Tag Archives: Shopping

The Future of Retail is Here

Is your shopper strategy prepared to win in this new
emerging retail landscape?

At OmniShopper 2015 you will be granted unscripted access to content,
experiences and learnings that will fast-forward your understanding of total
shopper behavior and prepare you to win in the new retail world.  Download
the brochure to see how: http://bit.ly/1by3kfh

OmniShopper 2015
July 20-22
Radisson Blu, Chicago, IL
Think Differently About Retail And Prepare For What’s Next:
??        
How well do you know the new A (Attunement), B
(Buoyancy), Cs (Clarity) of selling?
Daniel Pink, Best-selling Author, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About
Moving Others, Drive and A Whole New Mind
??        
What is the hidden potential in modern
technologies that present the greatest retail opportunities?
Jonathan MacDonald, Trends Expert and Founder, Thought Expansion Network
??        
What will the retail world be like when all
college students have grown up with 3D printing?
Jenny Lawton, CEO, MakerBot
Brands, Retailers and their Partners share stories to
prepare you to thrive in the new and future retail world: Walgreens, Unilever,
The Hershey Company, Zappos, Heineken USA, Kraft, Red Bull, SAB Miller, Clorox,
Chobani and more.

See all the 2015 keynotes and speakers
in the OmniShopper 2015 brochure: http://bit.ly/1by3kfh

Experiences designed to disrupt your day job to uncover
valuable insights that will benefit the future business:  Introducing The
Retail Safari & Trend Trek. Join us for a hands-on ethnographic journey that takes you
outside the conference walls and into the vibrant streets of Chicago to explore
current marketplace trends, discover buzzworthy brand endeavors and interact
with insightful experts to uncover the next big trend you need to know
about.  Space is limited so be sure to register early. 

Join us at OmniShopper 2015: Tap into experts to get their opinions on the key
trends shaping the future and gain practical and applicable examples of how you
can revolutionize your shopper strategy to be prepared for the future of
retail.
Use code OMNI15BL for $100 off the current rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1by3kfh
See you in Chicago!
Cheers,
The OmniShopper Team
@OmniShopper
#OmniShopper15

Mobile Marketing is Vital for Customer Experience Success

The emergence of cross-channel and omni-channel strategies have been a vital tool for many retailers to engage with consumers across different platforms. Some companies have embraced these strategies and created a retail experience that gives their customers the same experience whether it be on a smartphone, laptop or in person. However a recent study carried out by Altimeter Group has found that a lot of companies are still not utilizing mobile strategies as a customer experience in itself but merely as part of the retail journey.  
The research found that the companies with poor mobile marketing strategies have low budget and poor staff allocation for their mobile initiatives. Mobile is treated as a ‘bolt on’ to their already existing digital initiatives. Consumers are learning quickly to function in an increasingly mobile world, with one-third of shoppers using mobile exclusively, and over half seeing mobile the most important tool in the purchase decision process. 90 percent of consumers still move between different purchase platforms in order to accomplish a goal, with an average of three screen combinations each day. Having to move from mobile to laptop to make a purchase may lose customers to other retailers who allow purchases and a great customer experience via mobile.
A survey by Tecmark in October of 2014 found that in the UK (where 53.7 percent of the population use a smartphone) the average user carries out 221 functions every day on their smartphone, compared to 140 on desktop or laptop computers. Statista estimates that by 2018 there will be 220 million smartphone users in the USA alone. Figures like that are a huge indicator of the necessary shift towards better marketing approaches for mobile.
One example of a company with an excellent mobile strategy that is easy to use and seamless across devices is Amazon. The mobile app has the range of items available on its mobile platform as it does on tablet or laptop computers. It is incredibly easy to use and if a customer wishes to start a shop on their phone and then want to access their basket on another device the basket contents can still be accessed. The seamless transition across all devices makes the customers experience incredibly easy.
Altimeter Group reached out to 20 leading mobile strategists and executives from companies such as Zappos and Mastercard in order to find out what they believed were the best plans for implementing a strong mobile initiative. They found that the secret to mobile success lies in developing the digital and mobile strategies individually whilst also bringing them together in order to deliver an integrated customer experience.   
Companies need to truly understand the needs of the customer’s digital experience and the role that mobile can play then they can proceed in designing their mobile platform. Mobile strategies should not just be a bolt on to the rest of the digital strategy but a customer experience in itself. By first understanding the customer they can then create better experiences for them and better turnover for themselves.

About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.

