Monday, December 12, 2011

From Print to Digital: Evolution of Retail Circulars

I read recently from a Nielsen market report that in the US, the ongoing consumer love affair with the retail store circular is transforming from print to digital.

Every day across America, a shopper walks into a store, grabs a cart and reaches out for the store circular to find out what’s on sale. Now however, a new generation of digital savvy consumers are viewing their circulars (or brochures, vouchers, deals) online or via a mobile browser or app.

From my observations, there are 3 trends happening even here in the Singapore retail shopping landscape.
  1. Consumers are checking their mobile for deals, product info (I wrote about this in my last post about e-commerce trends in Singapore).
  2. Consumers are used to buying deals online or via mobile (mobile is nascent, covering 4% of total e-commerce market in Singapore).
  3. Personalised offers beyond SMS, EDMs are coming to the fore with location-based targeted offers, QR code call-to-action.
Indeed, the future-state will be a shift to personalised tailor-made offers that will match the shoppers' interests and purchase patterns.

Another interesting insight from the Neilsen report described that almost half of the American category shoppers rely on circulars to draft their shopping lists (think mobile shopping list apps here). As in Singapore where 84% of consumers search on their mobile for product info, a large part (three-quarters) of American buyers make purchase decisions (think mobile research here) before setting foot in the store.
It is critical that players in the retail shopping ecosystem relook the consumer journey, and start to collaborate and play a part in working with forward-looking retailers to experiment with multiple digital pathways (mobile, tablet, laptop, PC, TV, retail, OOH displays etc) that will enrich and enhance their retail circular experience, by integrating video, interactive elements and smart features that would serve up information based on loyalty or location.

What are your views about retail offers and consumer behavior in e-commerce in your market?

Look forward to hear from you.

Nelson Wee
connect with me on Twitter @nelsonwee

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