IBM Study Shows Growing Proportion of Consumers Embracing Hybrid Buying

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It’s the age-old question advertisers ask: how do I ensure the brand is placed in the right place at the right time to successfully engage our target audience throughout the customer journey? Discussing this loaded topic with Retail Refined Host, Melissa GonzalezEast Karl Hallerpartner of the consumer competence center of IBM.

A major player launches an omnichannel business strategy that places the touchpoints needed to reach a target audience when and where they choose.

A key word in this approach is strategy, and that’s what consumers are seeing today in this new hybrid world. For example, according to a IBM Global Study 2022 out of 20,000 consumers, the grocery store has seen a big shift in behavior in the hybrid realm, given that it was virtually non-existent before the pandemic. Haller explained, “27% buy primarily hybrid in all [product] categories, but grocery is 20%, and two years ago…you really couldn’t do that outside of test markets.

Consumers have spoken and one in four prefer to buy hybrid, which makes the technology even more important.

Another factor in enforcing brand placement is, of course, technology. While retailers have already made cross-channel shopping easier, the next step is to streamline and then eventually personalize the experience. However these goals are achieved, it is evident that in today’s world, the need to think more holistically is vital.

So what does the future hold for us? According to Haller, there is something to be excited about, such as improving technology for employees, AI continues to improve all other technologies, the growth of blockchain and extended reality, and a use of 5G or edge computing.

For IBM, they are working on an exciting “sandbox” of a store operating platform called IBM Hybrid Cloud for Retail which will be used as an event streaming and retail data exchange engine that uses AI and analytics – and this “capability set” can then be delivered to any device.

What path does Haller think the world will take, in terms of futuristic films between Star Trek, The Matrix or Minority Report?

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