The Science of Shopping and Future of Retail
Good afternoon, can you hear me okay good, so it's kind of weird that I'm here talking about shopping, I didn't really ever expect to be a student of shopping. I don't really like shopping. Actually, there's probably some of you who relate to that, not like my mom who goes to the mall on the weekend to unwind kind of strange. That'S not me, but that's also a limited way. A narrow way of thinking about what shopping is shopping and what I'd like to propose for this conversation is that shopping is really about decision making, and so, when we think about shopping rather than think about it. As the person who goes and does the grocery shopping, or maybe your sister who likes to go and buy clothes or my mom, who likes to go to the mall I'd like to propose, we think about it as this idea of decision making, and so if shopping Is decision making, then so many of the things that we do each day could be encompassed in that it could be where to go to school, what classes to take what to do with our financial future? What kind of insurance to sign up for an elective medical procedure we might do? Should I get braces yes, and so, if that is, if all of those things are shopping, then what we wanted to understand is what does it take to get someone to say? Yes, and if you think about all the moments in your life, where you have this this this journey, where you've got to go from undecided to decided what are the things that what are the information sources that you include to sort of get you to a place Where you feel comfortable and say yes, whether it's a trip to Europe, whether it's to go out on a date with someone right, what's the thing, what's the inputs that you use and if you think about the inputs that we used to have, let's say if we Were to have bought an appliance 10 or 15 years ago, what you've done could have asked your father-in-law for information. You could have gone to the store. I suppose you could have ordered a cd-rom at some point today. If we're going to buy an appliance, we can spend months. If we choose reading reviews talking to other shoppers online, we can ask for input on Facebook and we might get depending on the the category we're looking at. We might get you know dozens or hundreds of emphatic responses. How do all of those sources go into our brain, go into our our minds and help us get to a place where we say yep, I'm going to go ahead and purchase. So if you are familiar with marketing, have worked in marketing have worked for brands or retailer. You might have heard of this thing called the purchase funnel. Fortunately, most of us haven't heard of that which, if you haven't just leave it that way, but the purchase funnel the concept here is that, when we're making a decision to purchase to hand over that money, we go through this sort of process right. We learn about something and get a we get sort of an awareness going. Then we sort of become educated and then eventually we cross the finish line and we do what those marketers want us to do and if they could just expose us to enough ads. Certainly, we would get over that finish line. We had a hypothesis that this was actually an outmoded way of thinking about decision making, particularly in a world in which we have so many different inputs coming in from all of these places, we've got our mobile phones, our apps social media, video games. Right all these different inputs, we felt like this idea that decision-making was linear was really not the case anymore. It didn't seem like decision-making has ever been really a logical process and it didn't seem like we were kind of moved bumping along just in a sort of straight path. We felt that it was actually more something like a heat map or like a neuron firing in the brain, but that's what maybe decision-making might look like. This is actually real data that we use to sort of create this. This idea of where people were going for information where how long were they thinking about their decisions, for where were they going for information? What sources of information were most influential and our our hypothesis? At the time I was working at a Media Lab, in Los Angeles as a part of Interpublic Group, and we were talking to brands and retailers all the time who were asking us again and again. Should I build an app? Is that going to move more product? Should i I don't know, get a facebook campaign going? What should I do and we didn't really have an answer we were like. Well, you could do this neat stuff, but we didn't have an answer to say if it was actually influencing people to buy. So we set about to do essentially several years, what became we didn't really know what we were getting into at the time studying shoppers over about four years. We studied shoppers across all different categories: thousands of shoppers 50, 60,000 shoppers - and we looked at all of these issues that caused us to say. Yes, what are those things and we revealed some really interesting patterns so, for example, and this kind of makes me popular at parties if you care to invite me to one, I can tell you that shoppers use an average of about ten point. Four sources before making a decision and that's true for high and low consideration, what I like to call low consideration, quote unquote categories. The reason I do that is because what we're seeing is that there really isn't anything such as low consideration anymore, even the smallest decisions, whether you're going to buy a new Groot and free cookie. I mean if you care about gluten free cookies. You might spend a lot of time researching that and the numbers of sources that you use, we think, are a proxy for how considered that purchases. So, for example, before buying a car on average people use about 18 sources of information before giving their child and