The Shopper Habits That Should Be Informing Your Marketing Strategy
There’s little doubt that factors like technology are changing the retail landscape. However, there are also a few trends emerging around consumers and their shopping priorities that may leave retailers feeling surprised.
A recent study from RetailMeNot, in partnership with behavioral scientist Jon Levy, shows that consumer behavior has evolved and customers aren't always acting on the same habits that retail marketers have been messaging to in past years. This study unveils how retailers can better target customers by breaking down new shopping habits and insights.
Shopper Habits and Affinities
While we all have stereotypical ideas around which categories men and women are interested in, those assumptions may not be entirely accurate. We found that females make up a larger percentage of the online deal-seeking community, but consumers who indicated an affinity for men’s clothing shop at double the rate of those with an affinity for women’s clothing.
The study also found some additional unexpected behaviors and preferences. Among consumers most interested in shopping for pets and for children, those who selected the pets category were 22 times more likely to make a purchase than those who were interested in buying for children. There are a few factors that could explain this trend among pet owners, including a desire to save more on pet items or that pet-related shopping may typically occur in a single big-box retail location, yielding less browsing.
The Department Store Isn't Dead
Perhaps most surprising is that younger shoppers aren't eschewing department stores. In fact, one-third of all purchases made by millennials came from multicategory stores. Millennial priorities are also different from those of both Generation X and baby boomers. While the older two generations prioritized clothing, health and beauty, and home and garden, the younger generation ranks multicategory as its first shopping priority, followed by clothing, and health and beauty.
Retailers should not ignore the buying power of this younger generation. Stores that are actively trying to appeal to millennials are going to capture more of their loyalty. For example, Neiman Marcus has done this well through a partnership with Rent the Runway. The designer rental concept is now available in-store, which will attract new shoppers to Neiman Marcus. Additionally, Nordstrom has successfully caught the attention of a younger crowd through its use of pop-up stores and key influencers during its annual N anniversary sale. There remains plenty of additional opportunities to capture the attention of millennials during the upcoming holiday season.
Making the Ideal Offer
When it comes to deals and offers, retailers should have a specific timeline in mind — especially in the case of short-term deals. Peak success for most offers is between two days and four days for categories like food and entertainment, shoes, and teen clothing. Additionally, when retailers combine short-pulse promotions with longer promotional content, conversion increases threefold.
But what about using discounts to drive more sales or higher average order values? Based on thousands of shopper data insights, we can assert consumers don’t always do the math; on average, dollar-off deals result in orders with a higher order value. However, percentage-off promotions yielded more engagement and higher numbers of orders overall.
For retailers that want to increase the size of orders, this means dollar-off deals are the way to catch consumers’ attention. For those that want to increase the number of orders and the number of customers engaging with them, percentage-off deals are more effective.
By analyzing shopper and retail data in new ways, brands will be better suited to understand who is uniquely shopping and what influences their decision-making process. Looking for nuances in these insights also offers retailers a fresh look at how to best engage their audiences.
Marissa Tarleton is the chief marketing officer of RetailMeNot, a site offering coupons, promo codes, sales, cash-back offers, and gift card deals for thousands of stores and brands.