Can retailers appeal to both ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ shoppers?
At the World Retail Congress in Madrid, Gensler Research Institute shared findings from new research indicating that 49 percent of shoppers go to a site intending to make a purchase. The remainder seeks a combination of entertainment, social engagement, discovery and experiences that satisfy their aspirational desires, according to Gensler’s “Experience Index.”
Clearly the retail proposition is bifurcating between these “fast” and “slow” behaviors — torn between the need to appeal to purpose-minded shoppers on the one hand and the more experience-oriented on the other. Brands must determine how they will understand and address consumers’ needs via digital and physical experiences.
Here are two examples of companies that are proving that fast and slow — executed simultaneously — may just win the race.
Indochino’s strategy is channel-specific, but complementary. For custom-suit shoppers, they’ve designed a digital channel to be as clear and frictionless as possible along with physical locations that are inspirational and relevant. This has proven successful, as Indochino is growing twice as fast in cities where it has opened showrooms. And its cost of customer acquisition has been halved. Management understands that brands are an experience, not a product, and have chosen to create memorable in-person experiences that complement its digital shopping model and convert into loyalty and sales.
Amazon.com, the one-click master, is taking an omnichannel approach. Some initiatives, like installing lockers in Whole Foods stores, have proven to be successful in driving traffic and short store visits for convenience shoppers. Here in San Diego, two-hour free grocery delivery is being rolled out. To fulfill orders in-store, Amazon is replacing Whole Foods’ local Pubs with staging areas. While this serves convenience-minded shoppers, it is certain to impact the other half of shoppers who are used to a more experiential visits. We’re all watching what comes next as Amazon continues to converge with Whole Foods’ network and customers.
It’s critical to remember that today most consumers set out to either quickly cross something off a list or to indulge in exploration. Brands need a well-defined offer and value proposition and must understand consumers’ changing desires. Combined, these should dictate the strategy under which digital and physical tactics are created, deployed and refined.
- Experience Index – Gensler Research Institute
- Pub at Hillcrest Whole Foods closes, Amazon Prime takes over – The San Diego Union-Tribune
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you see retailers responding to “fast” buyers intent on making a purchase and “slow” shoppers looking for experiences? Are there other retailers other than those mentioned that you see as positively developing responses for both fast and slow customers?