Your Coffee’s Not Even Cold, But I Just Switched Brands
As you think about the consumers who shop your brand online or in-store, how much do you think one bad experience with your brand impacts them?
In our 2016 Reality of Retail Survey, we asked shoppers about the impact of a negative experience.
The results were sobering…
- Only 27% of shoppers said they would give the store a second chance after a poor experience
- Only 15% of shoppers said they would give the brand or product a second chance after a poor experience
- Only 16% of shoppers said they would give an online store a second chance after a poor experience
What’s happening here? Is there no loyalty to brands or stores like there once was? Have shoppers lost their patience with anything that does not go their way?
It’s All About Me
We’re in an era where the shopper is very much in-charge of their own path to purchase. This is becoming more and more evident through cross-channel shopping trends. According to the same survey
- 72% of shoppers frequently research products online, then purchase in-store
- 40% if shoppers frequently research products in-store, then purchase online
It’s what we call MeCommerce—shoppers are calling the shots based on their needs, preferences and feelings. The result? Loyalty is not what it used to be. Shoppers will switch because they perceive it’s in their best interest to do so. And, because the “switching costs” of moving from one merchant to another is mostly non-existent for shoppers, the stakes for brands and retailers are higher than ever.
Choices, Choices, Choices
A large factor in all of this is the sheer number of choices available to today’s shoppers. Fifty years ago, local merchants in the closest mall, shopping center or high street represented where most of us shopped. And for many of us, these same merchants were the ones supporting our Little League teams and interacting with us socially.
Today, on the other hand, with physical or online stores on almost every corner, there may be hundreds of stores all carrying the same item.
What To Do?
First, brands and retailers must start moving towards real-time shopper insights, both online and in-store. It’s critical to be able to quickly spot and remedy bad experiences and problems. Bad experiences may happen, but the speed at which a brand or retailer corrects them may determine the negative impact which results. Mobile research offers a quick and inexpensive way to get insights into the shoppers’ experience along their entire path to purchase. And, retail analytics can finally offer both brands and retailers real-time insight in-store—where over 91% of all retail sales occur. Retail analytics measures shopper interactions with particular products, brand displays, store merchandising or store departments/ categories in-store, just like we can do online.
Second, brands and retailers have to focus on the shopper and their entire path to purchase. They have to think through and optimize shopper interactions with their store or brand along the entire path to purchase—making these interactions pleasant, frictionless and able to meet the customers expectations and needs whenever possible. It’s hard work, but this is another area that real-time shopper insights will greatly help as well.
With already well over 800 possible paths to purchase (Cisco), it’s critical that retailers and brands become more insight-driven and agile, both online and especially in-store, where the majority of all retail sales actually take place. Otherwise, as you’ve seen, shoppers aren’t afraid to make the switch.
Image Copyright: antonprado / 123RF Stock Photo