Amazon, the world’s second largest retailer, did not exist 20 years ago!
Not only has this company totally transformed the retail industry, but it has also been a driving force behind the evolution of consumption and consumer expectations since the 2000’s.
Intensification of the focus on price
Consumers are no longer seeking for the lowest possible price but for real value for money.
This evolution in attitudes is mirrored by the success of cash-back rewards, frequent use of price comparators, the development of grouped purchases, direct purchase (bypassing retailers), or even private sales.
The quest for convenience
E-commerce, T-commerce, M-Commerce, development of home delivery, click & collect, drive-ins, contactless payment systems, connected credit cards issued by some retailers (Darty), PoS digitalisation to provide augmented experiences in stores (MySephora application, Adidas digital wall), are all intended to facilitate the consumer’s purchase process and are causing upheaval in the retail industry!
Defiance regarding experts, trust in one’s peers
It is also possible to observe that solutions connecting consumer demand and offer (marketplaces) have been highly successful, as have short or alternative channels (direct purchase from producers).
Ratings and reviews websites are also popular amongst consumers who are increasingly consulting them prior to purchase.
Usage is supplanting ownership
The emergence of CtoC, consumer sharing websites (Zilok), a renewed interest in swapping, the development of websites specialised in sales between individuals (Le Boncoin, E-bay, etc.), or even the dematerialisation of certain consumer goods (music, films, etc.) clearly mirror the evolution of consumer expectations and attitudes in terms of consumption and retail.
Empowerment of the individual
Individuals are currently on a quest for autonomy: “local” is proving appealing once again (neighbourhood stores and alternative distribution channels are regaining popularity versus large retailers). Individual consumers are increasingly turning to swapping and exchange websites, and seeking out information prior to purchase (online research, offline purchase). Consumers are thus more expert (prosumer) and are making the most of digitalisation to inform each other about good bargains, make suggestions on social networks, or compare prices.