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How consumers shop differently today in the era of the app

If you want to see how consumers shop differently today just take a look at your smartphone. These devices have become tools that help consumers with every part of their daily lives, from looking up information to acting as digital wallets. Brands that want to cater to modern consumers need to understand just how much apps impact how consumers shop and integrate those apps into their marketing strategies.

Management of your brand’s digital reputation is imperative as consumers have increasing access to information. They can see reviews of your products, read customer complaints and compare your product to your competitors’ all with a few taps on their phone. However, in that challenge lies an opportunity, as brands can also use these apps to direct consumers to their products in the shopping aisle.  

How Consumer Demand for Socially Conscious Companies Impacts Your Brand

Today’s consumers are much more conscious about the social and environmental impact of the brands they choose. This social and environmental awareness is so critical to consumers that it’s inspired an entirely new category of marketing: socially responsible marketing. In this style of marketing, brands put the focus on how they can benefit society and the environment, rather than how they can sell products. It’s about using your brand’s values to improve the customer experience.

Socially conscious consumers may use mobile apps and search engines to review things like a company’s sustainability efforts, testing and research practices, and how they treat their employees to determine if those values align with their own. Also, negative information about a brand’s practices—like if the brand is in the middle of an EPA investigation, for example—can cause a negative impact on sales.

Brands need to make their efforts to be ethical, responsible, and environmentally friendly as evident as possible to reassure these consumers. By making it clear your brand focuses on the good of society over profits, you’ll be able to gain the attention of new, more discerning consumers.

Access to Information Impacts How Consumers Shop Differently Today

notice how consumers shop differently todayConsumers have access to so much information now, and because of that, brands need to practice regular reputation management. Consumers can read product reviews, compare prices, and see customer complaints about your brand, meaning that all of this information will change whether or not they choose to purchase from you. In fact, most recent figures indicate 88% of consumers research products online before buying them in the store.  

Brands should address customer complaints quickly and politely, seek out positive reviews on platforms, and encourage consumers to share their opinions. However, in some cases—like price point—brands may not have much room to move. If your brand has products which are priced higher than your competition, then you need to establish why that product is worth more than the lower cost one. As an alternative, your brand can use shopping apps to direct consumers to your products.

Leveraging Consumer Dependence on Mobile Apps to Gain Sales

As consumers use apps to shop, many brands are using that to their advantage. One way they are doing this is through shopping apps—like Shopkick—which are designed for use when consumers are at home, out and about, and in-store. Shopkick allows you to direct traffic to the store by incentivizing in-store interaction. The app works as follows;

  1. The consumer opens Shopkick as they are walking into the store. They review opportunities to gain rewards and see which products are participating.
  2. The consumer seeks out the product in the shopping aisle, locates it, and scans its UPC.
  3. The consumer receives rewards points—or in Shopkick’s case, kicks—for the scan, and also gets a notification of more available rewards for purchase.  
  4. The consumer can later redeem the rewards in exchange for gift cards.

Using shopping apps can be your brand’s way to connect with consumers as they are shopping without the need to offer discounts. As shopping apps are usually downloaded by people who make the purchase decisions for the household, the brand gains access to an audience with high sales potential. In addition, this helps brands when their in-store shelf space is not optimal by encouraging consumers to seek out the products even if they are not placed in apparent locations.

Brands must be cognizant of exactly how consumers shop differently today because of apps.

Brands must be cognizant of exactly how consumers shop differently today because of apps. Through apps, consumers can gain information about a brand, its products, and its reputation. As such, brands must make regular efforts to manage their online reputation while presenting consumers with information that puts the brand in a favorable light. Shopping apps offer these brands much potential, as they are designed to work based on how consumers shop differently today while encouraging in-store interaction with products.

Shopkick partners leverage our engaging app to connect with consumers and help guide them to products in the store. To become a partner, contact us.

Image courtesy of onephoto