Millennials and Beauty: Serving the Eye of a New Generation of Customers

According to a recent Future in Focus report, by 2017 the Millennial generation, also known as Gen Y, is predicted to surpass the boomer generation in spending power and become the most active spenders of the first half of the 21st century. The report dove into Millennial consumer behavior regarding beauty, identifying and exploring attitudes and values that will shape their purchasing patterns over the next decade.
Shaped by the digital age and the economic recession, this large generation of 70 million in the U.S. has different priorities, shopping behaviors, and attitudes from other generations. In fact, this always-connected generation has concerns about their l finances that the older generation of spenders did not at their age, and they are more ethnically and racially diverse than any generation before them.  In fact, among adults age 18 to 29, just 61% are Caucasian (compared to 70% of older adults), while 19% are Hispanic (vs. 13% of older adults), 14% African-American (vs. 11%), and 5% Asian. In addition, Millennials are economically diverse’with one-third being lower income, one-third middle income, and one-third upper income.
Millennials are the first to grow up with ubiquitous information so they tend to have an affinity for the digital age and are always connected. Five of six (83%) say they sleep with a mobile phone next to their bed, compared to just 57% of all adults. They also use the Internet primarily as a social tool, with 75% reporting having a profile on social media. And 80% of younger Millennial social media users (i.e., 18 to 24 years old) connect with their platforms several times a day. But this constant connection applies to their consumer lives as well: 41% regularly use their phones to compare prices while shopping, compared to just 26% of boomers.
This generation was hit hard by the Great Recession. As late as 2012, 32% of Millennial shoppers reported having difficulty affording groceries, compared to just 22% of the overall population. As a result, Gen Y tends to be more frugal than older generations. In 2013, 22% of Millennials (compared to just 17% of Xers and 14% of boomers) said they were putting more money into savings during the previous year.  Still, Millennials have made beauty and personal-care rituals part of their culture no matter the economic situation. They are developing attitudes regarding beauty that will influence the products they seek. Six of the most pervasive attitudes are beauty is a fun way to express oneself; beauty is worth the expense; beauty is way more than skin deep; you’re never too young for anti-aging; do-it-yourself beauty ; beauty is not just for women and; beauty is a fun way to express oneself.
Research by Mintel suggests that Millennial women associate beauty with fun more than women of older generations. For instance, two out of three 18- to 24-year-old women (65%) enjoy the ritual of putting on makeup’a share nearly 50% higher than that of all women (45%). Nearly two in three Gen Y women say they wear makeup every day, and nearly half (48%) say they spend more than 10 minutes putting on makeup. In addition to having fun with it, most Millennials see beauty care as another way to express themselves. More than two in three women age 18 to 24 (69%) say they wear makeup that expresses their personality, compared to just 55% of all women. Their ability to express themselves through beauty may be part of the reason that almost all (94%) Gen Y women say that makeup helps them feel more confident.
Millennials seem to think that enhancing their beauty is worth the expense. In fact, they spend more than the average shopper on beauty and personal care categories. Millennial shoppers spend over 25% more than average US shoppers on such products as body scrubbers, shampoo, conditioner, styling gels or mousses, and suntan products, and 20% more on cosmetics.  A significant majority (75%) of Millennial women say they don’t mind spending money on makeup because it makes them feel good.
Additionally, unlike older generations, Millennials are more attuned to skincare and anti-aging benefits at an early age. According to NPD, 39% of older Millennial women (those age 25 to 34) say that anti-aging is an important benefit that they look for in skincare products. While younger Millennials are often still dealing with acne, older Millennials are growing aware that changes in their skin during early adulthood may mark the beginning of an aging process.
But, Millennials take a more self-driven, DIY approach to beauty care. Although influenced by their frugal nature, Millennials’ do-it-yourself approach to beauty may also be motivated by the fun they have experimenting with new products. Millennials are twice as likely as the overall population to embrace self-reliant, home-based beauty behaviors and at-home beauty products.
Driven by social media and the increasing competitiveness of the job market, Millennial men also think beauty matters too. They are putting a greater emphasis than older generations did on looking and dressing their best, which involves both fashion and grooming. In 2013, more than three in four men (76%) said that the pressure on men to dress well and be well groomed had increased. Nearly as many (73%) think that men now face as much pressure in these respects as women do. For Millennial men, grooming is increasingly seen as a component of healthy living, like exercise and eating well.  
From beauty companies’ point of view, Millennials are at a critical stage in their lives. Millennials are establishing beauty and skincare habits and consumer patterns that are likely to persist throughout their lifetime. So, the companies and brands that win Gen Y consumers are likely to retain these consumers for the long term.  

To read the full report, click here.

