Changing How We Shop.
Evolving retail, media, and advertising landscapes are changing how consumers discover new brands and products. Today’s online advertising often doesn’t support discovery (building brand and product awareness to drive trial), instead prioritizing making the sale (driving conversion for a brand and item you’ve already searched for). These days it’s rare to see an online ad for something that one hasn’t already Googled. The fact that many of us have stopped going into stores, instead opting for home delivery, means that we aren’t discovering new products at the shelf either. No wonder marketers are leveraging other content channels to build awareness and generate trial for their products. More distribution channels are also being developed for this discovery purpose, driven more with the consumer in mind but also benefiting product manufacturers in turn.
- Online aggregators are creating new channels for product discovery, becoming the new department store. Take Fancy, which was created for this purpose. It defines itself as, “… the place for you to discover and buy amazing things curated by our global community.” Wanelo is another that describes itself as a “personalized mall on your phone” where one can discover and purchase products from over 350,000 stores. If you are a retailer or manufacturer, “Wanelo helps your products get discovered and sold!”
- Other online shopping apps are also being created to feed discovery. Wooplr, a Bangalore, India start-up, created an app to discover local products, while personalizing the social shopping experience. Based on recommendations from friends and influencers, users can find products that best meet their needs that are currently on the shelves of local brick and mortar stores within a certain radius. The options get visualized on a map to make it easy to navigate to the find. Releasing later this summer, Spring is another app that will serve as an online “shopping mall” featuring luxury goods using a visual-centric interface that makes mobile buying simple.
- Subscription boxes are all about discovery, delivering everything from clothing (Stitchfix), snacks (NatureBox), jewelry (RocksBox), and beauty products (Birchbox, Trymbl) directly to one’s home. These boxes are a new distribution channel for manufacturers’ new products, which feeds consumers’ desire for both convenience and discovering what’s new and on trend.
Consumer Forecast: Help me find what’s new and on trend.