NRF: Consumers Buy On Their Own Terms
A new IBM survey of more than 30,000 consumers released at this
National Retail Federation convention shows that consumers are optimistic about
the future and willing to spend. They are also more selective about their expenditures
and require more personalized service from retailers where they choose to spend
their hard-earned dollars.
Just off a major recession that changed many of their
habits, shoppers are still looking to buy just what they need, find items on
sale and delay purchases.
With this “new reality,” retailers,
according to IBM, need to:
- Listen – Interact with consumers via social media such as
Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, and product review sites.
- Know – Make sure the shopper gets a personalized shopping
experience by offering them promotions on items they buy often and remember
preferred payment and receipt types.
- Empower – Enable seamless shopping across channels, and let
consumers decide how to interact with them.
Not surprisingly, IBM sees that technology is part of the answer to personalized
- Forty percent of those surveyed want to check product prices in-store and
get promotions based on items they scan.
- Fifty percent will use a mobile device to skip the checkout lane.
- Forty-nine percent use two or more technologies (website, in-store kiosk,
mobile device, etc.) to shop, up from 36 percent from a year ago study.
Jill Puleri, IBM’s global industry retail executive said, “We’re
seeing consumers who are finally optimistic about the future. This new attitude,
however, doesn’t mean they’re rushing to stores and spending like
the pre-recession heyday.”
One of Ms. Puleri’s suggestions is that
sales associates be redefined as “service
associates” since shoppers said they don’t want to be sold to.
Presumably, retailers who go this route would need to be sure to back their
associate relabeling up with training and new technology.
- IBM Survey: Frugal, Yet Optimistic Shoppers Driving Smarter Retail Through
Technology and Mobility – IBM
Have we finally reached the point where innovative technology can markedly improve customer service and retailer loyalty? What retailer(s) are doing a great job of using technology to drive better service and loyalty?