Raydiant’s new series, the Future of Shopping, interviews experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding what organizations can do to prepare themselves for what lies ahead.
The following is an interview we recently had with Elias Guerra, Founder and CEO of Popwallet.
HOW HAS CONSUMER SHOPPING BEHAVIOR EVOLVED OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS?
Consumer behavior has changed a lot in recent years, but those changes have never compared to what we’ve seen over the past year.
Largely due to safety reasons, over the past 16 months, the shift to online shopping has dramatically increased. This shift extends beyond eCommerce into shopping experiences found on mobile devices–especially through mobile apps.
However, while eCommerce has resolved many consumer demands, it’s not a one size fits all approach. In fact, there are various aspects of the in-store experience that cannot be replaced.
For example, while online shopping experiences have been amplified over the past year through personalization tools to boost buyer purchasing decisions, online shopping still bars consumers from physically examining products before making the purchase, can call for extended wait times, and can lead to additional shipping and handling fees at checkout.
That said, with ever-evolving consumer demands, brands and retailers have been forced to rethink the in-store experiences they provide, with safety and convenience at top of mind. Over the past year alone, services such as buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) and digital coupons, gift cards, and loyalty programs have all witnessed an uptick in demand.
Over the past 16 months, brands and retailers that never considered or were slow to adopting such offerings, are doing it now. And the ones that fast-tracked their experiences to consumers were the ones that thrived during the pandemic.
Take it from retailers like David’s Bridal who looked to create a mobile-first loyalty program around a category that is more or less known for one-time purchases. Not only was the timing of their solution impeccable, but it was also brilliant in the sense that it encouraged brides and their bridal parties to share promotions and perks while accumulating rewards points.
Then there was MARS, who got crafty and rewarded front-line healthcare workers during the height of the pandemic with a free SNICKERS® bar through a mobile wallet gift card. The offering was innovative in that not only was it timely, but it also created more awareness around the brand and created increased foot traffic for Walmart, in which they partnered with so consumers could redeem their free Snickers.