Shopping is one of the greatest hobbies in the world, it is social, it is tactile and the activity as a leisure pursuit that is now facing an existential crisis.

The speed of the shift in consumer behaviour driven by lack of access to bricks and mortar retail environment has seen a seismic shift, the size of which has been likened to 5-10 years in “normal” time and has occurred over the last 8 weeks.

Consider online shopping where a massive shift occurred through necessity and the predictions are that 70% of those consumers will continue to shop for their groceries online. The bricks and mortar offering of some stores has been converted to an online vehicle where more roles as “personal shoppers” were created to fulfil orders and some physical stores converted purely to service the online channel

Retailers must be able to keep pace with consumer preferences, be adaptive and adopt an agile mindset to get ahead in the digital age because behaviours are changing! The Customer is King and now needs to be considered at every point in the online shopping experience, driving demand for more “interaction “ at every stage in the purchasing journey online and allowing the consumer to “experience” the product in every virtual way imaginable- eg video product reviews online by purchasers.

In a recent study by Global Web Index, it has recorded people saying they are doing more online shopping with the largest increase seen with Millennials 28%, followed by Gen Z 20%, Gen X 20% and Baby Boomers 10%.

With a refocus like this, retailers need to consider all aspects of the digital customer experience. From brand messaging, selection, purchasing to the last mile. It is imperative that the technology works at every touchpoint. All operations, from the supply chain to checkout, must be aligned to ensure a seamless customer experience because the buyer has shifted strongly into this medium and those retailers who don’t acknowledge and work to capture their audience will be left behind.