over-the-counter medication they use almost 10. A little scary is that they actually use more sources of information to inform them to pre-shop when they're buying an iPod, then selecting who they're going to vote for for president. You know these numbers are an amazing way to evaluate how decision making is changing. We saw year-over-year that this these numbers of sources that shoppers were using were growing quite dramatically. In fact, from 2010 to 2011, we actually saw a doubling in the number of sources. Shoppers were using right, it makes sense, there's more sources, we have more opportunities, we can do all the research we want, the internet never closes. We can just go online for hours at a time and we can research all of these things and and that research helps us get to a place where we can say. Yes, an example that I like to give of this sort of changing shopper. Behavior, I'm actually I've learned by the way, I'm quite an erotic, shopper, didn't know that in the past, but have learned through studying that I'm one of those shoppers that actually takes a long time to make up my mind, I thought I was a quite decisive person, But I actually like to spend a lot of time reviewing and researching and making sure that I feel good about my purchase, my husband he will spend hours before we go to a theme park. Looking at all the videos associated with the different rides in the park. Right the he will do this so that when we passed that camera, as you fall down the the Splash Mountain, he knows exactly what face to make and he always has the best faces and he's done that through really it's like really. How do you do that? Every single time, how do you know where the camera is I'm just hanging on for dear life? He'S done the research to do that right and that's because that's something that he values and that research itself is actually becoming a form of entertainment. The picture that you see behind me, I love this. This picture, there's two of them so on the image on my right. You'Ve got an image that represents the number of Google searches a day. The image on my left, our human DNA and I love putting these two images together, because what I see here is that we are creating, in essence, a shopper DNA, a new shopper, DNA right, the way in which we experience digital media, the amount of information and Content that we have coming into us is changing the way we process this information and we as marketers and by the way, if you're, not a marketer. If you are a doctor or you're a hairdresser, think about all of these sources that shoppers are increasingly using to make a decision to come and do business with you to engage with you as a brand as a human being, that's a brand right, and so we've Got to look at this portrait and say: how can we map that and that's exactly what we did. We said all right, we're learning more about shoppers than we've ever known, because we've got new tools that enable us to map what they're doing we can track social media in real-time. We can talk to shoppers at scale in a way that was never before possible right. You could do a few focus groups and one lady would say she didn't like it, and that was the end of that product right and now we can scale that process now. You would think that brands, maybe like the Intel's, the Microsoft's, the J & JS, the I mean you name it right. You would think that these brands all the research that they do all of the bright people that they've got working for them, that they would know the answer to this very simple question: why do shoppers behave the way they do you'd think they would know that question And the truth is: when you get them over a beer, they will tell you that they actually have no idea all the research. They do, all the consumer research. You know flavor profiling right all these personas they create and they actually don't know what causes you to say. Yes, so, as we were studying this, we began to create a visual output of that shopping process of that shoppers, Ernie you're. Looking at an example behind me of one that we created, while I was working for shopper sciences and what this does is, it takes what we like to call paid, earned and owned media, that is to say traditional media like television, radio and print online digital media. Like you know all the stuff that you do online and mobile and social media and then in-store effects like you know, the associate that you talk to or perhaps a sign that you see in store and we map that process out. Where do shoppers go first? Where do they go after that, and then, where do they go and which of those things is most influential which of those things tips the scale? And if I were to ask you about a recent purchase decision that you might have made, you could probably we could have this dialogue and you could probably say well yeah, you know. Actually, it was my mother-in-law telling me that I don't need to make homemade cakes anymore. I can just buy the cake mix that was pretty darn compelling right, so we wanted to understand that. So this is a map of that and this was pretty cool. It drove some great results for our clients and we were quite proud of it, but it actually wasn't enough, because all this is doing is mapping what's already happened, which is why I moved to winston-salem from Los Angeles. I was introduced last year to what I like to call a little line of code and this little line of code sits in the point-of-sale terminal, at about 80 % of retail stores in this country, and this little line of code when turned on communicates with the Cloud otherwise known as I don't know, I guess the interweb and it says here's what's being purchased, here's what's not being purchased. Here'S what's coupons are being used, here's what offers are being redeemed and that little line of code delivers a ton of data. You'Ve