Jeff Bezos famously said, “the customer is always right.” Today’s customers are more connected, agile and willing to try a new site or way of shopping if it means they can get a better deal or experience.
At Shoptalk 2017 traditional retailers and e-commerce giants showed how they are adapting to appeal to today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.
Here are three trends that were on the top of the agenda at Shoptalk:
Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Stepping Up Their Game
Although physical stores are struggling, consumers still want the benefits that come with shopping in-person. Retailers have gotten the message: customers demand innovation and the “same old” won’t work. Kohl’s is trying smaller store formats instead of closing stores that are not performing well. For the time-crunched customer, Target is redesigning 600 suburban stores to include multiple entrances, self-checkout lanes, online order counters and groceries at the front for quick trips. Walmart is launching Store No. 8, a Silicon Valley tech incubator focused on retail innovations in robotics, augmented reality, machine learning and AI.
Shop with Your Voice Or Your Favorite Social Platform
After a trial with 20 brands, Instagram is opening its shopping feature to all fashion, apparel, jewelry and skincare brands using commerce platforms Shopify and BigCommerce. With more than 600 million active users and 5 million business profiles, Instagram could overtake Pinterest to become the leader in driving e-commerce on social platforms.
For those who still want to shop locally, no worries! Google Home’s new assistant feature can determine in-store availability of products with details like sizes and prices, as well as provide store hours and travel directions.
Even e-Commerce Has to Change
Although Amazon was the leading e-commerce retailer in 2016 with more than $79 million in U.S. sales, there is still room for improvement.
The everything store is testing a brand registry to assure vendors that intellectual property will be protected and counterfeit goods will be prevented. Any brand can register its logo and other intellectual property with Amazon starting next month. With this brand registry, both customers and the company will be able to flag counterfeit items.
To compete with Amazon Prime and its one-day shipping, eBay’s new summer program will guarantee delivery on more than 20 million items in three days or less. If a package is late, buyers can either receive credit, a refund on shipping or return the item at no cost. eBay already has a counterfeit refund program in place. As long as the knockoff item is disposed of, the company will refund both the shipping and the item’s price.
Overall, Shoptalk gave us great insight into the future of shopping for online, in-store, in-app and everywhere else.