Expectations are driving retail strategies—how brands can keep pace

by | May 2, 2018 | Public Relations

Consumer expectations are evolving at lightning speed—and brands are having a hard time keeping up. But there’s little doubt that fulfilling those needs with memorable experiences is what drives today’s consumer loyalty.

New research from customer engagement solutions firm Avionos reveals how increased customer expectations are driving brands and retailers to transform their digital landscapes as a means to stay competitive.

To uncover more about eCommerce expectations today, the firm surveyed more than 1,400 consumers about their online shopping habits, preferences and expectations in the year ahead. As a result, the survey outlines retail trends from a consumer perspective and offers strategic advice for how eCommerce decision makers can use a digital transformation strategy to gain a competitive edge.

Expectations are driving retail strategies—how brands can keep pace

“Traditional shopping experiences are no longer enough. Consumers want every interaction from brands and retailers to be quick, personalized and informative whenever and wherever they are,” said Scott Webb, president of Avionos, in a news release. “Amazon has changed the game, particularly in the way that it has raised the bar for consumer expectations. This has caused retailers to revamp their omnichannel strategies and focus on offering experience-driven commerce that provides engaging content, personalized experiences and shoppable moments across all channels.”

Expectations are driving retail strategies—how brands can keep pace

Key findings of the study, The 2018 Consumer Expectations Report, include:

Google and Amazon trump traditional search methods

When browsing online, two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers begin their search on Amazon or Google.

Social media is an active commerce channel—influencers are not

Sixty percent of consumers have never purchased a product promoted by a celebrity or social influencer, but more than half of consumers (55 percent) have made a purchase through a social media channel, such as Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Contextualized content drives consumer confidence

Fifty-four percent of consumers feel more confident in their online purchases if the retailer offers detailed product specifications, while 49 percent feel more confident if a product listing has extra content available.

Physical retail is still relevant

The majority of consumers (63 percent) prefer to purchase big-ticket items like electronics or furniture in a store, and 52 percent said they prefer to research these products on desktop or mobile devices.

Consumers expect AI to streamline shopping experiences

Nearly half (42 percent) of consumers feel that AI will lead to faster checkouts.

Expectations are driving retail strategies—how brands can keep pace

“The retail industry is constantly changing as new channels and technologies emerge,” said Dan Neiweem, principal and co-founder of Avionos, in the release. “We’re at the cusp of AI being a more frequently used tool in shopping experiences. Moving forward, we can expect consumers to demand improved, AI-enabled experiences, such as faster checkout and customer service responses and more personalized offerings, ultimately driving a better all-around customer experience, as well as better business operations.”

Download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter