Thursday 12 March 2015

Five Pointers on Shopper Psychology

Meet Eve Reid, director of Metamorphosis, former Bubble speaker, and all-round visual retail expert. 

What Eve doesn't know about visual merchandising, branding and retail performance isn't worth knowing - and, when she offered to tell B&S more about the ten trends that will shape 2015's retail landscape, we grabbed our notebooks and settled down for a lesson in shopper psychology. Here are the first five; take it away, Eve!

5 Pointers on the Shopper Psychology that will shape the retail landscape this year: Part 1

1. Generational Crossover 

There are more than 20 million people over the age of 50 living in the UK today, yet retailers are still obsessively focused on young people. As we are down ageing, this new ageless society creates many trends that have impacted on the retail landscape. Consumers have been nostalgic for carefree childhoods and have found comfort in familiar pursuits and products from their youth. Plus, we have really started to appreciate being alive, leading to a
greater awareness that good health extends longevity and leads to a new way of life. In 2015, if you want to flourish you need to consider the generational crossover and the implications of this demographic shift.

2. Eve-olution

Women are the biggest market on earth but they are largely ignored because most of the world is run by men. Given that women buy 65% of cars and make 81% of financial decisions, this is retail suicide. In 2015, if you want to survive you need to understand how to market to women. You need to get women to join your brand by building lasting, meaningful relationships with them and recognising their needs, both personally and professionally.

3. Here, there and everywhere

Life is too fast paced, we have too little time and we have been forced to assume multiple roles. In 2015 we are still leading increasingly hectic lives, but a significant amount of people are cashing out – questioning personal and career satisfaction and goals, and opting for simpler living. This has impacted on the way we shop – we are looking for easier ways. Retailers need to give customers the ability to interact and complete transactions on their terms. If a customer wants to view an item online, purchase it using their phone and
return it by dropping it in store, they should be able to do so in a smooth and seamless way. In 2015 retailers must understand the new role of physical channels and adjust store sizes, layouts, assortments, fixture arrangement and entertainment factors accordingly to deliver the brand experience.

4. Experience, not product

Consumers are looking for something new and exciting. This coupled by the fact that a significant number of (lucky) people have got all the stuff they need, in 2015 consumers will be looking out for experiences not product, and research suggests that this is especially true for women. This trend has had a big impact on the retail landscape. We have started to see very blurred lines; bookshops now sell coffee, supermarkets now sell loans, water companies now sell gas, Ralph Lauren even sells white paint. But how far can you stretch a brand these days before it snaps? This trend really works when retailers effectively show their values and specialism through a service or activity that engages customers and makes their life nicer, easier or richer. The Adidas Runbase in Tokyo is a great example. It has been designed to accommodate lockers and a shower room so that runners can drop into the base, rent a locker and then have a shower after their run.

5. Luxury Vs Commodity 

The past years have led stressed-out consumers to indulge in affordable luxuries as a way of rewarding themselves. Now, thanks to incredibly clever marketing, luxury is moving fast towards commoditisation. It is our expectations as a society that have led us to act as if we should all have and do — regardless of income — what was once reserved for the rich. What started out as a rare luxury for the wealthy is slipping quickly into an affluent commodity. 

As a moving target, luxury requires a quick response. You need to move away from mainstream; nothing says luxury better than custom made. Chances are, there is a story to your product – who makes it, the process they go through, where it is made — and that story has value. Each of these elements will give your product a distinction.

To read Eve's final five pointers on shopper psychology in 2015 - along with more information on how you can sign up to her one day retail school master-class at a specially discounted rate - click here

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