It’s been another exciting few months in tech as consumer behaviours along with retailer strategies continue to evolve. The ongoing pandemic forces marketers to look ahead in the hopes of predicting what consumer preferences the coming months will bring.

Time spent with mobile devices continues to rise

You can bet a new smartphone or digital device is on any holiday wish list this year because mobile devices are playing a bigger role in consumer’s lives than ever before. Adults spend close to four hours a day on their mobile devices. That’s more time than they devote to watching TV. The majority of that time is allocated to smartphones, where consumers spent 2:55 daily this year. No wonder they’re doing so much more mobile shopping now. Smartphone-based retail sales increased by 40 per cent. You can bet this trend will continue in the months to follow.

The in-store customer experience will continue to shift

Consumers may opt to do more of their shopping online, that doesn’t mean they won’t still visit brick-and-mortar stores. It does mean retailers will have to give them a good reason to shop offline. Creating an exciting and immersive in-store experience will be a top priority for retailers in the coming months. Retail concept stores offer a narrative-driven shopping experience. Pop-up shops will thrive, and interactivity will play a big role. Online retailers including Amazon are getting in the game by selling curated items at their pop-up events that help consumers move seamlessly between their online and in-store experiences.

We will see more digital and non-cashier checkout technology implemented in stores

Along these same lines, we’ll also see brick-and-mortar stores embrace digital technologies that make it faster and easier for consumers to shop offline. When you’re competing with online retailers, convenience counts. Amazon Go stores are going strong, capitalising on the ease and novelty of non-cashier just walk out shopping. Using a blend of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, Amazon Go allows consumers to shop and pay via the app and simply grab the products they’ve purchased. The grab-and-go concept isn’t exclusive to Amazon, though. This trend is hitting grocery stores too with the help of technology from companies.

Personalisation is crucial but varies for each shopper

As you might have expected, personalisation will continue to be big in 2020. Keep in mind, though, that a personalised, cohesive brand experience requires an omnichannel marketing strategy. Most companies aren’t there yet. Companies will make great strides in the New Year. Just remember consumers are interested in personalised content related to products that interest them, products based on their previous purchases or searches, updates on availability or price, and retargeting related to the exact product they’re looking for.

Shoppers are opting for sustainable and local products

While technology, along with the push-and-pull between online and offline retail, will influence how and where consumers shop, that won’t be the only thing driving their shopping decisions. Sustainability is another factor impacting shopping behaviour. Increasingly, consumers are opting for paper and metal straws over plastic ones, along with organic products and cruelty-free brands. In response, many companies are going green to attract environmentally conscious consumers.

It’s going to be an interesting few months as retailers do their best to keep pace with consumer preferences and demands. As the consumer landscape continues to shift, keep these 2020 consumer trends in mind because preparation will be critical for connecting with shoppers wherever they are, whenever.

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