Market Logic hosted an illuminating webinar on Fast insights to the path to purchase with Alison Chaltas, Global President P2P at Ipsos and Toby Pickard, Senior Innovations and Trends Analyst at IGD.
We all know that technology is changing the world. The pace of change means that even online shopping is passé – so how can the retail industry keep up with the path to purchase? Alison Chaltas says insights managers need to be “always open” and “do it faster” – but not to lose sight of what shoppers really want.
The underlying catalyst behind the “new retail” is convenience. It is changing shopper behavior and creating new shopping rituals. Although shoppers say price matters the most, when you look at behaviors you can see that convenience matters the most. However, the definition of convenience is changing, and technology is creating new rituals. Shoppers now use apps to plan their meals – and even compare their prom dress picks with everyone else’s.
Some retailers have caught on, and are experimenting with e-commerce and omnichannel projects. The retail megaliths: Alibaba, Amazon and Walmart are taking the shopping experience and convenience to another level. Alibaba lets shoppers test drive cars from a vending machine, Amazon (after the Whole Foods acquisition) lets you specify how green you want your bananas, which will be delivered within 6-24 hours, and Walmart lets you place an order on their app and pick up your whole basket from the front of the store within two hours.
Alison recommends keeping your eye on entrepreneurs because they’re the face of disruption. Who would have thought wine in flat, plastic bottles would have been a hit? Who would have predicted that online bra shopping would take off? New retail will create new challenges and opportunities, especially in the areas of voice, 3D and virtual reality, AI-driven personalization, and same-day delivery.
Toby Pickard echoed Alison’s statement about convenience: 54% of online grocery shoppers say they are willing to pay for same-day delivery of their groceries, and 48% say they are willing to pay for rapid delivery of their groceries to receive their order within one hour of placing it. “We can see where the puck is going – it’s toward faster delivery time,” Walmart E-commerce CEO Mark Lore stated.
When it comes to last-mile delivery, the future is already here. Robots deliver groceries. Autonomous vehicles let you choose your produce (no more spotty bananas!). And at a recent trade show, robot dogs were showcased that deliver packages (and even climb stairs).
Developing markets present a big opportunity for delivery drones, especially in places where smartphone penetration is high but land accessibly is low. Take Indonesia, for example, where JD.com sees a real opportunity to service consumers on the hundreds of islands that can’t easily be accessed otherwise.
Unattended in-home delivery is another area for potential opportunities, albeit with some challenges. Shoppers place their order via an app and delivery personnel put their order right into their kitchens. The process does raise some security hurdles, as well as potential missed consumer touchpoint opportunities, but Albert Heijn and Waitrose are willing to take the risk.
When it comes to taking advantage of touchpoint opportunities, Toby said that some companies are creating unique, personalized “wow factors” for their customers. And those kinds of gestures don’t even need massive infrastructure to be effective – all they need is the right kind of AI-supported personalization and insights.
In the past, insights managers had to be focused on their area of expertise. Now, they have to look at the world in its entirety and see what is happening in other sectors and other verticals… and be quick to spot where disruption is happening. There is a need to be constantly curious and agile, which requires a lot of data and insights.
Insights teams have a choice: do they want to be outside the business providing data, or at the core of the business helping enable change? As data becomes increasingly important, those insights professionals who are adept at not just collecting but also interpreting and activating data have opportunities for growth within their organizations.