Shoptalk 2017: Three Key Trends

The Shoptalk 2017 Conference was held recently in Las Vegas, and Pam Goodfellow, Prosper’s Principal Analyst and Consumer Insights Director, was in attendance. Below, she recaps some of the hot topics discussed by more than 300 speakers representing leaders redefining the future of retail and ecommerce and how clients can leverage Prosper’s unique consumer data to address marketplace challenges – and identify opportunities.

Omnichannel: Out, Consumer-Centric: In

Omnichannel as a buzzword seems to have fallen out of favor with retail industry critics, with marketers promoting consumers at the center of strategies. While many retailers continue to silo their brick and mortar businesses from dot com, consumers are more “channel fluid” and desire a seamless experience from retailers and brands. To a shopper, Target (and Walmart and Kohl’s and so on) is just Target, no matter whether it’s the store location in Columbus, Ohio, or Target.com. As such, shoppers expect a consistent shopping experience across all touchpoints – or they’ll quickly move on to competitors.

As Kevin Mansell, CEO of Kohl’s, and Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, both pointed out: the store is not dead. However, shoppers’ expectations of the in-store experience, whether it be via BOPIS, a digital inventory search, or even in-store navigation enabled by augmented reality technology (as demoed by Lowe’s Innovation Labs), will certainly continue to evolve to fit their changing shopping behaviors as a new equilibrium is reached between offline and online commerce.

The Prosper Insight: While the jury is still out on the term omnichannel, Shoptalk-ers were certainly in agreement that strategies needed to become consumer-centric. For over a decade, Prosper has been tracking more than 6,000 consumers per month on how they shop, where they shop, and why. And, we’ve continually updated our surveys to reflect changing shopping behaviors, tracking mobile/online/in-store shopping habits, new motivators (such as BOPIS and non-GMO ingredients), as well as the impact of Amazon. Results can be segmented in a multitude of ways, including retail shopper groups (e.g. Macy’s shoppers, Amazon Prime members, etc.) and key demographics (because those #Millennials are still on fire).

Snack-Sized Bites Displace Traditional Media

The shift toward digital isn’t just upending how consumers shop for goods and services, it’s changing the ways they consume and are influenced by media. Long gone are the days when a 30 second TV commercial could spike a product’s sales. In fact, PepsiCo revealed that it publishes about 400 pieces of snack-sized content per week, per brand. Flashy TV spots and glossy print advertising aren’t singularly effective at reaching – and speaking to – modern consumers, and advertisers must fire on all cylinders, including mobile and social media, to connect with consumers.

The Prosper Insight: No two consumers are alike, and Prosper has been tracking the media consumption habits of more than 15,000 consumers annually in our Media Behaviors & Influence (MBI) survey for nearly 15 years. In addition, Prosper’s proprietary MediaPlanIQ™ platform helps advertisers generate idealized media allocation plans for a broad array of products and services based on consumers’ personalized consumption 24 different media categories (including traditional, social, digital, and in-store).

To Find Growth, Head To China

Ecommerce has certainly quickened the pace at which retailers and brands can take their products to market – on a global scale. Further, as the U.S. retail industry is increasingly challenged by changing shopping behaviors, disruptive competitors, and tightening profit margins, opportunities abroad – particularly in China – are increasingly appealing. Alibaba’s Lee McCabe, VP, North America, put it succinctly, “if you want growth, you have to be in China.” On Singles Day 2016 alone, Alibaba posted a record $17.8 billion in revenue, with 37% of those sales coming from international brands. Another eye-opening insight for those considering the China market: Amazon ships about 3 million packages a year, while Alibaba ships 12 million per day.

The Prosper Insight: Prosper proactively recognized the importance of China and has been collecting quarterly insights on more than 5,000 Chinese consumers (ages 18 to 54) for over 10 years, making ProsperChina Quarterly the largest continuous online consumer and media behavior study in China. The survey covers everything from economic sentiment and shopping behavior to purchase intentions and media usage.

For more information on how Prosper can help you identify consumer-centric solutions or to request a demo, contact your account manager, call: 614-846-0146, or email: info@goProsper.com.

Pam Goodfellow is Principal Analyst/Consumer Insights Director for Prosper Insights & Analytics™ and editor of the monthly Consumer Snapshot.

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