tool for retailers. (54% of consumers report using social media as part of their path to purchase in some capacity, whether it’s to browse, research, gain inspiration or purchase.
- Pharmaceuticals could be the next historically slow-moving industry to be disrupted by Amazon.
- Increasingly, brands and retailers need to think about what’s important to convey online and what’s important to offer as part of a unique in-store experience.
- 27% of surveyed consumers had used their smart device to make a shopping list.
The Future of Retail study is conducted each year by Walker Sands Communication. The 2018 study is based on a survey of 1,600 U.S. consumers. This year’s results prove that brands and retailers that find new ways to engage consumers beyond the traditional commerce experience will continue to drive forward.