Customer Experience Round-Up: December 9

Changes in how consumers live and shop mean that companies need to constantly be innovating to stay ahead of trends and concerns. Just because something worked a few years or decades ago doesn’t mean it will still resonate with customers. This week we saw three stories that show how changing customer demands are impacting industries and the innovation and issues that arise with change.

More People Prefer Concerts To Sports

Sports may have once been the preferred spectator event, but modern consumers seem to be bucking the trend. The Wall Street Journal reports that millennials and younger generations are attending more concerts and fewer sporting events. Many sports arenas try to keep their schedules open so they can schedule concerts instead of games, especially for newer arenas without a dedicated major league team. A home sports team delivers a reliable stream of income, but most arenas find the real crowds and money come from concerts. The live music industry is expected to be worth $38 billion a year by 2030.

Millennials prefer to spend money on experiences over things, so it’s no surprise that live music concerts have seen tremendous growth recently. The success of concerts coming at the expense of sports is due to a number of trends, including the immersive music experience, the singularity of a concert versus a multi-game sports season and the chance to attend something shareable that looks great on social media. This trend will likely continue and lead to changing experiences that are tailored to younger generations.

Rent The Runway Partners With W Hotels For Concierge Service

Rent the Runway was a pioneer for experiential retail, and now it’s taking things a step further with its new Closet Concierge service. By partnering with W Hotels, customers can now rent outfits and have them waiting in their hotel rooms when they check in. The move simplifies traveling and packing for many customers and adds a VIP element to the typical shopping experience. Customers can choose from a selection of outfits from the hottest designers that are fit their destination with this experience-based service that breaks down retail walls.

The new partnership ticks off numerous boxes that appeal to modern customers: simplicity when traveling, personalization with outfits that match their style and a VIP experience of having designer clothing waiting in their rooms. Instead of visiting multiple stores to find the right outfits for a trip and then having to pack them, customers now have access to a simplified solution. Other retailers will likely also release programs that take great service outside the store or website and into the real world.

Holiday Shopping Leads To Recycling Woes

The growth of online holiday shopping means convenience for shoppers but problems for recyclers. Experts call it the “Amazon effect” as packaging from online shipments leads to a huge increase in cardboard waste at a time when recycling centers are shutting down or can’t handle the increased load. Many consumers mix their recycled goods, which can contaminate cardboard so that it can’t be recycled. The result, especially after record-setting online shopping days, is cardboard being put in landfills because recyclers can’t keep up.

Sustainability is a huge issue for all companies, but especially in the e-commerce space. Packaging from online retailers is one of the largest contributors to waste, especially as many retailers don’t use materials that can be recycled or composted. A shifting trash landscape, including changes to what trash China will accept from the U.S., has left recycling companies scrambling for a solution. Retailers need to step up to offer more sustainable packaging solutions for customers so that landfills don’t get overrun with cardboard and other packaging.

Modern customers want great experiences, convenient solutions and sustainable options. These stories show that successful brands stay ahead of trends and innovate before the changes become larger issues.

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