As another busy summer winds down, retailers are preparing for those consumers that hit reset on certain aspects of their life by making thoughtful changes to their routines. People often think of this particular time of the year as going ‘Back to Life’ and an ideal time for starting fresh habits and making new purchasing decisions. It’s also a mindset that retailers can leverage beyond the usual back to school push.
We continue to see the gap between online and offline shopping close as more savvy consumers blend both experiences. This is supported by a recent ‘Back to Life’ survey commissioned by Pinterest in the UK, which found that Brits who shop in-store (34%) is near to the percentage of those who shop online (29%). As consumers increasingly become multi-channel shoppers across mobile, desktop and in-store experiences, retailers have the opportunity to advance their brand’s discoverability and consumer engagement.
The realities of ‘Back to Life’ ring true to me and my family’s life, marking a key seasonal moment for retailers to put inspiring ideas into my head and heart. While this time of year is often overlooked by retailers, there are those that capture my aspirations and create the feeling of ‘I need it’ for consumers like me.
By providing the right ideas and products for my needs at this moment in time, retailers help me realise an even better version of myself. Last week was particularly telling, as my family prepared to help my son enter the 2nd grade. I found myself rethinking all the changes I wanted to make for myself and the family in the new school year. Things like workout schedules and the accompanying new shoes and sports bras I would need. The new shoes and backpack he needed, to be the kid that went back to school feeling excited and confident. Even the new sheets we all needed to ensure we were set up to get the sleep required to be our best selves. It’s an especially active time for people with children that are going back to school, and like me, want to be smart about the purchase decisions we research digitally and commit to making – regardless of the actual purchase channel.
This mindful approach reflects recent research by PwC, which suggests that less than half of customers are satisfied with their in-store experience and although the brick-and-mortar model is prevalent and resilient, it is vulnerable. Even when shops have been quick to adopt technology, they can get it wrong. Therefore, it’s important for retailers to understand shopper motivations and the need to give them a more visually inspiring, convenient way to shop as online purchasing and digital discovery continues to gain momentum.
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