In Telligence

The Future of Retail: Redefining the Retail Industry with Connected Shoppers

Why are some retailers thriving while others are closing for good? The most innovative retailers watch shoppers’ evolving preferences and behaviours — and evolve along with them.

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Salesforce’s broadest consumer study to date, the third edition of the Connected Shoppers Report explores the edge of shopping through the behaviours and expectations of over 10,000 global consumers, including a cohort of Asian shoppers. The research asked what drives their shopper loyalty, the role of emerging digital purchase points and how physical stores need to continue to evolve.

Who wins the retail industry battle for wallet share? Shoppers are inundated with information and purchase options when browsing and buying online. Rather than sticking to one digital storefront, 89% of Singaporean shoppers turn to a combination of retailers, brands, and online marketplaces to make their purchases. When it comes to winning the greatest share of wallet in Singapore, online marketplaces take the cake, with 45% of purchases going to sites like Lazada, Zalora, Shopee, and eBay. Singaporean shoppers say that retailers stand out for customer service and support; brands excel in high quality and unique products; and online marketplaces are a go-to for price, product variety and availability.

What drives loyalty among today’s consumers? Shoppers want their favourite brands make them feel understood and special. Brands and retailers must demonstrate that they understand customers on an individual level and integrate seamlessly into their daily lives. Differentiated products and experiences earn shopper relationships. Shoppers are more likely to buy from brands and retailers that provide:

o A loyalty or rewards program (91%)
o Limited edition or customised products (67%)
o Exclusive shopping events (67%)
o Personalised customer service based on preferences and purchase
history (61%)

These preferences were even more pronounced across the board for younger generations (Millennials and Gen Zs). Are brick-and-mortar stores still relevant? Bricks and mortar stores will remain a cornerstone of the retail industry moving forward, with shoppers viewing physical stores as central hubs for three key things: discovery, experience, and fulfilment. For example, 89% of Singaporean shoppers said they use physical stores to seek out new products. Additionally, from click and collect to endless aisle (shipping a store’s out of stock product to their homes), shoppers are taking full advantage of in-store fulfillment services. There is upside to leveraging store capabilities since 60% of Singaporean shoppers have bought something else while making an in-store return.

The New Retail? Shopping is no longer just a transaction, it is a full spectrum of activities — including inspiration, research and discovery, browsing and buying, receiving service, and ultimately building a long-term relationship. For more insight into the biggest retail industry trends, including how and why today’s shoppers browse and buy, download the complete Connected Shoppers Report or review our Holiday Shopping Insights to learn how you can sleigh your Christmas and peak trading goals.

Call to action for the Connected Shoppers Report

About the author

James Johnson HeadshotJames is Director Industry Strategy for Retail at Salesforce. With more than 17 years global retail experience as a practitioner (Michael Hill, Colorado Group and Virgin), a consultant (EY) and technologist (Demandware and Salesforce), he understands the challenges that retailers face and helps retailers meet their customer’s needs by sharing insights, experiences, best practices and stories. Connect with James on LinkedIn.

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