Digital Consumer Trends and Future Estimates
The “Digital Consumer” in Retail
The digital world has pretty much become the “be all end all marketplace”, where the bar is being raised everyday and everything that is in demand is in supply. Mobile web communications connections are increasing as every day goes by, users are adapting to social media en mass and this is making branding and marketing activities more and more complicated. The digital world is a place where marketing professionals can get in touch with the consumers and contains many advantages. When this is the case, the primary target become “understanding” the consumer. Who is this digital consumer, how are they reacting, what are the estimates on future digital consumer trends… If you’re asking any of these questions then let’s take a look below….
The digital consumer group we will be focusing on in this article uses digital technologies but buy products from physical, real world retail stores.
What are the innovations in the digital world for these people? How is it thought that these innovations will change consumer trends? What innovation is awaiting us in future stores? Which consumer trends will lead the retail industry? We will try to find answers to these questions.
The Real World still has the Lions Share
Internet retail is on the rise all the time. In the year 2010, there had been over 170 billion dollars of Internet shopping realized. Despite this, the lions share is still in actual, real world retail; in 2009 this form of retail comprise 72% of all retail.
On the other hand the Internet is ready and available anywhere, anytime so this could lead to changes at anytime when it comes to the retail industry. The aim is to get people to spend more time at the shop so that they can buy more product, and currently Online shopping behaviors are being researched along with the effect the Internet has on retail.
Unfortunately, the experiments and observations done on this matter have never passed the conceptual level. But lately, with the higher availability of access to the Internet, the popularity gained by mobile devices and the latest exhibition technologies, these digital concepts are being brought to the real world. Observations of digital consumer habits, applications in this field and future estimates have been listed below.
Store Usage of the Web
All information relating to the items in stores/shops/businesses are constantly in an information stream on the Net. A consumer can do research on an item before going to the store and then can compare it to an item from another store whilst still in that store. When the situations like this we can see that digital innovations directly influence/change trends in the real world.
Shopping, Along with Networking
Formerly people would go shopping with their friends, now they go shopping with the networks they are connected to. They take snapshots of the item they are interested in and receive comments from their friends over social networks.
On the gotryit.com website, you can get feedback and information on a product you are thinking of buying/ trying out. Some stores place screens in their changing rooms, where you can access this store and other social networks with the idea that it will attract more customers to their store. Like what Diesel did by bringing Facebook to their stores.
The Importance of Location
In the year 2010, social networks that started using location indicators increased immensely. This is gaining in popularity and, just as it is beneficial for the customer, it is believed that it will be beneficial for the stores.
As In: The consumers, with their mobile devices will be able to do research on the items that are in the store, online and choose the most appropriate item. Along with making the shopping experience easier and enhances the quality of the shopping for the consumer, it will also raise standards on competition for the store owners.
So will location based applications be to the advantage of retailers? Of course. Information and Experiences with the items will be archived for future use and will make location based consuming research much easier.
Dynamic Environments will be created
Retailers will be able to make more interactive applications and content for their target clientele thanks to digital signatures and touch screen devices. Messages will be sent directly to the target consumer clientele thanks to showcases that update constantly the information regarding who’s in the store and what they are doing etc.
With facial recognition systems, the consumer demographic will be determined and changes can be made to the store accordingly. (Even further long, what the customers are interested in will be measured and determined and the information will be utilized for future reaction estimates.)
All of these are just estimates and foresight on the trends and behaviors of consumers, these need to be done without irritating/ annoying the consumers.
Device Based Payment Methods Will be Popular
Because the seller and consumer are going to be using the same types of technologies, it is going to be possible for them to have compatible software on which they can buy and sell with ease and many payment methods can be made due to these systems.
There are applications like Venmo that allow payments from cell phones and other applications that allow people to transfer money to bank accounts will bring with them alternative payment methods. The percentage of cash payments will decrease.
Customer Loyalty Developments
There can be developments made for customers and consumers to be loyal to one company. You can send gift/discount numbers after every payment procedure to ensure repeat trade, in other words customer loyalty. Thanks to applications like these that influence decision making and allow for the comparison of two different items from two different companies, getting the loyalty of undecided customers will be made easier.
Important Note for Retailers:
Companies who can develop applications for subjects such as discovering and understanding the product, delivery advantages etc. will benefit the most. Applications such as these will have you winging over consumers, especially those who are indecisive.
New Limits, New Questions
All these new consumer concepts equipped with the changes in the digital world will be very useful for business owners to understand their customers and all consumers as a whole.
All these new changes supply is with the information necessary to devise plans and strategies that correlate with what the consumers of today need. So in this environment where everything is possible, what should be expected from the retailers? The possibilities are endless.