- 10 Oct 2011
5 Ways in which shopping hasn’t changed
Whilst there have been developments in recent years to the ways in which consumers are able to make purchases, I would argue that retail has not changed unrecognisably. Here are 5 fundamental factors which have been around for some time:
1) Convenience shopping: For years, customers have been faced that horrible sinking feeling when they realise that have nothing in for dinner that evening. In times gone by, this may have resulted in a detour on the trip home from work via their local corner shop. This may still be the case, but now they are presented with alternatives such as reserving ingredients online to collect from their local supermarket on their journey home. The latest development in convenience shopping is the Ocado wall in London which allows customers to scan the barcodes of products that they would like delivering to their house later.
2) Customer service: Consumers have always wanted high levels of customer service. If treated well, they are more likely to return to a particular retailer; if treated badly, the retailer potentially misses out on custom from them and any acquaintances that they share their bad experience with. Consistency was always a challenge for retailers in terms of their bricks and mortar stores alone, regarding staff interaction, dealings with customers and the appearance of the shop; however with new purchasing channels emerging, consumers expect their customer service experience to be consistent however they choose to make a payment e.g. via their mobile phone, online or in store.
3) Social shopping: After a hard day’s shopping, customers have always able to take a purchase home and gain the opinion and approval of their friends and family regarding the decision that they made. The difference now is that consumers are able to ask the advice of their nearest and dearest via social networking sites even whilst they are in the changing rooms of a shop.
4) Promotional shopping: Shoppers have always been bargain hunters. In the past, canny buying on their part may have been limited to twice yearly sales held by retailers. These days, the proliferation of discount code websites with vouchers that can be downloaded to mobile devices mean that consumers can sniff out a bargain at their leisure.
5) Multichannel shopping: Mobile commerce and social commerce are undoubtedly the latest additions to the multichannel mix. However even before the days of ecommerce, shoppers were able to make a purchase from a retailer in a number of different ways, for example via their bricks and mortar stores or their hard copy catalogue. Now there are just more channels to choose from.
Do you agree with these five points? Or do you have any others to add to the list? You can post your comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.