5 consumer trends, 3 best practices shaping retail in 2023

Photo by Jason Goodman

Fresh concerns about inflation and rising cost of living may have harried consumers and gave rise to savvy shoppers who sought ways to get the best bang for their buck during the Lunar New Year and onward, according to Criteo.

The commerce media firm sees five major trends that may enable retailers to forecast consumer demand and ensure that they can tap onto these trends for this year.  

First, consumers are heading online to search for the best deal despite the return of in-store shopping. According to Criteo’s research, consumers are taking the hybrid path of purchasing and want the best of both worlds.

While returning in-stores, consumers still rely on retailer websites and mobile applications to supplement their shopping experience with four in every five consumers seeing a significant improvement or some improvement in searching for products which they intend of buying, indicating that consumers appreciate relevant and personalized advertising and ultimately ensuring greater reach from new and existing shoppers.

Second, consumers still find a way to purchase items that they love. While they have no choice but to spend more on non-negotiables like mortgages or food, a majority are still purchasing the goods and experiences they want most.

Third, consumers are plan ahead and think of what to buy in bulk to maximise their spending power and make use of cost savings.

Fourth, consumers believe that deals should not come at the expense of quality. Though saving money is top of mind, shoppers still want great products that are made to last.

And fifth, consumers want more from brands than just discounts. Alignment with a brand’s values and loyalty programs are strong motivators for shoppers to make a purchase right now.

Consindering these trends, Criteo advises retailers to take note of best practices that may help to maximise consumer traction.

One is the use of commerce media, which is being positioned as the 4th wave of digital advertising and has the power to reach and engage consumers where they’re actively browsing and buying. 

As such, emerging environments such as retail media will continue gaining traction in 2023. Savvy retailers know that they will need to continue expanding their media offerings to own their end-to-end customer journey, and marketers will keep investing in retail media because it works.

Another is providing a seamless hybrid shopping experience that creates loyalty and trust by including innovative and practical customer services, such as BORIS (buy online, return in-store). This easy return policy is a top reason why consumers decide to purchase a product when shopping online.

Still another best practice is appropriately targeting ads to target audiences. Retailers may ensure a greater reach from new and existing consumers by optimising data and analytics on their websites and apps, allowing for targeted ads at the point of purchase, subsequently influencing sale convergence online.

These insights are based on a study of experiences from the lunar new year of 2022, when consumers in Southeast Asia used other platforms besides physical shopping for their festive needs. 

In SEA, desktop sales saw an increase of 58%, app sales also increased by 29%, and mobile web sales rose by 30%.

In 2022, the share of mobile transactions performed slightly higher than the base period during the one-week window before New Year (12% increase in SEA, 9% increase in Singapore, 10% increase in Greater China region, 19% increase in Vietnam.