“The future will be owned by those companies that harness technology to make the consumer shopping experience easy, efficient and fun”. This is the concluding prediction from Nielson’s retail forecast, which has found that by 2015 Smart Phones will be the primary vehicle to engage retail customers. And this is no surprise to us, given what we found in our iPhone study.
The advantage of the Smart Phone for consumers is that it can deliver personalised messages, and tailored experiences to the individual – in real time. According to Nielson, geographically specific information on price, promotion and product will transform the retail landscape. Price will take a back seat in driving traffic, as retailers contend to differentiate themselves by their digital and social media strategies.
Apps that enrich the shopping experience will be the front-runners in gaining customer loyalty, distinguishing themselves as the brands that make shopping easier. Nielson suggests that by 2015 Smart Phones will manage “everything from household budgets and pantry inventory to tax preparation and filing”. In a world where this technology is present in the most ordinary of chores, retailers that simplify tasks and give consumers informed choices will keep ahead.
In 2010, we are already seeing a dramatic shift in shopping behaviour and customer mindsets – now it’s up to brands and retailers to respond.