Our Insights at the Retail Innovation Conference 2021
Last week, we joined hundreds of researchers and retail professionals at the 2021 Retail Innovation Conference, a two-day virtual event that connects the industry. Alter Agents CSO Devora Rogers moderated a panel discussion with Parachute Home Founder & CEO Ariel Kaye and Bentley’s Pet Stuff/Marcus Lemonis Chief of Staff Giovanni Senafe on the future of retail to take a look at what the industry needs to learn from consumers in order to inform business decisions in the future. Here are some of our key insights from the panel.
Shoppers Value Information Over Anything Else
Today’s shoppers are extremely hungry for information. Our last round of the Alter Agents Shopper Influence Research found that 76 percent say that they want to be as informed as possible before making a purchase. Whether a consumer is looking for new bedding from companies like Parachute or supplements for their dog from Bentley’s Pet Stuff, successful retailers understand that they need to provide shoppers the information that they need in order to feel confident in their purchases.
For Giovanni’s company, that has meant going the extra mile for customers and their fur babies. Bentley’s has taken customer education to the next level by equipping its associates with knowledge of pet issues and products beyond what’s sold in the store. That way, they can answer a shopper’s questions and be the partner they’re looking for.
Online Sources Are Vital
The panel also discussed the importance of online information sources. Our research found that 80 percent of shoppers turn to online sources for information, and 60 percent say that they always research an item online before purchasing. The modern shopper is online, and that’s where brands need to meet them.
Ariel’s company, Parachute, is a digital-first operation that’s expanding into more physical retail locations. So she knows well how consumers will often have looked into her brand and products online before stepping foot into a store. They’re educated and ready to experience the product for themselves before making a purchase.
Source Usage Varies Widely
While we know that consumers want more information and look in more places to get it, the number of sources they use and the ones they focus on vary across categories. For example, shoppers on the hunt for the best dog treats will consult an average of 14.3 sources during the purchase journey, while those looking for a new piece of home furniture will consult an average of 16.8.
The shoppers will also take a different length of time to make a decision and their exact source mix will vary. But we know that they’re doing more research than ever before, and brands need to keep up.
Interested in more retail and shopper insights? We’re happy to chat.
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