Consumer Shopping Habits May Have Forever Changed
Retailers are adapting to new consumer shopping habits to shore up online sales and maximize the brick-and-mortar experience.
During the pandemic, online shopping saved many retailers. When brick-and-mortar stores shuttered because of COVID-19, consumers shifted their shopping needs to online websites.
“Online marketplaces, such as Amazon, benefited from new consumer shopping trends,” said Mitch Gould, founder and CEO of Nutritional Products International, a global brand management firm based in Boca Raton, Fl. “Internetretailing.net recently reported that 51 percent of all retail sales in 2021 came from online purchases.”
Gould said product manufacturers need to double their efforts to reach consumers online.
Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s “Future Shopper Report 2021 recently surveyed 28,000 shoppers in 17 countries, which revealed some intriguing insights:
- 73 percent of all shoppers consider e-commerce important to them in 2021
- 42 percent went to marketplaces, such as Amazon
- 64 percent are looking forward to buying everything through one retailer or marketplace in the future.
“We knew before the pandemic that retailers needed a robust e-commerce presence,” Gould said. “COVID-19 jammed years of increased online sales into 18 months, and it doesn’t look like this trend will change.
Forty-eight percent of consumers now want faster delivery, and 30 percent expecting purchases delivered within 24 hours.
The emphasis on fast delivery can be attributed to Amazon, which pioneered next-day and same-day delivery.
As more consumers emphasize delivery times, savvy retailers, such as Target and Walmart, benefit from these new consumer shopping habits.
Walmart is leveraging its 4,900 brick-and-mortar stores to compete with Amazon.
“We are seeing retailers, such as Walmart and Target, reinvent themselves to offer the services that consumers want,” Gould said. “They have added same-day delivery and pickup by turning their physical locations into mini-warehouses.”
The new strategies seem to be working.
Target saw digital sales increase 50 percent in the first quarter of 2021 while same-day services, such as order pickup and curbside delivery, spiked 90 percent. Walmart’s digital sales fueled its 8.6 percent increase in revenue to $134.6 billion.
Although online purchases have slowed as the economy reopened, data firm Springboard reported that nearly 60 percent of the people surveyed now purchase at least 50 percent of their non-food items online.
At NPI, Gould said his retail team has increased its efforts to place clients’ products with online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target, and health and wellness boutique e-commerce websites, such as OneLavi.com and VitaBeauti.com.
It is not surprising that Gould and NPI quickly adapted to online trends.
In the early 2000s, Gould realized the importance of e-commerce sites when Amazon started its health and wellness category.
“At the time, Amazon was primarily selling books and electronics,” Gould said. “When they announced a new health and wellness category, I used my contacts in the industry to place more than 100 brands and even more products on Amazon’s virtual shelves.”
Gould’s experience with Amazon taught him early that online sales would transform the retail landscape.
NPI focuses mainly on domestic and international health and wellness product manufacturers that plan to enter or expand their distribution in the U.S.
“The CEOs and owners of brands that I talk to understand that consumer habits may have changed permanently because of the pandemic, which is why we have increased our focus on digital sales,” Gould said.
“With my ‘Evolution of Distribution’ platform that I created, NPI becomes the strategic partner that product manufacturers need to enter the U.S. market,” he said. “We essentially become their U.S. headquarters by providing sales and support staff, regulatory expertise, and marketing services that emphasize speed to market at an affordable cost.”
Gould said NPI “imports, distributes and promotes” the new health and wellness products that its clients launch in the U.S.
To achieve success, NPI uses a two-prong outreach approach to retailers.
“We are constantly adding products to Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other online retailers,” Gould said. “But we also introduce these products to retail buyers throughout the year by attending ECRM events.”
ECRM events bring buyers and brands with new products together for private one-on-one meetings. Buyers attending the ECRM event represent regional and national food, drug and mass health chains.
“NPI’s interaction with product manufacturers and retailers provides insight into the consumer goods industry,” Gould said. “The knowledge we gain enables us to create new strategies to help launch products.”
For more information, visit Nutritional Products International online.
MORE ON NPI AND ITS FOUNDER
NPI is a privately-held company specializing in the retail distribution of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, functional beverages, and skincare products. NPI offers a unique, proven approach for product manufacturers worldwide seeking to launch or expand their products’ distribution in the U.S. retail market.
Mitch Gould, founder and CEO of NPI, is a third-generation retail distribution and manufacturing professional. Gould developed the “Evolution of Distribution” platform, which provides domestic and international product manufacturers with the sales, marketing, and product distribution expertise required to succeed in the world’s largest market — the United States. Gould, known as a global marketing guru, also has represented icons from the sports and entertainment worlds such as Steven Seagal, Hulk Hogan, Ronnie Coleman, Roberto Clemente Jr., Chuck Liddell, and Wayne Gretzky.