Monday, November 22

Challenging Retail: Post-Recession Consumers Want More

Changing RetailAccording to a new study released by Leo Burnett's marketing services division, post-recession Americans will be high maintenance, promiscuous, and much more demanding. They want innovative and engaging experiences. They want to identify with the companies that make the products they buy. And retailers have more work to do before they can meet these new expectations.

"The recession has forever changed people's mindset about shopping," said Dr. Alan Treadgold, head of retail strategy at Leo Burnett Worldwide. "People have developed new rules for retailers. As a result, retailers must understand the changed role they play in people's lives and meet their expectations to maintain customer loyalty."

Highlights From The Study Released By Leo Burnett.

1. Technology Doesn't Replace Experience. While retailers see in-store technologies as a better way to connect with their customers, customers prefer a human connection (especially when they visit a store). In fact, the study suggests that an over reliance on technology can damage an already fragile relationship.

2. Shoppers Are Promiscuous. With increasing frequency, shoppers will shop around. Loyalty is becoming one of the hardest earned assets of a retailer. More than ever before, the retailers who earn loyalty will have a greater understanding of the expectations they set and their ability to deliver on their expectations.

3. Price Is Only An Invitation. Consumers are no longer willing to trade quality, innovation, and a positive experience for a low price. The low price gimmicks and discounts may introduce them to a product or service, but it will not keep them coming back.

4. Break The Rules. Customers are not satisfied with the status quo. When two stores compete for their attention, they will almost always choose the one that breaks out of category conventions and delivers a unique experience.

5. Some Basics Are Expected. If the basics — customer appeal, retention, and, profitability — aren't right, the customer will automatically pass you by. They no longer have patience for retailers who don't meet the most basic expectations, including such things are long checkout lines or unfriendly and hurried staff.

Leo Burnett has made the white paper, Reimagining The Retail Store: The Shopper's Perspective, available online at the Leo Lens. The comprehensive study provides some interesting insights beneficial for online and offline retailers.
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