When e-commerce enabled customers to ‘go shopping’ from the comfort of their couch, shopaholics rejoiced. Of course, it had its drawbacks, such as the ease of which one could overspend their budget without needing to change out of pyjamas.
Spending looks set to become even easier in the future, if the stats in this infographic on the internet of things and connected payments are anything to go by. The world is going cashless, and increasingly contactless. With connected cars that will be able to automatically pay parking fees to homes that could buy items on your behalf, the way people interact with the purchasing process is changing dramatically.
The way in which we shop is morphing too. As voice assistants and smart speakers become more prevalent in houses it is likely that people will trust them to learn their preferences and choose, and then buy, items sight-unseen. But what will that mean for brand? Much like the purpose of plain-packaging initiatives, such as those used in Australia to curb tobacco use, the appeal of certain brands may decrease when the visual element of a product is removed¹.
To succeed as retailers, when traditional marketing will no longer apply and customers may never see a product let alone a store, retailers will need build the capability to connect with customers in the digital world. Listening to consumers and understanding what they want out of products, as well as how they go about buying them will be important, as will investing in, or partnering with, those companies and technologies that will then enable you to deliver on those expectations.