Retail Industry Reshapes with Hybrid Cloud and AI to Help Meet Shifting and Sustainability Preferences

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The world is largest retail trade association, released their second global study Consumers want it all, which reveals rising consumer preferences for sustainability and shopping journeys splintered across multiple digital, physical, and mobile touch points.

The new global study of over Nine ten thousand surveyed consumers shows hybrid shopping mixing physical and digital channels in shopping journeys is on the rise as shopping habits consumers adopted out of necessity during the covid-19 pandemic are becoming routine. Retailers must become more agile to meet customers where they are, integrating digital and in-store experiences.

Seventy two percent of respondents say they use the store as all or part of their primary purchase method. Top reasons respondents choose to visit a store include touching and feeling products before buying them (fifty percent ), picking and choosing their own products (forty seven percent) and getting products right away (forty three percent), though what in-store shoppers are looking for varies by product category.

Twenty seven percent of respondents report hybrid shopping is their method of choice consumers surveyed are most likely to be a 'hybrid shopper' compared to other age groups. The study also shows that sustainability has become increasingly important to surveyed consumers' purchase decisions and brand preferences since 2020.

Purpose-driven consumers, who choose products/brands based on their values like sustainability, are now the largest segment of consumers surveyed (forty for percent). sixty two percent of respondents are willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce environmental impact, up from fifty seven percent one years ago.

Half of respondents say they are willing to pay a premium for sustainability an average premium of seventy percent. This is roughly double the premium from 2020. However, there is a gap between intention and action – only thirty one% of respondents say that sustainable products made up most or all of their last purchase.

While many surveyed consumers still place high value on the traditional in-store shopping experience, they also now expect the flexibility to build their own shopping journey – according to the behaviors prevalent to their age range, available tools and the product category they are looking to purchase this hybrid approach is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior.

Despite the impact of covid-19, our experience with clients shows many leading retail brands are continuing to rapidly transform operations, customer experience and supply chains with technologies like AI, hybrid cloud and blockchain to help serve these multiple customer preferences.

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