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Retail Revolution

By Retail Technology | Wednesday February 22 2023 | UPDATED 23.02.23

Lee Hart, co-founder of Stored, explains how to unlock untapped revenue in the “Save-For-Later” economy

With rising concerns around the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are now increasingly conscious of their spending habits.  Purchases previously made on impulse are now often delayed, resulting in new challenges for retailers.  Unlocking the “save-for-later” economy has never been more important.

More than a quarter of sales are derived from online retail where impulse purchases are less frequent than in-store, The revenue potential of online customers who are saving for later is a truly exciting prospect.

Contemporary threats to retail profits

Consumer journeys today are not linear. In fact, they’re chaotic, with most consumers bouncing between multiple channels when browsing, including both in-store and online retail. These complex journeys often mean that consumers start their search with one retailer and, ultimately, complete their purchase with another. 

But retail channels are optimised for immediate conversion.  They focus on consumers looking to buy now, while missing opportunities to target those with purchasing intent but who want to complete their purchase later or via another channel.

At Stored, we recently conducted a consumer survey and found that 98% of consumers save items for later - by taking pictures in-store, taking screenshots, and retaining open online shopping tabs, or saving and sharing links. 

This means the sales potential from “save-for-later” activity is huge.  But, unfortunately, most of it is out of sight for retailers, leaving them unable to see what consumers really want or effectively nudge them through to purchase.

Unlocking and profiting from the Save-for-Later Economy

Happily, there’s a new and highly effective way for retailers to access the untapped revenue in the save-for-later economy.  The integration of an omni-commerce platform linking physical and digital channels unlocks new data pools for retailers to target interested customers who aren't yet ready to purchase.  This brings outstanding new prospects for growth and a reduced cost of acquisition. 

For example, the data available to retailers partnered with Stored brings opportunities for product-level retargeting without the need for third-party cookies; which are unlikely to be an option beyond 2023, due to Google Chrome (used by 2 out of 3 people) announcing that it will stop using them by the end of the year. 

When a potential customer saves an item to their wish list in Stored, communications can be tailored around that specific product, instantly boosting the chances of conversion compared to generic marketing of unrelated, or even similar, items. This begins to chip away at that currently untapped potential .

Targeting those already engaged in saving products for later with personalised marketing, informed by wish list data, also keeps the retailer top of mind for consumers.  This makes them less likely to source the same or similar item elsewhere. The result can be a radical change in current consumer journey patterns, which sees 92% of consumers buying, frequently or occasionally, from a different source from where their search began.

What’s more, this insight into the items that consumers have viewed and saved through Stored provides new data for both marketing and product development strategies, based on demographic and geographic factors. This opens up huge possibilities for expanding both existing and future revenue streams with on-trend, consumer-led product offers, all from organic target market feedback.

To harness the full potential of omnichannel shopping, retailers need to tackle the issue of leaking revenue by integrating their in-store and online channels. 

In regard to in-store retail, the nature of the save-for-later economy means shoppers are often failing to return to the store to complete a purchase, or worse still are buying from an alternative retailer when the time is right. Mobile app technology creates a cohesive user experience between physical and digital, allowing consumers to add items to their digital wish list, where they can later purchase online, by scanning barcodes or QR codes in-store.

This not only increases the probability of the consumer picking up the same buying journey and purchasing the item from the same retailer later, but also provides the required data for specific marketing activity to convert that consumer directly. Making this technology accessible to all retailers is a revolutionary step for the retail industry, joining up the in-store and online customer journeys and giving the retailer powerful new opportunities to maximise sales conversion.

The call for revolution

At Stored, we've been working with retail legend and founder of All Saints, Stuart Trevor, who recently joined us as an advisor. 

Having experienced the challenges discussed here first-hand, Stuart instantly understood the size of opportunity the save-for-later economy holds: “As a retailer, I’ve known for years that consumers are taking pictures of things in my stores or saving screenshots online, which they use as reminders or to share with their friends and family. But I also knew they were doing it in systems which I had no visibility of or influence over.” 

To Trevor’s point, it will be vital for retailers to adapt and tap into these consumer behaviours as the cost-of-living crisis affects overall spending levels. At the same time, the pressure on the  retail sector to adapt to keep up with digital developments will continue to rise. 

Retailers can address both these challenges by taking advantage of innovative technologies that access the vast levels of  untapped revenue amongst the 98% of consumers who “save for later”.

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