Exclusive Interview: Using Consumer Insights to Make Smarter Business Decisions

In our next episode of the Inside Insights Podcast series brought to you by Consumer Insights Canada, I am fortunate to sit down with Consumer Insights Canada keynote speaker Kelly Harper, who is the Director Customer Experience Learning at BMO INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING, to discuss how the power of consumer insights help to make smarter decisions in business.
Harper goes into how important customer experience is when it comes using customer insights to make the best business decisions possible. You need to think about what type of experiences your organization is giving your customers.  Your consumer insights allows you to understand what is broken in your current experience you are delivering and what is really important to the customer ‘ what are those elements that you have to get right each and every single day. Consumer insights will help you identify and keep track of what is most important to the customer.    
Consumer Insights Canada is a conference that showcases the local Canadian culture in its storytelling. With new entrants like Target Canada, rapid changes in technology and increasingly discerning customers, the Canadian retail industry is in a constant state of change, challenging players to adapt strategies and tactics to remain relevant.  This conference was created for our insights community that focuses on the power of insights in motivating smarter decision making and shines a particular lens on the local flavor of shopper insights in Canada.
Check out the full interview here: 

If you’d like to hear more from Kelly, don’t miss her keynote session, ‘How to Embed a Culture of Customer Experience in your Organization’ at Consumer Insights Canada on Tuesday, September 30th at 10:15 am. The event is taking place this September 29-October 1, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. For more information about the event and to register, please visit our website: http://bit.ly/1khTaTJ

Four Consumer Segments of the Modern Shopping World

Shopping seasons often fall around holiday seasons, and absorb anywhere from weeks to months of our time as shoppers and consumers, and even more so if for marketers. The season evokes the anxiety, well pondered over in days when brands battled for loyal consumers.

On drawing comparisons between the online and offline world, alongside the regularity of last minute versus planned shoppers, a two by two matrix on uncovering four shopping personalities can be deduced. Let’s call it The Timed Shopping Framework, since it can apply to any phase of life when we have to shop with a deadline.

The full length version of this post can be read on: Where does Online Shopping leave Glamorous Window Displays?

Holiday Shopping Framework @sssourabh
Bandwidth Basher
Purchasing Power: High. It’s unlikely that these
shoppers will be looking for deals, but are more in a frantic rush to
buy something while multitasking a busy corporate or bustling
alternative life; thus the restraint from going in stores.
Retailer Benefit: Shipping fees. Consumers in this
segment may be blind to free shipping coupons in all the haste, so
retailers can gobble up any margins on those exorbitant overnight fees.

Strategic Sprawler
Purchasing Power: Moderate. These shoppers will likely have scouted the deals, almost as early as Black Friday and Thanksgiving.
Being deal hunters, it’s not to say they are budget battlers: rather
the contrary, they are likely to spend in volume. Call them indecisive,
or on the other spectrum, simply smart with a cool variety of friends.
Retailer Benefit: Volume purchase and loyalty. It’s
likely that these shoppers will seek deals with enough prowess to use
coupon codes or minimum purchase requirements to benefit retailers,
either with volume or future loyalty.
  
Methodical Maneuverer
Purchasing Power: Moderate. These are traditional
shoppers that would rather drive to the stores come fall, and load up
their trunks and rear seats with less shopping on a periodic basis. And
they never forget the wrapping, bows, cards and frills. These shoppers
either have a sense of detail, or are simply preventing an anxiety attack, as per a former framework.
Retailer Benefit: Traditional store sales, which as we
all know, may not be real value sales, but well marketed ones.
Nonetheless, courtesy of methodical research, retailers should not
expect these consumers to be strong spenders.

Splurging Sprinter
Purchasing Power: High. These shoppers have simply had
no time in bustling lives, and tend to leave things to the last minute.
With about half of their preferred selections disappearing off shelves,
they are likely to be struck by anxiety and spend more than they need.
Sans details, they may skip the frills and even ask for gift wrapped
gifts altogether! Just beware that these folks may be struck by stress
more often than not; even in public.
Retailer Benefit: Revenues from last minute shopping.
Retailers can expect high spending from these consumers, with a slight
dose of stress depending on the level of shopper persistence. It will be
easy to entice them with leftover, often non-sale items, or with
stocking stuffers.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Live from #TMRE13: A Brand Romance. Refocusing on WHY Consumers & Shoppers fall in Love

To develop love, you need to research lovers.
Brands have figured this out, like Mountain Dew, Apple or
Harley Davidson. Some brands have made 
mistakes to find their lovers, which they then had to fix, like Coke
Zero or Bengay’s classic marketing stories.
Don’t grow too broad: Do not mistake your brand lover for
your brand as a heavy user! E.g. I love Gatorade, except for when VitaminWater
is on sale! That is a heavy user, not a lover. Love has to do with an emotional
connection to your brand. If you show scenarios or ask consumers for their opinions,
even those that don’t care will respond. So don’t necessarily go too broad.
Pursue the why: Don’t focus so much on the what, but try to
get more into the why. Many are overwhelmed with so many whats and hows, which
doesn’t help. Foe example, Gatorade’s ad focuses only on why to buy it by
sending a message across, without focusing on its flavors, line extensions,
etc.  Similar for the iPhone photo app,
which only focuses on the pleasure of photography.

