• Darcy Williamson

Meet The Empowered Shopper

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

Consumers today are using retail mobile apps like never before. These shoppers engage with retail apps to begin product searches, read reviews, find coupons, locate a store, buy products, or simply browse the latest a retailer has to offer.

In a recent study, Synchrony found consumers are using twice the number of retail apps versus one year ago, with increased purchases through these apps. And the same study found that two-thirds of consumers have downloaded a retail app, and nearly half have used retail apps to make purchases.

But even as consumer interest and retailer investment in mobile apps continues to increase, retailers continue to experience challenges with how to maximize returns on their mobile marketing investments. This is an important challenge to solve, as SOTI recently found that consumers in 2018 are more in favor of stores giving them technology options to improve their experiences than they were in 2017.

It’s in that context that NaskMe’s research team recently published the findings of its November 2018 study on retail and consumer connectedness.

Why Connectedness

Retailers know the sensation most consumers have when they look around a store but can’t find someone available to answer a question. Technology has only magnified that sensation and deepened its impact across digital interactions. It’s this type of customer experience challenge, coupled with shopper expectations and mobile technology advancements, that place pressure on retailers to implement new solutions.

Since digital shoppers can quickly be in another store, another app, or on the web in a matter of seconds, tools and solutions that retailers offer have never been more important. And, of course, a shopper can even be in a competitor’s app while standing in your physical store.

Mobile first, with plenty of options

Through our research, we affirmed the importance of mobile as part of the shopper journey. How important? For consumers age 18-45, the majority are shopping online weekly and researching weekly, whether in a retailer’s app or simply on their mobile phone.

And we found that an integral part of the mobile journey is that shoppers are seeking content and helpful information to improve their shopping experience. There’s a strong preference for the content to be personalized, as well as easy to access and use. So with the majority of shoppers using mobile to begin their journey, in many cases weekly, in-app content that’s personalized and helpful to the buying decision is key.

It’s these types of expectations that prompted us to identify The Empowered Shopper.

Connectedness and collaboration are differentiators

The Empowered Shopper approaches their retail experience with high expectations. Partly as a result of social media apps and ever-increasing expectations, consumers have a desire to connect and get answers to their questions right away. This gives them confidence and a sense of empowerment when dealing with a range of options among different retailers.

And it’s even more pronounced on common household projects - the kinds of activities that drive weekly or multiple purchases - that involved collaborative decisions or when how-to content plays a role. We found these expectations played out in several ways.

Of consumers age 18-45, the vast majority want to be able to conduct research in a mobile app versus going online, with many of these shoppers seeking or being open to planning or researching projects with a retailer. And nearly 80% want to be able to share this content with others, connect, and collaborate.

Confidence is key

Among the consumers we surveyed, we identified confidence as being critical throughout their retail shopping experience. A lack of important information, such as DIY content, reviews, and how to proceed with certain types of projects, can lead to uncertainty, which can prompt a shopper to look elsewhere for information or help.

Confidence, coupled with timely input from others, is valuable to the shopping experience. And this gives The Empowered Shopper what they desire: access to the right information, at the right time, and being able to share it quickly and make decisions.

Let’s get started

As shoppers’ desire for content, collaboration, and streamlined retail shopping experiences continues to grow, it’s critical for retailers to focus on personalized, content-rich marketing strategies that enable shoppers to make more informed buying decisions. This caters to many consumers and especially today’s Empowered Shopper.

Retailers that make these types of investments will be empowering consumers with the tools and capabilities they want, leading to increase sales, more engagement, and a better customer experience. Check out the results of our latest study to learn more and identify ways you can get started.