Decision Fatigue and outsourced shopping are a just a few trends we’ve observed. Below we’ll explore and discuss another trend that caught our attention in 2015 and might have significant implications for shopper marketing in 2016 and years to come!
Data, Tracking & Virtual Shopping
Every year the digital experience continues to evolve and creep into the physical world. We’ve already digitized various aspects of our health with fitness trackers and products filled with sensors; and last year, a new world of wearables opened up with the release of the Apple Watch. As more and more hardware goods come with a software counterpart or look into “smart/digital packaging,” we are enabling a more immersive shopping experience and seemingly tangible experience of new technologies for shoppers everywhere.
Because as shoppers, we truly can shop anywhere and everywhere. And what’s more, thanks to a hunger for data, more CPG’s and brands like Starbucks (Rewards), Walmart (Savings Catcher), and Philips Sonicare with their Connected Toothbrush for Kids have found success in the app and software game. This move allows us to track our relationship with the brand, and encourages shoppers to make more informed, personalized decisions that often benefit them with tangible rewards and reminders to continue to engage with the brand… all at the beep of a push notification.
What’s more, companies like Miller Coors and Nordstrom have begun to utilize virtual shopping technologies and augmented/virtual reality tools that bring shoppers closer to the experiences, brands, and information they want to explore when shopping. Most of these experiences are based on a shopper’s profile of supplied and collected information via the virtual technology, and enable the brand to act as a less intrusive personal assistant, consultant and/or partner to the shopper as they gather information and make decisions more seamlessly than ever.
While shoppers were once on their own when shopping, or had to track down a sales associate to collect the knowledge they needed to make a purchase, we see a greater shift taking place. With tracking and virtual capabilities, brands have become more helpful to shoppers, enabling a shopping experience with less friction and more answers.
How do you imagine tracking and virtual shopping technologies to evolve in the next year? What would you hope to see made possible by this time next year?