Shop When You Want

There are many shifts in retail shopping patterns which are happening. Consumers are shopping more online than ever before. The National Retail Federation predicts that over half of all holiday shopping will be done online this year. We also know that up to 81% of customers preview a retailer’s assortment online before they visit the physical store. The rising trend that retailers need to deal with is that more customers want to shop when they need to instead of waiting for the next sale event assigned by the retailer.

Retailers who survive on coupon programs, ‘one day’ sales and weekend events have to evolve. As we move forward, when consumers need to buy something on Tuesday or they only have time to shop on Wednesday, they need to get a competitive price or they might not buy it. According to Gallup, 9% of customers are showrooming which means they are comparing prices online while they are in a store. In fact, 6% of customers actually buy it online while they are in the brick and mortar.

However, customers still want to feel like they are getting a deal. Customers want to use coupons and 1 in 4 will use a mobile coupon. The solutions are challenged by the FTC regulation that items can’t be one sale for the same price every day. We know that ‘everyday pricing’ doesn’t work for most retailers since Ron Johnson miserably failed at JCPenney.

What are the solutions? I think Reward and Loyalty Programs can be a key to connect. 84 percent of consumers say they are more likely to visit the website of a retailer with a loyalty program. Rewarding the loyalists can help increase sales. I also think Content Marketing which provides information to improve their lifestyle is another way to connect. Building a relationship with customers is increasing important.

Overall, brands and retailers have to learn how to be part of their customer’s everyday lives. They need to talk with them about what is going on when it is relevant to them. They shouldn’t talk to them about when they should shop. In 2016, when customers feel like a brand or retailer is a rewarding part of their lives, they will shop with them when they want.