Today’s consumers seek and accept shopping advice from peers, family, friends and even strangers. They bring attitudes and expectations, shaped by experiences across a broad spectrum of industries, to every interaction with retailers. And through this lens of connectivity and collaboration – which enables them to know almost everything about every product and brand – these “smarter,” empowered consumers ultimately decide which retailers have earned their trust.
Trust is widely recognized as the foundation of interpersonal, consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business relationships. Businesses now need to develop trusted relationships to win over empowered consumers. Retailers must not only consider the wants and needs of individual consumers, but also understand how consumers engage in virtual communities to share ideas, tastes and buying habits. The shopping world is transforming from the market of “me” to communities of “we.”
For retailers and product brands, it is no longer about just catering to the growing use of technology and capitalizing on the smarter consumer. Instead, it is about winning them over by anticipating their behavior and preferences, engaging with them on their terms. If retailers can listen, learn, anticipate, adapt, execute and excel, while interacting with growing “communities of we,” they can earn consumer trust and rewrite the rules of retail.
Winning over the empowered consumer
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IBM Institute for Business Value Research Leader, Retail
Making retail smarter.
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