Brands and retailers need to strike an emotional and meaningful connection throughout the shopping experience.
The connection should be so strong, consumers feel compelled to come back for more and share the experience with their community, which, thanks to social media, has grown from what may have been 10 people before, to hundreds and thousands of interconnected friends and influencers throughout the world.
It’s given consumers total accessibility, which yields heightened expectations and has ultimately sparked a change in mindset—from “I need stuff” to “I want an experience.” This mindset ties into a larger shift in consumer values: To achieve happiness and wellbeing, consumers now look to experiences instead of stuff. As competition thickens, it takes more than price, convenience, or selection to earn sales.
In the future of retail, it takes a fully integrated experience to keep and sustain consumer attention.
There was no opportunity, or even vision, for digital tools that would allow 24/7 shopping at any store in the world from any device one might choose.
But then along came the Internet, and with it a plethora of new technologies, that now allow consumers to cross physical and digital platforms whenever and however they want.
So well that the customer is already thinking of the 10th date—so well, that neither brand, nor customer, can think of being with anyone else.
It means every digital tactic must be executed in the pursuit of getting to know the consumer, so that every message intrigues her, appreciates her, and continues to draw her into a personalized brand experience—because in the “future of retail,” it is all about the consumer.Retail Study: AT&T Walk into the AT&T Flagship store on Michigan Ave.in Chicago and you walk into a digital playground where you can explore apps, interact with new technology, enjoy local art, and participate in various hands-on games.They set the time, place and parameters for consumers to shop—and consumers, excited to have “stuff,” just accepted what they got.They were at the whim of manufacturers and retailers, restricted to physical store hours or specific catalogue offerings.To leverage these connections, the smartest brands will find innovative ways to build kinship among shoppers and will start to focus less on actual currency and more on social currency to maximize ROI.