m1nd-set: Shoppers see technology as key future trend for travel retail

Technology, the store experience and sustainability emerge as important trends that will influence shopper behavior according to the latest m1nd-set consumer insights study. The study was conducted among 1500 consumers who have traveled internationally in the past 12 months, and queried shoppers’ views on the key emerging retail trends and influencing factors that will impact their shopping behavior in the future.

Technology advancements emerged as the number one influencing factor according to m1nd-set. Among the key trends, same-day and next-day delivery options, which have grown significantly during the pandemic, will become increasingly commonplace, forcing many retailers to rethink their supply chain logistics.

Click-and-collect has also seen significant growth in recent months, with more than 25% of shoppers expressing the importance of this feature among the delivery options.

Other technology trends cited include greater personalization in the marketing and product offer to individual consumers, including more use of facial recognition to allow greater personalization.

Visual search, which also responds to shoppers’ desire for instant satisfaction and fulfilment, was also mentioned.

Augmented Reality (AR) shopping applications are set to increase in popularity reports m1nd-set, with more than three-quarters of shoppers in some developed markets expecting retailers to provide AR as part of the shopping experience.

One way in which AR technology will enhance the customer experience includes the possibility to virtually try on 3D products, says m1nd-set. COVID has made this feature all the more appealing to customers who prefer to avoid crowded stores, or touch products that scores of other shoppers may have touched. As well as fashion brands, this is already widely used by beauty brands for trying make-up.

The research also highlights trends that have grown consider-ably as a result of the pandemic, and which shoppers interviewed for the study say will become a more regular part of the shopping experience. These include contactless solutions including payment, delivery and even contactless stores, where QR codes and even robotics are expected to become increasingly more common in the retail space.

Social shopping is the final trend cited under ‘technology’, where younger consumers – Millennials and Gen Z shoppers in particular – have a high tendency and propensity to purchase from ‘shoppable’ Instagram or Pinterest posts as well as via live-streams.

 

Robots have become a more important tool to help retailers cut costs and maintain high quality of service while allowing employees to focus on higher value work. Checkouts becoming robotized, stock replenishment with scanner robots and robotic shopping carts which make the customer journey through a store more convenient, are just some examples of how the technology will change the face of retail.
Robotic in-store advertising, where the technology is used to enhance the customer experience will also help create a more engaging, interactive shopping experience. Motion sensors detect when a shopper approaches a specific product and, using robotic technology, the shelf or a specific product comes to life, lighting up, moving around and even speaking with the shopper.
The conversion rates on such robotic driven in-store promotions also make the investment an attractive one, generating significantly higher retention and sell-through rates than other forms of advertising, says m1nd-set.

Peter Mohn, CEO & Owner at m1nd-set, commented on the research findings: “The research underlines the growing importance the pandemic has had on both sustainability and technology in retail as well as the importance of unique in-store experiences.

“Shoppers are unquestionably more sensitive to responsible consumption now and sustainable values must be an integral part of the shopping experience for retailers to remain relevant. It’s estimated that the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital by around five years.  Even when analysing the findings about the importance of the retail experience, we see that shoppers are looking for a more integrated experience, which combines both physical and digital – they want to experience in-store and purchase online,” he said.

“The growing focus on digital has implications for the travel retail sector too of course. The ‘immediacy’ trend regarding delivery, with the growth of same-day delivery, click-and-collect options and the curb-side pick-up model we see in high-street retail, will need to be mirrored in travel retail with a greater emphasis in the future on out-of-store pick-up locations between security and the gate or even seat-delivery on board the aircraft,” Mohn continued.

The research identifies and acknowledges the investment that certain inflight retailers have been making in their online catalogue and home delivery service, and predicts that other airlines and their retail partners will inevitably follow their lead, as they compete for passenger ancillary spend.

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