While e-commerce seems to have reached a saturation point when it comes to the number of consumers who shop online in the US, there has been a steady increase year-over-year in the frequency of consumer purchases, according to the Walker Sands 2016 Future of Retail Study.
Almost a third of consumers (31 per cent) now shop online at least once a week, up from 22 per cent in 2015, and nearly three-quarters do so at least once a month. But the number of consumers who make an online purchase less than once per month has dropped from 38 per cent to 27 per cent year over year.
The annual report of Walker Sands Communications, one of America's fastest growing PR and digital marketing firms, documents the changing habits of shoppers as more buying shifts to e-commerce.
While previous Future of Retail studies have indicated high consumer expectations for aspirational technology in the retail industry, this year's report finds a more subtle shift in consumer opinion and behavior, indicating retailers are currently in an investment and adoption phase to meet consumer technology expectations.
“The priority for retailers no longer lies in increasing the number of consumers who shop online, but rather improving their experience - whether it be online, in store or across different product categories,” said Dave Parro, partner and vice president at Walker Sands. “Our findings indicate that retailers should be focusing their current efforts on pragmatic strategies to lay the groundwork for future growth.”
The Walker Sands 2016 Future of Retail Study identifies four key areas where retailers should focus their attention to meet consumer shopping expectations in an increasingly technology-driven environment. The key areas include supply chain and logistics, integrated in-store and online experiences, the rise of luxury e-commerce and payment through mobile applications.
According to the report, retailers are making significant investments in technology adoption to meet and exceed consumer expectations.
Although drone technology is likely still a few years away, nearly 40 per cent of consumers expect to receive their first drone-delivered package in the next two years or sooner. Beacon technology and virtual reality will further blend the in-store and online experience, it said. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India