Trend #1: Shopping journeys get more complex
“The path to purchase has become fragmented and immersive. Brands must develop one-on-one relationships with consumers across platforms such as social media, messaging apps, and livestreaming to remain relevant.”
Trend #2: The store goes digital
While transactions through brick-and-mortar stores decreased 27% between 2019 and 2021 according to our research, the store still plays a critical role in the shopping journey. In fact, 82% of the $23 trillion worth of sales occurred in physical locations in 2020. The top reasons shoppers visit a physical store are to touch and feel the merchandise, access purchases immediately, and avoid shipping fees.
However, many shoppers are blurring the lines between digital and physical channels while in the store. For example, nearly one in three shoppers have researched a product online using a mobile device while in store, and one in four have scanned a QR code to learn more about a product.
In response, brands and retailers are unifying the in-store experience with a growing number of physical and digital touchpoints.
The role of the associate is evolving as well. During the height of the pandemic, associates went from greeting, scanning, and bagging to becoming customer service agents, virtual stylists, pickers and packers, and brand influencers. Many of these responsibilities are here to stay, which makes the role of the store associate more diverse, strategic, and appealing.
“Store associates are our biggest brand ambassadors. We must do everything we can to make them more productive, empowered, and happy.”
Trend #3: The loyalty game reaches a new level
Trend #4: Retailers and brands accelerate unified shopping experiences
Hiring more data scientists
“Data’s important, but we’re using it in places that are not accessible, and in today’s digital transformation, it needs to be there for everyone.”
Adopting a unified engagement platform
Upgrading the point-of-sale (POS) technology
Get more insights in the Fourth Edition Connected Shoppers Report
About the Author
Senior Manager, Strategy and Insights, Retail and Consumer Goods
Michelle Grant is a seasoned researcher who helps global organizations build the future of their business. At Salesforce, she blends data and analysis to create thought-provoking content that helps companies understand how new technologies will impact their business.