 

What factors affect brand love? Functional perceptions,
relaxation when shopping, price and value, and tradition ‘ at least for
retailers. For consumers, Doritos offered a DIY approach that was quite fascinating, as seen below in a pre and post research set.
A helpful tip: don’t go fix what you do bad, but emphasize
what you do great. A la Walmart.
Overall, a  fascinating antithesis of classical research by Pepsico
and GFK.
Sourabh
Sharma
, Communication & Social Media Research
Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has
a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of
Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having
worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in
management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media,
and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food
critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog
called
3FS.
He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on
@sssourabh.

A Complex Shopping Trip

I feel that it has become increasingly challenging to shop,
contrary to what one may think in a so called modern and effectively efficient
world. For the clich??d fact is true: consumer behavior is changing. In every
company, divisions and individuals are coming up with research and theories and
strategies on how to deal with the evolving consumer prototype.

However, I do
not think that the change is at all alarming. It is a natural, evolutionary
change. In the same way that the earth has become warmer over time, our years
start with the digit 2 instead of 1, and will sequentially continue with 3, 4,
etc., in the same way that writing letters has evolved from slow snail mail to
instantaneous email, or acceptable skirt lengths have gone from ankle length to
barely there, a change in consumer behavior is simply evolutionary.

Here is a vicious circle I have created which encompasses of a handful of elements that are
changing a consumer’s shopping and product selection experience. This is not an
all encompassing list, but still gives a few tips and interesting learnings for
entrepreneurs and businesses, from the perspective of both a consumer and a
producer, to put it bluntly.
Frugality: I am powerful, yet I am frugal

The DIY (do it yourself) culture is a phenomenon that has
overtaken the ready-to-order and ready-to-purchase behavior. While we used to
prefer having things made and sent to us, somewhere along the lines the stamped
on labor cost has begun to bother us. This, along with the need to express
creative freedom and feel a sense of accomplishment after having completed a
manual task has driven individuals to do things themselves.

The success of IKEA
stores is simply one example, but the flattening frequency of house help in
metropolitan cities of third world countries shows how people are looking more
towards their own powers and natures to completing given tasks. Frugality can
be the other explanation for this, too, as individuals get slightly more sure
of what they want, and how they want it. Businesses beware of the increasing
know-how of consumers, and the increased pickiness, which unfortunately
correlates with the increasing options that consumers face for every product
they wish to purchase.

Efficiency: Factors overriding the Experience Element

For some reason, we have lost the ability to enjoy various
elements of life on a standalone basis. Efficiency has caught on like a buzzing
bug. Why, if you can have a phone that handles email, text messaging, entails a
GPS, can play movies and stream television channels, why have a laptop, a
mobile phone, a portable GPS, a Blu-ray player and a television? It is the
efficiency of one product versus many more, at a reasonable cost advantage and
convenience, perhaps. But does it replace the joy of cuddling up in a couch in
front of a television with a bowl of popcorn? I’m not saying efficiency is a
bad thing, I mean the swiftness of checking in on an airplane (lets ignore the
other associated hassles of traveling these days), or the practicality of an
all inclusive printer/scanner/copier are definitely a sign of creative minds at
relevant work.

However, I think product managers, alongside consumers, have
been taking the efficiency element too much out of reach from the human element. Frugality
again may be the cause here. Why buy six things when one can perform the same
task? From an economic standpoint, it’s probably true. From a convenience one,
depending on your adaptability to the sensitive touch screen phones, the
response will vary. 

Consumer Skepticism: Aim, Aim, Aim, Fire

Every brand management course teaches us that consumers are
vulnerable and, plainly put, stupid. But no more. Consumers are much more in
control with what they wish to purchase. They re-evaluate choices much more
accurately, counting the calories and checking the sugar and carb count on food
items, reading the order of ingredients to ensure they aren’t being carried
away; since when ingredients in cosmetics are laid out in order of most to
least, it doesn’t give a strong feeling if water is the first one.  

