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Synchrony Releases New “Future of Shopping” Study

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Synchrony’s new study reveals that more than 80% of shoppers expect hyper-curated in-store experiences by 2030.  

Synchrony, a premier consumer financial services company, announced that its new Future of Shopping study reveals that consumers seek highly personalized experiences that simplify choice and flexibility, where more than 80 percent of shoppers will expect experiences curated just for them by 2030. The research determined that retailers who prioritize an experience-driven shopping strategy will prevail if they continue to innovate and differentiate themselves with new technologies.

Meaningful Shopping Experiences

Retailers who prioritize an experience-driven shopping strategy will prevail.

Based on Synchrony’s survey of 1,000 U.S.-based consumers, the study indicates that the proliferation of retail channels, formats, platforms, and intermediaries has fragmented the shopping landscape over the past few years, creating stress for both shoppers and retail strategists. Moving forward, the focus will be on developing more connected experiences across channels, brands, online and in-store. Outstanding customer service and brand ambassadors are key to helping consumers gain insights and drive loyalty.

Of the shoppers surveyed by Synchrony:

  • 67 percent believed a world where multiple brands created joint offers would enhance their experiences across channels.
  • 42 percent of shoppers would be likely to register or participate in future experiences, where brands offer a range of connected shopping options such as an app that connects a concert ticket purchase to a customer’s calendar and suggests an outfit for the event and where to buy it.
  • 52 percent of shoppers said they would be interested in an in-store engagement where the associate leverages crowd-sourced ratings combined with customer preferences to deliver recommendations in real time to their phone.

Curation Beats out Competition

While providing a range of options to customers has always been a hallmark of best-in-class retail brands, the explosion of choice and increased opportunity has led to a heightened need for more curation and customization.

Shoppers are more frequently turning to intermediaries to help guide their purchase decisions and narrow down their choices, which can have a major impact when brands don’t make it through these filters.

Synchrony’s research found that, in the future, shoppers would like to reduce the range of available products presented to them.

  • 62 percent of shoppers surveyed believe that their shopping experience would be simpler if stores offered fewer choices.
  • 81 percent expect to see a world where hyper-personalization or “just for me” is rolled out by 2030.
  • 55 percent expressed an intent to use on-site personalization services if they were available.

Retailers need to focus on specific categories, needs, and consumer trends to create engaging experiences that promote customer loyalty among shoppers and maintain repeat sales, the study implies.

Convenience On The Go

Another major finding: while shoppers have always cared about convenience, today’s shoppers are more concerned with the flexibility, access, and speed of their shopping experience. The act of shopping has become and will continue to move away from being an isolated activity, instead being embedded into other activities such as scrolling through social media, gaming, or going for a walk.

64 percent of the shoppers surveyed believe that in the future shopping will not be an isolated activity, rather brands will reach them through separate but linked activities (e.g., social media activity linked to geo-location recommendations while out on a walk, metaverse brand interaction directs shopper to nearest physical location with tailored recommendations).

Utilizing smart carts that integrate seamless shopping and checkouts can deliver enhanced value to shoppers. Sixty-seven percent of shoppers agreed that smart carts would enhance their lives, while 75 percent of those sampled believe that smart carts would be a possibility and popular over the next seven years.

Florin Arghirescu, Synchrony’s senior vice president and chief product officer:

Our study found that shopping does not happen in isolation, but rather with connected ecosystems driven by unique technologies that play a critical role for retailers seeking to meet these consumer demands. Synchrony is working with partners to offer curated, convenient consumer experiences whether that’s enabling choice and flexibility in financing in-store or online or mobile wallet provisioning for purchases on the go.

Synchrony has provided financing options to retailers for over 90 years. With more than 460,000 merchant provider locations and 71 million active customers, Synchrony’s retail shopping and payment innovations enable retailers to improve their sales and maintain customer loyalty while providing shoppers with secure, convenient, and personalized shopping experiences.

Future of Shopping Study Download

To download a copy of Synchrony’s Future of Shopping study, please visit here.

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