Modern Retail in the Age of Digital Assistance

Sep 28, 2018 10:25:39 AM

Does it come as a shock to anyone that 50% of the world’s population has access to the internet?

11 years ago, the smart phone came into existence and now we find that there are 8 billion connected devices – that is more than the worlds population currently sitting at 7.7 billion (25.09.2018).

By 2020, it is expected that the number of connected devices will be 20 billion. I do not know about you, but this to me seems completely insane – 20 billion connected devices in just 2 years. Google would not even be surprised if this number is reached by the middle of 2019.

In 2017 more than half of the world’s spending by shopping through online means was completed using a mobile. Digital shoppers make up 1.8 billion of the population and by next year digital media will have consumed all other means of shopping. Your shoppers’ decisions are guided by the internet! By every social and website platform you have available – that is where they are getting their choices in where to go!

So, what is happening to your customers and their way of thinking?

They have become more curious – how many times a day do you hear, “Just Google It!”

15% of google searches are new and 45% of purchases are made online

They have become more demanding

81% of consumers expect brands to know them personally, their trends and where they buy from!

They have become more impatient

Over the past 2 years searches for same day shopping has increased by 44% – if you don’t do this could this be a contribution to you losing business?

Truth be told we are now living in an omnichannel world- purchases are still a mix of online and offline and each influences the other. There has been an increase seen in in-store visits and purchases due to digital touchpoint influences. If someone sees an item on your Instagram page they will save it and come in-store to try it on for example.

CONSUMERS ARE MORE EMPOWERED, AND THEY ARE MAKING THE MOST OF IT – you need to make the absolute most of connecting with your customers at every given opportunity.

If we were to look at the main challenges retailers are facing:

1) Brand loyalty (to put it frankly, consumers are loyal to the ‘moment’)

2) Digital influence (if your competitor has a connection to their customers on every social platform they have more chance of reaching your customers before you do!)

3) Profitability (this shift in behaviour by consumers comes with a cost of higher expectations)


Make yourself different from your competitors! Although social media platforms have been utilised to reach customers, the way you use them will stand out. Let’s start with YouTube, the number one video site for influencing purchase decisions. Consider this for your audiences shopping influence, whether it is a full screen ad, small banner pop-up or timed out advert, users will click through and can shop immediately if they see something they want.

Do not be a robot with your customer basis, emotionally connect – just FYI, people are immune to such ‘robotic’ and ‘impersonal’ terms now.

By the way, watch your star ratings on Google – you have no idea how badly this can affect your sales just by a few low star comments!

The part we have all been waiting for, the newest trend or technology section! In an ever changing and growing world, it is so vital to be the first when utilising new technology to boost your revenue and improve the connection you have with your customers.

The Google Beacon Programme – A Google Beacon is battery powered small device, that sends one-way signals and is readable by nearby low energy Bluetooth devices such as a smart phone or tablet.

But what does it do? Well, to put it simply and to amaze you even more, it can track who enters a retail store via a campaign they have seen online … exactly! You can see which of your campaigns online is bringing in customers to your physical stores.

However, this is a new system so register your interest with Google if this be helpful to you!

Tip: Instagram is the key channel for advertising in customers under the age of 30!

If you are yet to make your appearance digital for your business or brand, then you need to start making a move. If the above information was not enough, by 2021, Google has predicted that 80% of the global digital consumption will be via videos. Oh wait … they recalculated this a week after conducting the above … it is now more likely to be 2019. Within the space of a few days, 2 years has been taken off the original prediction to when video will be the go-to for shopping and brand exposure.

It might be time to admit defeat and join the ranks in the digital race to success!

The metric of marketing in 1 minute

There is probably a few of you out there who are still hanging onto the belief that generational brand success will outweigh any new trend that is currently taking over the market. But, statistics do not lie when it comes to the confirmed conclusion that a lot can happen in 1 minute. Your marketing technique and what is seen to the world … a lot can happen in just 1 minute.

For example, every minute 16.5 days of viewing content is uploaded to YouTube. The below table shows you just what can happen in one minute via the current trending apps and marketing methods.


If you invest your time and money, into even 1 minute a day reaching out to your customers on multiple platforms, think of the return you could potentially bring back in! Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

There are many ways in which all the above information could be concluded, but to be honest there is no conclusion with digital marketing and the online expansion that is happening every second of every day around the entire world. The best and only way to describe it;

“There is no digital strategy anymore, just strategy in a digital world.”

What do you think?

Share your thoughts on this post - whether you agree, disagree or have your own insight to share, we want to hear from you!


Subscribe to the cranberry panda blog

Don’t want to miss out on ecommerce news, insights and recruitment gossip? Subscribe to ‘The Panda Express’ updates!