Retailers face mad rush to invest in social media and online — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

Social media, e-commerce investment and the growing influence of retail marketplaces continue to drive consumer spending online, according to research from Wunderman Thompson Commerce.

The study was conducted by Censuswide, among 31,040 shoppers who buy online at least once a month in the following markets: United Kingdom, United States, France, China, Japan, Australia, Argentina, Colombia, Spain , Brazil, Mexico; India; Germany, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Thailand and Indonesia.

64% of global consumers want brands or retailers to provide a “more innovative” online shopping journey, from initial product research to purchase.

But winning online means getting the right service – one of the biggest changes post-pandemic is the expectations and demands consumers have of retailers.

24% of global consumers now expect delivery within two hours – a challenge for many businesses, but easier to overcome with digital products and services, which now account for 38% of everything purchased online (vs. 33% last year).

These delivery expectations pose a problem for retailers, with 48% of consumers demanding faster delivery, while 68% said they want brands and retailers to offer better environmental practices.

Additionally, 61% say they enjoy shopping with companies that have a purpose that goes beyond just selling.

Another challenge for online sellers looking to provide service and sustainability is that 23% of everything global shoppers order online is returned and nearly four in 10 admitted to overordering with the intention of returning unwanted items, which presents another dilemma for the retailer’s digital supply chain. .

Additionally, two-thirds of shoppers agree that delivery has become more important and 66% say the timing of delivery has become more important. Unsurprisingly, this was partly driven by Amazon, with 70% of consumers wanting brands and retailers to offer services like Amazon Prime.

Indeed, consumers are keen for retailers to invest in emerging technology trends, including cashless payments (58%) and cashless supermarket services such as Amazon Go (64%).

And the online world creates enormous value for retailers, with 60% of consumers planning to increase their use of digital shopping channels.

This was driven by working from home (WFH), with 69% of consumers saying they made more purchases online and 62% saying they discovered new brands through WFH.

Social networks have been one of the main winners of this transformation. 56% of shoppers want to stay on their favorite social media platform to buy, while 65% of consumers have already made a transaction through a social media platform, an increase of almost 20% since 2021.

The results were even better for online marketplaces, like Amazon, eBay, Mercado Libre, Rakuten, etc. 64% of global consumers go so far as to say they are excited about the prospect of buying everything through a retailer and more than a third (36%) are already starting their search for the best markets.

However, the dominance of these retail giants is far from inevitable – in fact, we’ve seen a drop in market share, from 42% in 2021 to 35% this year, as shoppers look to diversify their online experience through social media, augmented and virtual reality shopping and other digital channels.

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consulting and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, marketplaces and e-commerce more generally offer shoppers an instant way to engage and buy. their favorite products and services.

“However, this means that demands are higher, expectations are higher and consumers have reduced patience; they want products and services just a click away and won’t settle for second best.

“Add that to the rising cost of living, and retailers are struggling to get consumers’ money when choosing where to shop, which brands to invest in, and which digital services to use.”

He adds, “With all the technology-driven changes over the past couple of years, the basics of shopping remain the same: creating unforgettable, trusted experiences that keep consumers coming back for more.”

“Margins are expected to tighten, which means retailers and brands need to invest in digital platforms that delight shoppers. Long gone are the days of copying what Amazon, Walmart, or the next best competitor is doing.

“Learn from expansive markets or innovative technology vendors, yes, but adopt your own philosophy and take buyers through a buying journey that will see them coming back for more.”

Anne G. Cash