The economy may be struggling, but consumers still want the convenience of eCommerce and tech-enabled shopping.
From sneakers to cars to groceries, consumers showed us again this week that they now expect — and value — digital convenience and flexibility, recession be damned.
In fact, the latest PYMNTS study “How the World is Digitizing: Different Paths to Digital Transformation,” the Q3 2022 PYMNTS ConnectedEconomy™ Index, based on surveys of more than 30,000 people in 11 countries, finds that overall digital transformation has increased by 7% in the United States in Q3.
D2C Boost by Nike
Take, for example, shoe brand Nike, which reported its second-quarter financial results on Tuesday (Dec. 20), citing 34% digital growth driven by its 160 million active members. These members are not only more involved with the brand than non-members but also make up more than half of the store’s demand.
“Our digital growth I think is a function of having the best apps in the industry,” Nike CEO John Donahoe told analysts on a call accompanying the earnings announcement. “We are on the home screen of people’s cell phones [devices]which is rare and valuable real estate, and we have a really clean experience across all of our apps and digital, including Nike.com.”
As reported on the earnings call, Nike Direct, the direct-to-consumer product business, grew 30% on a revenue basis. This direct relationship is key to the brand’s future growth strategy, although Nike doesn’t really want to mess with its retail customers.
“With a consumer base that comes directly to our apps, our website, and our owned and partnered stores, we, and our partners, are in a position to control our future,” Donahoe said.
For CarMax, Digital Is the Bright Spot of a Disappointing Quarter
While CarMax may have come under fire, reporting an 86% drop in profit and a 22% drop in used car sales in its Q3 earnings results on Thursday (Dec. 22), its growing digital operations have been one point of hope. The company’s end-to-end digital offering, which provides connected tools for car buying, selling, financing and maintenance, has seen increased adoption and customer satisfaction.
“Our research shows that customers love this experience when they use it and it will enable us to lower our costs over time,” said CarMax President and CEO Bill Nash on a call with analysts, noting that online digital financing tools will be used more physically. locations, and enhancements such as customer self-checkout and other self-improvement tools.
At the same time, we saw further evidence that consumers are increasingly expecting digital convenience not only on their mobile devices or computers but also in physical stores. As such, tech-powered self-service check-out experiences are becoming mainstream both in popular forms such as self-scanning kiosks and seamless digital developments such as cashierless checkouts.
For example, grocery chain Weis Markets, which operates about 200 stores across seven East Coast regions, announced Monday (Dec. 19) that it will use Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions’ Elera platform across the chain in an effort to improve self-shopping capabilities, and more point of sale (POS) development.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s Just Walk Out low-cost technology continues to grow, not only expanding its reach to include non-Amazon-owned glasses but also finding space at live event venues. Recently, Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center, home to live music shows, sporting events and more, announced the opening of a small format store using Just Walk Out checkout titled 816 Market.
After all, with the rise of eCommerce, consumers are no longer satisfied with the hassle of waiting in a long line. Whether it’s sneakers, cars, groceries or any other good thing we buy at sotres, for today’s consumers, it’s becoming a matter of digitally integrated commerce or bust.