At a time when CEOs, CMOs and other C-suite retail executives are under pressure to re-evaluate traditional strategies and tactics, new research reveals a growing need for transformative restructuring of businesses toward cross-functional teams built around customer journeys.
SapientRazorfish, part of Publicis.Sapient, recently released its consumer retail report, Shopper-First Retailing: What Consumers Are Telling Us About the Future of Shopping, in partnership with Salesforce, providing new insights gleaned from shopping behavioral patterns. Launched in tandem with the research is a retail study by SapientRazorfish, which is designed to help executives evaluate and benchmark their organizations against competition, and better leverage technology and consumer behaviors to create a customer-centric business.
“To stay competitive in this fast moving and connected world, brands need to offer shoppers more personalized and engaging experiences on any channel or device,” said Jeff Barnett, CEO of Commerce Cloud at Salesforce, in a news release. “Our research with SapientRazorfish helps to quantify the behaviors of shoppers and turn these insights into actionable steps that companies can take to better engage with shoppers and in turn, increase profitability.”
“With the fluid demands of today’s always-on consumer, it’s imperative that brands not only evolve with the trends, but also anticipate them and refine their strategies accordingly,” said Chris Davey, chief strategist at Publicis.Sapient, in the release. “Our findings highlight that customer centricity is not only beneficial, but critical to successful retailing in the digital age.”
The study—which specifically explores the shopping behaviors affecting three primary categories: apparel, housewares, and health and beauty—reveals four strategic provocations that collectively set the foundation of customer-centric, shopper-first retailing:
The evolving storefront: In-store drives nearly half of e-commerce sales
Digital and physical are complementary channels, not mutually exclusive. Most shoppers—60 percent of respondents in the report—start their hunt in the digital channel, even though they prefer shopping in the physical channel.
Immersive intelligence: Using AI to connect shoppers with products
Predictive intelligence on product detail pages is boosting average order values and overall revenue per visitor by double digits.
Mobile: The digital compass
Mobile payment options continue boosting conversions. Mobile payments, such as Apple Pay, were effective, boosting conversion by 27 percent at one retail partner compared to non-Apple Pay shoppers.
Flattening the funnel: Optimize mobile traffic with speed and mobile payments
Mobile continues to be a massive resource for retail activity. Seventy-one percent of all global consumers have used their mobile device for retail activity in the past 30 days.
“Retailers are struggling with a rapidly evolving set of customer shopping habits, and we see these new behaviors in this retail research. For example, 59 percent of all consumers in our six-country study have shopped on their mobile device—in the store—within the past 30 days,” said Hilding Anderson, director of research and insights at SapientRazorfish, in the release. “The lines between the physical and digital channels have nearly disappeared.”
Insights were provided by three distinct sources: The Salesforce Shopping Index, which looks at the shopping activity of more than 300 million shoppers worldwide to identify trends and changes in shopping activity, a global survey of the preferences and motivations of 6,000 shoppers across six countries, and 27 interviews with retail experts in technology and customer experience. The research, which combines perspectives of the consumer and the retailer alike, was designed to quantify behavioral patterns and identify new rules that modern retailers should follow.