The Tech-Empowered Shopper

October 8, 2013
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With technology continuing to evolve, consumers are gaining more control over their purchases, information seeking and the overall shopping experience. On the contrary, retailers that are able to pioneer such technology and tap into blogger outreach are able to cater to the new tech-empowered shopper. Inventions and apps are assisting shoppers to streamline their purchases.

Consumers are engaging in behavior that changes the landscape of the traditional shopping trip. Of the people that own a smartphone, 79% use their devices for shopping, as stated by Google Think Insights. However, the influence of technology affects path-to-purchase, in-store behavior and post-purchase evaluation.

 Path to Purchase

As usage of mobile devices continue to surpass desktop computers, it is probable that users are accessing store locations, hours, comparing prices, and finding deals, promotions or coupons through their phones. Consumers are searching for deals digitally before looking in-store.

Groupon, along with other coupon services, provide instant redemption deals. In fact, Google Think Insights reported that 88% of shoppers would research a product before making a purchasing decision. Consumers are armed with information before the shopping trip even begins.

In-Store Activity

The shopping experience itself is in the process of a massive adjustment. Already, experts are seeing ecommerce businesses grow and augmented realities become an addition to shopping.  However, there are some technologies that will revolutionize in-store behavior of shoppers.

Although it is not available to the general public, Google Glass has a product-price comparison app that works by viewing the merchandise. Interactive mirrors have been developed to show an outfit or make-up on a consumer with out even trying it on. Google Wallet is an app that enables payments and loyalty programs to be used through your phone. The technologies for in-store activity will progress to make shopping experiences seamless for consumers.

Post-Purchase Evaluation

Post-purchase evaluation is not necessarily changing form in that word of mouth, an age old advertising strategy, is becoming more influential with an on-line presence. Whereas neighbors would discuss the value of an appliance in passing, now that conversation can be shared on a global forum. This, more than anything, is giving consumers power by sharing product reviews and service evaluations.

These reviews are not something that retailers should just consider, it is becoming a behavior to expect. Nearly a quarter of purchases are shared on social networking sites according to Google Think Insights and that number will continue to rise with the increase of people on social networks.

Future Tech Empowerment

As technology becomes more prevalent in society, it is important to stay ahead of the curve in innovations. Already, consumer trends show that companies without the current technology are falling behind.

The future of shopper technology will continue to evolve and shake the traditional experience. Will baskets calculate products to lessen time at the cash register? Will there be registers? Or even stores? Speculations of the abandonment of an in-store experience are something every retailer should prepare for by leading class in technological advancement.

 

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