Retail Lab Tips and Advice

The Definitive Guide: How to Understand the New retail consumer

16 May 2021 / per Cerdá Group

Over the years, consumer spending patterns have changed, and as a result, many business owners have had to adapt to the change or risk going obsolete. Why is this the case? Here we will talk about that in a bit of detail. 

Why has this new consumer behaviour appeared?

The biggest influencing factor is globalization. In the last few decades, free trade and the rising e-commerce industry have guided customer habits. The number of products available to customers has increased, and we are now seeing businesses like Amazon and Alibaba dominating the market. The vast majority of new consumers have shifted to these two websites to purchase goods. The two marketplaces allow customers to order from another corner of the world, and the product reaches them within days. There is no need to visit the nearest store and compare prices when you are getting the same product or something better at your doorstep. 

Access to a world of goods has also made modern customers an impulsive buyer. Nowadays, buying a product is as easy as clicking a link and paying through your card at checkout. You don't have to be physically present at the store, and there is no need to stand in line. If the product is available, it is delivered to you hassle-free. The comfort of shopping from home has allowed the new consumer to spend more than usual

Another reason for a change in new consumer behaviour is the rise in contact-free deliveries. Several people are uneasy about going to crowded places, many of them have social anxiety, and some are unable to visit the marketplace due to a physical disability. The modern world has made shopping much easier and convenient. Consumers prefer buying groceries and everyday items through an e-commerce website rather than going to the store themselves. 

So, it's easy to see that widespread access to the internet, globalization and the e-commerce industry have led to a drastic change in consumer behaviour.         


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Who is this new consumer?

The new consumer enjoys staying at home. He/she is not interested in social interaction or going to crowded places. They prefer ordering food, clothes, gadgets and even medicine to their home. It is easy, hassle-free and convenient. 

If you look closely, the new consumer prefers to spend more of his income on necessary items. A report conducted by Selligent suggests that in the past few years 60% of consumers are focusing on buying essential goods. The study further implores that around 29% of people believe that their spending habits have changed considerably. 

In such an environment, businesses must improvise and create opportunities to cater to the needs of the new consumer. If you were a brand that depended on heavy footfall in your store, you should think about investing in a website, mobile application, and delivery fleet. Times have changed, and so should you.  


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Techniques to Help You Truly Understand these new ways of consumption 

Business failure is often a result of you not understanding customer needs. Here we have a few techniques that you can apply to gain an understanding of your consumers. 

Direct Costumer Engagement

The best way to know what the customer wants is to ask them. We often underestimate the power of one-on-one customer engagement. That's where you, as a store owner/manager, come into play. Always look to satisfy your customers and look for ways to improve their experience. The feedback you get can later be applied to your business, resulting in subtle improvements that enhance the overall buying experience.

Anticipate the Change 

Being a business owner, you are also part of the market. You already have an idea of what's going on in the consumer's head. The sooner you apply that knowledge to your brand, the faster you will see results. The average consumer likes businesses that adapt to spontaneous change, and if you are that company, then you are in for a treat. 

Work the Data 

The data never lies. That is a fact that many companies have come to realize in the past few years. You can spot consumer spending patterns from the data on your website, or you can buy the data from other companies. Facebook and Google are leading data collecting websites that use your habits and likes to display the right ads on your screen. They also sell their data, so you have that path if you choose to take it. 

There’s always goint to be a new consumer, innovations and changes. The only way to ensure success is to have a customer driven business and an open mind. Being able to adapt is what makes evolution move forward. Trust Cerdá and start growing your business knwoing better the new consumer behaviour!


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