HERSHEY, Pa. — The battle between online and in-store shopping has been a conversation for years, but why can’t consumers do both? The average consumer takes nearly 60 shopping trips per month—both online and at brick-and-mortars, according to the Hershey Co.’s new retail report. And 33% of store purchases begin online, while 25% of online purchases begin in stores.
The report, Creating Value in a Shopper’s World, provides retailers with a guide to improving consumers’ shopping experience as well as winning over new shoppers.
“We’ve uncovered a simple shopper value equation and turned those insights into snacks retail fundamentals that define a pathway for unlocking untapped potential,” said Phil Stanley, chief customer officer for Hershey. “In the report, we also share our experts’ points of view and recommendations on what to do and how to do it. Growing in today’s complex retail environment requires unprecedented cross-functional collaboration and partner data sharing.”
Here are three insights from Hershey’s new retail report …
Consumers value finding what they want easily and consistently; they don’t want to waste time scrolling through web pages or wandering through store aisles, the report said. This means retailers must focus their attention and energy on in-store and online cohesion, which is achievable through three methods: ensuring category managers collaborate with digital managers, simplifying search, and satisfying shoppers at the checkout, according to Hershey.
“Visualize your shopping experience in the physical store and begin to design a similar experience in your online platform,” said Brad Santana, team lead of digital commerce for Hershey. “Transposing aisle flow and shelf organization from the physical world to digital environments is key to creating a seamless experience.”
Shoppers also appreciate when retailers consider their personal interests, sparking a need for increased consumer engagement, the report said. Retailers can do this by connecting their media team with their suppliers' media team to align shared objectives; engaging cross-category buyers to build merchandising that is focused on consumer experiences; and building a digital platform that includes easy ways for shoppers to write, read and share reviews.
"Consumers expect retailers to co-merchandise products online, and that has changed their in-store expectation,” said Suzanne Jones, vice president of Hershey. “Push yourself to create a retail experience around an occasion, like s'mores-making."
Consumers increasingly visit retailers that save them time and make personalized recommendations, which means retailers must design an experience that lets shoppers know they understand them, the report said. This can be done by mapping point-of-sale data, increasing their store’s one-stop-shop appeal and checkout process and engaging data teams to understand the purchase history of key consumers.
“Shopper loyalty has never been more valuable, and retailers that don’t offer personalized shopping experiences are at risk,” said Doug Straton, chief digital commerce officer for Hershey.