Euromonitor discusses reinvention of shopping

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Euromonitor International shares global research and insights, including the reinvention of shopping, at 2019 International Home + Housewares Show

“Digital disruption has fundamentally changed the shopping journey,” Erika Sirimanne (pictured), head of home and garden at global market research provider Euromonitor International, told an audience at the 2019 International Home + Housewares Show. The keynote presentation provided housewares retailers and suppliers with practical insights to tackle the big challenges in adapting to connected consumers and connected commerce.

Erika’s presentation was sourced from the Shopping Reinvented in Home and Garden strategic report, which will be published on Euromonitor International’s subscription database Passport: Home and Garden in April 2019.

Hyperconnectivity is the new normal, though Erika says it’s important to note that internet access varies in number and by type of device in different regions of the world. Smartphones are more popular in developing regions, making mobile connectivity the doorway to online sales in these places.

This digital disruption has reshaped the path to purchase, leading Euromonitor International to coin the phrase Shopping Reinvented to describe the dramatically different landscape.

Key features of Shopping Reinvented are:

• Experiential shopping – “This is all about making the pre-purchase experience less transactional,” says Erika, citing Macy’s new mixed reality experience in their furniture departments.

• Instant gratification – Consumers now want to be engaged before they buy. Erika shared the example of the Zwilling website which engages people in a holistic cooking lifestyle instead of simply having a product focus.

• Personalisation – “Companies are putting more emphasis on anticipating consumers’ needs” through big data, she says.

• Blended store formats – These reinforce the importance of physical stores but with new ways to buy. Examples include pop-up stores and showroom formats such as the one Alibaba uses in their Home Times stores.

• Value for money – Some consumers may equate value with price, while others may view value as quality. Know how your target consumers see it, Erika says.

• Seamless check-out – Consumers don’t want to be slowed down in physical stores by long lines and cumbersome payment processes. 

• Last mile reimagined – New options are developing every day to deliver products anywhere, anytime.

Though sales of smart home devices are still low (less than 10 per cent of consumers globally own one), the next stage in the evolution of hyperconnectivity is smart homes, says Erika.

Companies that can help alleviate some of consumers’ concerns about smart home devices (including privacy, connectivity and price) can reap huge dividends.

“Functionality is key here,” she says. “Does the benefit outweigh the cost?”

A major growth area in the smart home arena is passive consumption or the idea of products with artificial intelligence anticipating a consumer’s needs.

Among the Erika’s key takeaways from the presentation were:
• Understand how your target customers connect to the internet and by what devices.
• Relatively low online conversion rates for housewares reinforce the importance of the physical store.
• Know your audience; real-time consumer data is essential for curating product ranges and building consumer engagement.
• Access to user-generated content is priceless.
• Smart home adoption is low, but AI assistants are fueling growing interest.
• There are long-term prospects in integrated smart kitchens.

A video recording of the programme is available to watch above.

For more information about the International Home + Housewares Show, visit www.housewares.org