Whether it is Alibaba and its push for the toilet revolution, Meitu’s photo enhancement app with augmented reality and artificial intelligence or Clé de Peau Beauté’s experiential in-store shopping approach, time is of the essence.
Convenience, simplicity and ease of purchase are all highly sought after by increasingly-busy shoppers who seek products and brands that understand their lifestyles and their needs.
The changing face of retail reflects this. Pop-up stores enable brands to communicate their personality, build customer relationships and experiment with packaging, design and marketing messages; a big draw for the evolving needs of today’s buyers.
In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, the online-to-offline (O2) movement still reigns supreme as shoppers want to decide what marketing channel and access point is relevant and convenient for them. “Global brands need to realise that there has been this strong shift towards online-offline convergence, and respond to it," Matthew Crabbe, Regional Trends Director, Asia Pacific, at Mintel held.
Mobile commerce (M-commerce) supports the speed and convenience sought after by today’s shoppers, which is also good news for brands looking to engage and increase loyalty. With machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) gathering pace in the cosmetics arena, these advancements provide more opportunities for facial recognition and virtual in-store technology to become commonplace.
Ultimately, this saves time. It is this resource-focused approach that consumers are heavily in favour of. Research provider, Euromonitor International, recently relayed that consumers are in search of simplicity and consider time high on their agendas.
Convenience and time-saving benefits are becoming a key factor in the decision-making process. As a result, brands should emphasise their customer service capabilities, both online and offline, and review and improve their overall user experience to indicate how they understand the value we place, as consumers, on time.