Technologies of all types are transforming the nature of shopper relationships with retail brands. Massive investments in e-commerce, supply chain integration and support technologies are resulting in consumers being able to realize new levels of convenience. In the new world of hyper convenience, creating profitable customer relationships requires more and more efforts related to attraction and retention.
At Research Strategy Group international we used our Crowd Intelligence platform to ask US consumers several questions about shopping trends.
Amazon and Alibaba have revolutionized the nature of shopping and delivery around the world. Parcel delivery in the United States is growing at double digit rates annually. In the US market, Amazon Prime now offers same day shipping on over 1 million products if you live in one of 14 major urban centres. Other retailers are working hard to develop and offer cost effective same day delivery as well. Our “crowd” indicates a very high probability of 88% saying that same day shipping will increase significantly in 2019. Top categories will likely continue to be clothing, foot wear and consumer electronics.
In other sectors, new technologies are allowing players like food retailers and restaurants to get into the same day delivery game using platforms like Uber Eats, Grubhub and Instacart. Our research shows that there is a 75% probability that US consumers will make fewer grocery shopping trips as these delivery systems expand and improve. Instacart has worked out many of the early bugs and irritants associated with buying groceries online and having them delivered. Grocery and food delivery services appeal to a broad swath of the population that feels increasingly time crunched and desirous of convenient solutions for the tasks of daily life.
In the United States, large drug chains like Walgreens and CVS increasingly dominate the drugstore marketplace, with the top six chains having almost 30,000 locations nationwide. Competition between chains is fierce and retailers are constantly trying to differentiate themselves and introduce value added services to enhance convenience. Historically, drug chains have used loyalty programs to attract and retain customers and increase per trip purchases. Our “crowd” generated a 79% probability that drug store loyalty reward programs will be an increasingly significant factor in consumers’ choice of retail chain.
Even as they work to enhance customer loyalty, major drug chains are nervously anticipating the entry of Amazon into the prescription drug category since its acquisition of PillPack last summer. Many chains are aggressively developing their drug delivery services and making other structural efforts to blunt Amazon’s chances of success in the category. Our results indicate that there is a strong probability (71%) that consumers will switch their prescriptions to Amazon if the option becomes available. Clearly American consumers enjoy the convenience of accessing a range of categories through Amazon, and many would find it more convenient to order their prescriptions in the same way. The struggle for control of prescription fulfillment is sure to be dramatic in the US market. The only thing for certain is that consumers will end up with enhanced convenience. Your friendly chat with a live pharmacist may soon be a thing of the past.