probably heard the word big data. I hate that term right now, because I'm hearing it everywhere, I go but but humongous amounts of data to avoid the the use, the term Big Data humongous amounts of big data about what we're buying in real time right. So I could go to the store in it and it would acknowledge up toward we've got Pellegrino here, she's buying she just redeemed her coupon right and all that's going up into the cloud just this little line of code. That enables us to do that and if we can get that kind of data coming in real time massive amounts of data, we can actually move from mapping shopping to predicting it. So there is a changing sentiment. That'S happening. Shoppers are moving from this place of well. Okay, I'm going to work to cut out my coupons and do my research and get my deals to a place of you know what my life is complicated. I'M busy! I don't have a lot of time, so please make it easy for me. Don'T make me work for deals, don't make me, you know, go take care of all of your sweepstakes. Don'T make me count, points don't make me collect bottle, tops I'm not interested. If I shop you, you should know who I am, and you should be good to me and if you're not I'll, take my business elsewhere. This starts to sound a little bit like Amazon. Alright. So, as I talk about some of these things, sometimes people start to have panic attacks and they're like privacy and, what's going to happen to my data and you're, going to know that I buy red meat and I eat lots of it, but when Amazon does it? It'S not so creepy right, it makes sense, they see what you buy, they see what other people buy. They make associations about what people like you who buy things that maybe you're not buying today and what that might mean about you and what you might like to buy and they serve you up recommendations. And when that happens, you go well, that's pretty cool and when you get when they get it wrong, you actually get pretty annoyed right, you're like well. My mother-in-law was on my Amazon account. Now I'm getting all these jewelry making things right. I don't want those you get annoyed right, get it right. So in that context it's not creepy, it's not weird, it doesn't feel invasive. It makes a lot of sense and in fact, what we're seeing is that Amazon has now displaced a company. An amazing company like Nordstrom like where we you know that was like the pinnacle of customer service. Right you go to Nordstrom, damn it awesome shopping experience, Nordstrom's now, number nine, and actually this year, they're now number 10 Amazon's number one. How can it be that a company that you never ever meet an actual human being, they could have cyborgs working there? We wouldn't know right. How could it be that that could be best-in-class customer service? How could it be that that we would consider best-in-class customer service to be from a company whose 1-800 number you have to go to secret blogs, to find you've to like go to forums and they'll, be like yeah? I got the number here right and they're nice once you talk to them, but how could that be best-in-class customer service, and the reason is, is that our expectations of what good service means are changing and what we say is I want you to know the products That I care about and you should have them in stock and you should you - should recognize my buying patterns and don't give me a coupon for dog food. I don't have a dog. Why are you doing that? Stop it? That is what we is coming to be. Customer service, in this new era, this future of retail - I had a colleague call me up recently and he said Devorah tell me about the retailers that are doing it right. Tell me about you know the coolest, augmented reality execution, you've seen or a new social media campaign I want to. I want to talk about that and he was gon na be making a presentation. He wanted my input and I said well I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't actually see that the future of retail or what I would consider is really exciting to be in some shiny new, like kiosk or social media campaign, that a retailer does. I don't want new shopping experiences. I want better shopping experiences, that's that is to me the future of retail, and it actually takes us back to something that we might have known in the past. This idea of the general store right where they'd reserved the products they knew that you came in on Thursdays and they'd, set aside your favorite cheese, I used to live in Spain and when I go back to the general store, that's still there in this little town. That I lived in Esmerelda still knows my name and she still will reserve my favorite manchego cheese when I'm there right. She knows even years later, the products that I care about and what matters to me. We can't do that at scale at retail. Any retailer who has you know more than a store or two will tell you it's incredibly challenging, but we can do it through data and if we can apply some of the data that we take in from that little line of code and some of the learnings That we're starting to understand about shopper behavior across thousands and thousands of shoppers. Maybe we can create this sort of new golden era of retail. Maybe we can lay bare the walls of the retail store right, tear those down grab the data, that's floating around us in the air, shoppers commenting on products, shopper, reviews of you know different stores that they like and don't like, and if we can do this, we Move as marketers from a place of manipulation and gimmicks and celebration to a relationship, that's a lot more about listening. I don't have to guess what your needs are. I don't have to trick you. I can just simply listen to what you're doing and respond in kind and that my friends is the future of retail. Thank you. 

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