hfa Insights, News & Awards


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4 Expectations Of Today's Shoppers

In the recent post How To Turn Connections Into “Shoppertunities,” we discussed how the traditional path-to-purchase has evolved, affecting shopper marketing. But that’s not all it has impacted. Today’s shopper journey has also changed what consumers expect from brands.

1. Transparency

Online ordering has provided shoppers with more choices than ever before, making them more selective about the brands they choose. Today’s shoppers are also listening more to social influencers. A transparent brand gives shoppers easy access to information, especially in social spaces, empowers shoppers to purchase products from brands that have the same values as they do. This helps build and sustain consumer relationships by demonstrating that the brand has nothing to hide and that it cares about the wants and needs of its customers. Brands that build transparent relationships with shoppers can gain not only market share but also share of heart and mind.

2. Real-Time

As mobile device usage continues to skyrocket and there’s increased adoption of mobile pay, consumers expect the ability to make purchases at the exact time and place they’re ready to buy. Many brands already utilize multichannel marketing, which allows shoppers to choose between independent channels. But to be truly effective, brands must embrace omnichannel marketing. This nimble real-time approach integrates marketing across all channels. Consumers can shop through any channel at any time, and even use more than one sales channel per transaction. To appeal to even more consumers, give them what they’re looking for — instant, relevant information no matter where they are or what device they're using.

3. Personalization

Consumers not only want but expect a personalized shopping experience. To master this, brands must analyze customer-related data across every touchpoint in the shopping journey. Then they need to use it to add value, tailoring relevant content that connects with consumers and moves them forward in the purchase process. Consumers are providing personal information and expect brands to use it in a timely and relevant way. If brands offer value through personalization, it can be a powerful point of differentiation, increase profit margins and strengthen customer loyalty.

4. Experience

Consumers are looking for a consistent brand experience, whether they’re shopping online or in the store. Once you fully understand the relationship between the different touchpoints, it's important to create a seamless, consumer-friendly shopping experience that leads to a sale in any channel. To make that happen, it’s necessary to take a close look at how your teams are set up and make sure they support shopping behavior across all channels. For most brands, this means breaking down the mobile, online and in-store marketing silos to create one collaborative team so that the information consumers learn in one touchpoint is validated in another. When mobile, online and in-store marketing become one entity, it can focus on supporting the brand as a whole to deliver the best customer experience and sales.

Consumers and buying trends are speaking volumes. Get to know who your customers are and what propels them to shop online and in-store. By focusing on shoppers’ wants and needs, you can create a seamless and integrated shopping experience that's more likely to drive sales across your organization.