The countdown to 2024 has begun, signaling an important moment for retailers to align their strategies for the upcoming year. To help you get ready for the new year, we compiled six expectations shoppers have from retailers in 2024.
What Customers Expect in 2024
• Convenient shopping experience
• Social commerce
• Enjoyable shopping experience in physical stores
• Inventory accuracy and traceability
Now let’s dive deeper into each and see what it means.
Convenient shopping experience
Convenient shopping is all about letting your customers shop, however, wherever, and whenever they want! In-store, online, door-to-door shipping, or click-and-collect. Individuals
today are busier than ever, working very long hours, which makes arriving at stores challenging. At the same time, the Internet has taken over the world, allowing us to do almost everything on the devices we carry around all the time. As a result, there is the expectation that everything will work quickly and effortlessly on demand from our mobile devices.
But convenient shopping doesn't look the same for all customers, some prefer 100% online, while others like to arrive at stores but wish to reserve their products before making time to get there. Hence convenient shopping is where people can shop however they want with no limits.
How important is that you might ask? So 82% of surveyed shoppers say convenience is extremely or very important to them. Therefore, online availability and omnichannel must be one of your business's top priorities in 2024 if you wish to stay competitive.
When you personalize your marketing and platform interface for your client, you are more likely to catch their eyes and close a deal. But that’s not all, Personalizations are not only for the retailer to hook their clients but also for the customers who wish to feel understood.
When a client sees first what is relevant for him, based on previous searches, age group, gender, location, etc, he will more likely feel connected to the brand and become brand-loyal. These personalization can be special offers for each client, ads with the items they have been searching for recently, or simply showing first the items that might suit this customer.
Customers today expect these personalized experiences from retailers. In fact, more than half of customers (56%) expect offers to be personalized. This will continue growing in 2024 and should be among each retailer’s goals.
Social commerce refers to all the sales generated from the different social media channels. This includes Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more. McKinsey's recent research shows that global sales from social media channels exceeded $37 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach nearly $80 billion by 2025.
Using social commerce, you can reach your clients where they spend their time, Internet users worldwide spend an average of about 151 minutes a day on social media making it a big opportunity for retailers with endless possibilities. Taking part in social commerce is crucial to stay on top of your customers' minds.
We can expect that sustainability will stay important for customers in 2024. Most clients, especially the younger generations put importance on the environment and claim that this affects their consuming behavior.
Many customers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and buy from environmentally friendly businesses, especially because a lot of them feel ashamed of their unsustainable lifestyle, and making more sustainable purchases makes us feel good about ourselves.
Of course, regardless of customers' motives, every business should aim to become more environmentally friendly and reduce its carbon footprint, but if you are not acting towards that yet, now is the time.
Enjoyable shopping experience in physical stores
Customers today can buy almost everything online, if they get out of their digital zone into the real-world store they expect to get an experience out of it. Clients today tend to go out shopping as they see it as an opportunity to hang out. It’s important to keep that in mind when thinking about the shopping experience clients have in your store.
Think about how you can give your clients the wow effect that will make them enjoy spending time at your store and tell others about it. Examples of such experience can be innovative features, screens, smart displays, outstanding design, etc. Make the store memorable and worth talking about.
Although this was always true, now the competition with online shopping makes it even more important.
Inventory accuracy and traceability
While you might think, no way customers care about that, but in reality, when you’re not aligned with your stock the customer notices it and is disappointed. For instance, if a client makes a purchase online and later receives a call letting him know that the item is not available, not only he will get frustrated and upset but also your brand image will be damaged. The next time the client will consider to make an order from your site he might hesitate thinking he cannot trust that you really have the item in stock.
Also, when customers see their size missing from the shelves, they do ask themselves “How come you don’t have it”? Poor stock management is visible to customers and should be eliminated.
Therefore in 2024, you must focus on having full end-to-end visibility over your entire stock not only for your business' smooth operations but also to not harm your reputation in front of your clients and make them go to your competitors.
In summary, as we approach 2024, retailers must heed the shifting expectations of shoppers. From seamless and personalized online experiences to leveraging social commerce, embracing sustainability, crafting enjoyable physical store visits, and ensuring inventory accuracy, these trends will define success in the coming year. Adapting to these evolving demands is not just a strategy but a commitment to staying indispensable in the eyes of the modern consumer.
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