Consumer Trends That Every Brick-and-Mortar Brand Must Respond To
The shopper should set the agenda for your brand — always. Those brands that fall out of touch with consumer tastes become disconnected from those with the sole power to keep you profitable and relevant.
This is why Raydiant produced the State of Consumer Behavior 2022 report. By serving up actionable insights into what the consumer of today is thinking, we hope to reconnect brands with the typical shopper. What we found is that consumers are largely unified in what they want from brick-and-mortar shopping experiences.
As rising costs continue to hit both brands and shoppers, identifying consumers’ greatest demands serves everyone. Retailers can retain shoppers’ loyal business, even as discretionary spending declines. Shoppers, on the other hand, can receive the greatest bang for their buck by visiting stores that cater most closely to their wishes.
Among other wants, shoppers continue to place fair deals, memorable experiences, and product variety atop their wish lists. Here are the most pressing items that consumers are seeking from brick-and-mortar organizations in the remainder of 2022.
Item No. 1: Shoppers Want Memorable Experiences Baked Into Their Trips to the Store (or Restaurant)
The days of going to the featureless corner store for milk and sugar are long gone. Shoppers don’t just want products when they enter your stores, they want a full-fledged experience.
Consumers, and young consumers in particular, are gravitating towards experiential retail. Nontraditional ways of shopping, like pop-ups and in-store installations, are increasingly important to young consumers who crave cool, social experiences. This jibes with our finding that 77 percent of consumers believe in-store experiences are either “important” or “very important” when deciding where to shop.
Your store itself should be an experience. From the warm welcome of a store associate to the organization of products, presence of informative digital displays, and multiple checkout options, every step in the customer journey forms the in-store experience. But don’t be afraid to go further, especially in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.
Irish athleisure brand Gym + Coffee has made events, like its Great Run series and Summer Social, an integral feature of its brand. This sort of outside-the-box brand building helps make Gym + Coffee's stores more than just a destination for athletic gear — it makes them a veritable community.
This sort of innovative approach to retail is critical in a time when shoppers expect authentic experiences darn near every time they spend money.
Item No. 2: Shoppers Need Value
Perhaps you’ve heard: Shoppers’ discretionary budgets are shrinking at an alarming rate.
Nearly a quarter of respondents (24.8 percent), the largest group, said that “offering exclusive in-store discounts” is the surest way to coax them into a new store. Furthermore, 31.5 percent of respondents, also the largest segment for the respective question, said that “competitive prices” are the No. 1 factor in their decision of where to shop.
If we re-surveyed these shoppers today, these percentages would likely be even greater.
We understand that margins are thin, as shoppers often feel the same pain that retailers are experiencing themselves. That said, findings suggest that many organizations have enough fiscal breathing room to help consumers out. Organizations seeking a new competitive edge, and to gain the loyalty of the most hard-up shoppers, should consider where they can deliver savings.
Item No. 3: Shoppers (Just) Want to Have Fun
Shoppers are less likely to splurge when they enter your stores. And, as much as inflation has eroded the average household’s disposable income, brick-and-mortar retailers would be wise to accept that the average consumer will spend less in the future.
Even before the pandemic and the recent spell of inflation, millennials were spending less money than their parents, and their parents’ parents. The reason, according to the Fed: millennials make less money than their parents.
You can only lower prices so much. One key selling point to attract cash-limited shoppers, then, is fun. When we asked consumers how retailers can get them into their stores, 21.7 percent of respondents said that “experiences aimed at generating fun” are alluring. This was the second most frequent response, behind only a desire for discounts.
Amidst a barrage of grim news stories and lighter wallets, shoppers really do want — scratch that — need to have fun.
Even if young shoppers don’t spend as much in your stores per capita, their willingness to share socially makes them unpaid marketers for your brand. Prioritizing their desire for fun in-store experiences could, in this sense, be cost-effective viral marketing for your organization.
Brand loyalty is waning, and many shoppers see one brand as interchangeable with the next. Differentiating your brand is invaluable, if not essential to long-term success. If a customer sees your brand as different in some positive way, then you may become the first choice amidst a sea of competitors.
We know that consumers today rank value, experiences and fun at or near the top of their priority lists when shopping. When developing your strategy for the remainder of the year and beyond, keep these consumer priorities in mind. Pleasing the consumer is, after all, the surest way to win new business, create repeat customers, and position your organization for longevity.
Bobby Marmahat is the CEO of Raydiant, a digital signage and in-store experience solutions provider.
Bobby Marhamat is the CEO of Raydiant Screen Signage, a digital signage provider that helps businesses turn their TVs into interactive signs that drive sales, improve the in-store experience, and reinforce brand messaging. Prior to joining Raydiant, Bobby served as the COO of Revel Systems where he worked on the front lines with over 25,000 brick and mortar retailers. Bobby has held leadership positions including CEO, CRO, and VP of Sales at companies such as Highfive, Limos.com, EVO2, Verizon Wireless, LookSmart, ServerPlex Networks, and Sprint/Nextel. When Bobby's not spending his time thinking about the future of brick and mortar retail, you can find him traveling, reading, or tending to his vegetable garden.