Understanding the evolution of convenience at Shoptalk 2023

28 mar 2023

Louise Taylor

The word "convenience" has come up a lot at Shoptalk 2023. We used to associate convenience with easy access to everyday items in a physical store. Then it was about longer opening hours. More recently, convenience has been about 15-minute grocery deliveries. Now, convenience is evolving further.

Meeting customers where they are

Stephanie Kruse Curley, Group VP of Digital Commerce at Walgreens, spoke at Shoptalk about meeting the needs of customers by meeting them where they are. These days, shoppers are more likely to turn to social media than a cookbook when it comes to finding recipe inspiration.

"The relationship between a shopper and retailer is far less direct than it used to be," comments Erik Wallin, CEO and Co-founder of Northfork." Food blogs, social media sites, online magazine articles... shoppers find their recipe inspiration online. So if we're focusing on convenience, that's where we need to meet them."

Northfork's third-party integrations are certainly helping. They can connect consumers with retailers via third-party sites, in a way that benefits all three. Delivering shoppable recipes for influencer Half Baked Harvest is a prime example of this. The consumer enjoys the convenience of being met at their point of inspiration with a seamless, easy-to-use solution for procuring the recipe ingredients - along with anything else they feel inspired to add.

Test, launch, iterate

Another common Shoptalk theme has been the deployment of new tech to meet customers' evolving needs. Companies in all areas of retail are testing, launching and iterating at pace. Pinterest, for example, is leaning into shoppable collages for clothing because it wants to make it easier for its audience to take action. Shoppable recipes are another great way to engage with users and move them from consideration to purchase - and one that's easily achievable with today's tech.

"As customers' needs evolve, so must retailers' response to those needs," concludes Northfork's Erik Wallin. "There is a question about adding value at the heart of all this. How can retailers add value for their customers when it comes to convenience? That's where the real evolution now lies."