The New Post-Purchase Shopping Experience

It is no secret that the shopping experience is changing with the rise of smartphones and tablets. According to Harvard Business Review, the mobile transformation is affecting the whole shopping cycle from start to finish. This article is the last in a six-part series on retail trends in advance of the 2014 National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention being held next week in New York.

Everybody loves to show off their latest purchases, especially if they think they’ve discovered the coolest new fashion must-have or gadget. And there is no reason wait. Smartphone cameras and videos have expanded the “post-purchase” shopping experience in a variety of ways.

Social sites such as Pinterest are popular tools for consumers to share their proudest items with peers. In fact, the number of Pinterest visitors nearly tripled between 2011 and 2012. Using a smartphone camera to capture their favorite finds, visitors can then “pin” those pictures to personalized boards they create on the website for their friends and family to see. Wanelo and Fancy, which link directly to retailers’ products on websites, also allow shoppers to pin their prized purchases and wish list items.

Shoppers can also use their smartphones to post pictures on business and product review blogs and websites. For example, Yelp, an online review community, now allows Yelpers to upload images to their reviews of local businesses. So, a customer who has a positive experience at a boutique or new hair salon can easily upload an image of his or her new outfit or hairdo.

What about the techies who love showing how their new devices work? Or the person obsessed with explaining every detail about their new product? Their smartphone’s video feature can help them create instructional product videos they can post to YouTube or other video platforms. Not only are these homegrown videos fun to produce, they also can be helpful for those who don’t understand how certain products or devices work.

Whether it’s the shopping fanatic who enjoys sharing their latest finds with friends or the device expert who loves giving quick tutorials, smartphone cameras and videos can make the post-purchase experience resonate like never before.

This article is part of a series on retail trends in advance of the 2014 National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention being held in New York.