With big retailers complaining of loss of profit this winter season, media outlets also report on customers’ spending less for Christmas. Everywhere around shopping centres and high streets we notice sales popping out already. What is causing these changes though? The way costumers spend their money plays an important role.
Economy analysis, as reported on by the media, from BBC News to The Guardian, point out to pre-Christmas changes. The entire retail sector seems more volatile due to a number of factors. This year, Black Friday sales extended to a couple of weeks rather than just a weekend. Also, big retailers, in store or online, already started big discounts.
Customers research more and buy less
Among the factors contributing to changes, one plays a major role across business in general. Nowadays customers seem to think better and spend less. This could sound negative, but let us give it some thought. While brands might lose profit, they need to also get clever in bringing consumers in and keeping them in. And when customers keep informed and compare prices and quality, they will not allow to be tricked by flashy tactics.
In other words, customers today demand quality, efficiency and, above all, value.
Businesses need to understand this and update their strategies, or risk decline.
Today’s consumer is digital savvy and buys online
Digital development enables companies, be them high street established brands or online sellers, to reach people a lot faster. However, this also means shoppers can do a lot more research, and a lot quicker.
Let’s say you ran some errands in a part of the city you don’t know very well. It’s lunchtime and you want to find a cafe to have a quick meal. At a quick search, you find a few such cafes around, all with reviews, rating and ranking on the search page. It takes only a few minutes to compare them and make a choice.
When it comes to buying Christmas presents or clothes for that family meal, shopping online gives customers that extra time to invest in comparing prices and products. Rather than running in town for 3-4 hours, drive there and back, they spend 1-2 hours with online research. It gives them the advantage of comparing prices, products features and reviews, all on one screen.
As average incomes have dropped, people have become more cautious with the way they spend their money. For businesses, it means they need to adapt, be clever, reach customers where they are, and up their game generally with competition fiercer than ever.