Holiday Shopping Trends: AI and Today’s New Consumer

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and it is likely you are doing things differently this year. According to the latest research, most of us have changed our shopping habits. For instance, we are doing our holiday shopping earlier than ever before.

Online shopping is the main reason, as it continues to offer convenience, a broad selection, and good prices. Online shopping has become the great enabler to allow instant gratification from purchase to delivery. It allows us to literally find and buy virtually every product sold in the world in seconds.

Online shopping has not only changed how we shop, but also how we discover the items we choose to buy, with most of us searching, discovering, sharing with friends, and even engaging with brands and businesses, to find just the right products to fulfill desires.

So, just what is driving our rewarding online shopping experiences? Artificial intelligence, of course. Commonly known as AI, it enables digital marketing tools that make our online shopping journey educational, interactive and rewarding. From chatbots to personalized promotions to social commerce experiences, AI will have a significant impact on our holiday shopping and purchasing decisions in 2023.

Our retail experience is being transformed by digital technology and this is changing consumer behavior and our shopping habits. At Gustie, we see a new consumer emerging. Today’s new consumer is tech savvy and expects a fruitful and rewarding shopping and buying experience anytime and anywhere, whether they are online, offline, or in the metaverse.

Here are some traits we’ve identified in today’s new consumer:

DEAL SEEKING The desire to have a money-saving strategy this holiday season will see many of us flocking to discount stores, saving money by going DIY (do it yourself), and buying second-hand merchandise. Holiday coupons, discounts and sales will delight the deal seeker in all of us.

DEMANDING We look for technology to accommodate our desire to buy a product in nearly every setting: on a brand’s website, on social media platforms, on videos, in person at events, in-store, and in the metaverse.

IMMEDIATE Holiday purchases will need to arrive quickly. Delivery of 5-7 business days is now shortened to next day, same day, or one-hour or less. It is not quick enough to go to a store to buy something. For those of us not willing to wait, BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) has become an important choice for our holiday shopping.

INFORMED Many of us use AI on our smartphones and devices to get directions or decide where to shop or eat. We want to know what stores are open and closed, what are the hours of operation, which products are out-of-stock, what are the BOPIS instructions, what are the delivery alternatives and return policies.

And, today’s new consumer likes to go out to shop in-store, so we can touch and feel products and learn details about services. We can discover gifts that are one of a kind and enjoy a personalized shopping experience.

Brick and mortar retailers can offer many advantages at this time of year. These advantages include highly curated products, personalized service, a helpful and knowledgeable staff, unique and memorable experiences, competitive prices, convenient hours of operation and a good return policy.

Brick and mortar retailers need to embrace online retailing and leverage AI to their advantage. Holiday shoppers expect retailers to use technology to improve their shopping experience, and brick and mortar retailers should make sure their website, online product pages and shopping apps are up-to-date and that all are easy to use, quick to load and make transactions fast to complete.

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