Retail Marketing|Thought Leadership|Trends|

Despite supply chain and other problems, retailers must maintain an elevated customer-centric approach, including digital experience.

Maybe the Greek philosopher Heraclitus doubled as a retailer. His famous quote “the only constant in life is change” definitely seems to describe the retail sector. As if retailers hadn’t faced enough adversity from the Great Recession through the advent of e-commerce, they’ve gone head on with a global pandemic the past couple of years and now are dealing with its aftermath.

Brand loyalty is falling victim to resulting supply chain adversity and high inflation, directly impacting consumer habits and preferences. As a result, 79% of people say they would purchase the next best option if their favorite brands are sold out or in low supply, according to a survey by shopping rewards app Shopkick, which surveyed more than 20,000 consumers across the country to determine how consumer behaviors have evolved since 2021.

59% said they are very willing to try a new brand and do so regularly, while 44% said their habits have changed with the retailers they shop at and brands they buy from. For the majority of consumers who say they have changed where they shop, 59% are now shopping at big box retailers such as Target and Walmart more frequently, as well as doing more research online before making purchases in-store (43%) and shopping more at local, independently-owned retailers (27%).

“In order for brands and retailers to retain customers’ share of wallet, heart and mind, it is more important than ever to deliver a frictionless – and connected – online and in-store experience to ensure a positive interaction each and every time,” said Brittany Billings, executive VP of strategic markets and marketing at Shopkick

We at infinitee agree. It’s been discussed before in this space how customers were always bound to return to stores after the pandemic, but they were not going to return to pre-COVID expectations of the level of digital customer experience (CX) a retailer should provide. A five-country survey cited by Chain Store Age last year showed that 56% of respondents worried that brands may not maintain the level of effort in improving digital customer experience once the pandemic has ended, and 59% said their expectations for how brands interact and communicate with them will continue to rise post-pandemic. Nearly four out of every five respondents (78%) said those expectations rose during COVID-19.

The Shopkick survey found that a majority of consumers said online shopping habits have changed, and, of those, three-quarters said they are making more online purchases, 26% have signed up for more online memberships to take advantage of shopping rewards and promotions and 20% have tried new brands due to their go-to brands rising in price or being out of stock.

“It’s like the ol’ saying that one man’s problem is another man’s opportunity,” said Marcia Homer, infinitee’s Director of Brand Management. “Yes, there are macro issues out there, but retailers must control what they can control. Never losing the lessons from the pandemic about digital CX, let’s get to work making sure your brand connects with consumers in a unique and authentic way that makes an impact.”


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