Skepticism has begun to creep into the frame,
with consumers challenging claims and promises that are made by products.
Perhaps this may lead to a rise in third party data and research, in addition
to a consumer’s own swim through the murk. Frugality, DIY, efficiency all feed
into this element of the cycle. Branded products thus must be offering a viable
and sustainable value proposition that is well differentiated from the others
in the flock. Fluffy, unvalidated, unrequired and questionable claims will thus
need to make an exit.

Product Origins: Made with Care

Part of the skepticism comes from the origins, or
processing, of consumer products. Blame it on the paparazzi, who like to
sensationalize any flaw in a manufacturing process, such as the Tylenol recall
due to moldy scents or trace chemicals, or the publicity around manufacturing
of airplane food in infested areas. Or perhaps, blame it on ourselves, as we
have caught on to the anti-bacterial bug, and constantly wash our hands with
anti-bac soap, place a tissue before opening a public restroom door knob or
faucet, or apply alcohol wipes to clean surfaces, or on our hands after  a public transit adventure.

Besides the fact
that we are consistently drying our hands out of essential oils and moisture
(and of course, in this marketing driven world, there are products targeted
specifically for drying hands and tearing cuticles), this just cements the fact
that we are taking extra care in what we do, touch, breathe, eat, and overall,
do consciously. Companies and brands are under immense scrutiny from
story-lusting spies to mainstream consumers, who want multiple guarantees as to
why things are made cleanly, clearly, and transparently. It is no longer an
assumption, but a claim that requires repeated validation. So, businesses,
watch out, for even the air particles carry microscopic cameras.

New standards: A Paradigm Shift in Shopping

Now the important element of purchasing power: price.
Discounting is everywhere. Every day our eyes are reading the four letter words
that have become synonymous with shopping: s-a-l-e. It’s no wonder that the
upcoming generations are swift at mathematics, what with the varying
percentages off of full price, with extra percentages off with using specific
cards, or the buy several and get several more free offers, it’s almost like
it’s become a standard of shopping. And that in itself is a risk. Consumers often
enjoy seeing the new trends and designs on models, stars, everywhere, but are
willing to wait until they’re on sale. The sale price has become the new value.
It is a self fulfilling prophecy of a downward spiral. Not to mention a
competitive threat to mainstream retailers. It may not affect the retailers who
support their ‘low prices ‘ always’ claim, but those opting for fashion and
lifestyle do not attend the big box stores either.

It may not affect the
premium brands, who claim exorbitant amounts simply for a small embroidered
logo or metal placket on the edge of a pretty ordinary looking item. But these
cater to a very niche market, less than one percent of the world. What this
paradigm shift in shopping standards is bound to do is affect the mainstream
consumers, the bulging and growing bulk of the world. This is the concern,
which is leading to unnecessarily strange behavior. Is an item really on sale,
could be one reaction, when a simple item seems exorbitantly priced even at 50%
off. Inflated initial prices with sales prices that reflect what a retailer
would actually want, for instance. Which again forms a circular loop of
suspicion as a consumer wonders how an item that is marked $80 can possibly
sell for $5, and starts to wonder about consumption habits and the ethics of a
branded product. Fishy times lay ahead, and brands must stay alert.

Social Media: Lets Tweet!

And when consumers are comparing prices, options,
promotions, another factor that comes into play is the rise of social media.
There are too many elements in a product-consumer interface now. The human
element has blended itself into the gap, and people are closer than ever to
their celebrity endorsers and brand managers, reading their tweets instantly,
which relays a message that these are no longer larger than life perfectly
airbrushed bodies on multi story billboards; these are real people, with real
thoughts, real problems, and real grammatical mishaps that occur when they
type. Whilst this may excite many users, who get to know of what their brands
are conspiring on a daily basis, it poses a risk towards the legitimacy and
efficacy of branded products. Are businesses really getting closer to their
consumers, or are they tweeting a different and perhaps misleading tune?

Moreover, social media is difficult to sustain, definitely not cost effective, and while it
is buzzing around professional circles, its not entirely too new. Combine this
with the frugal consumer and the consumer skepticism, and you have an ongoing
cycle of thoughts glistening with question marks. And while social media isn’t going away, we have always been oblivious to the bubbles of the economy until
they burst.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Understanding Shopper Psychology

As Tammy Faye Bakker said, ‘I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.‘ Shopping for relaxation and the term retail therapy has infiltrated minds of many since as early as the 80s, making shopping a staple. With spring on its heels and winter bygones, the US market in particular undergoes curious changes in consumer behavior that border the
lines of eccentric, blurring the line between needs and wants.

Needs and wants are actually quite
distinct, contrary to thesauruses and non-lyrical businessfolks who
interchange them frequently. As I have blogged about at great length, these are not to be confused with the basic economics-related differences of needs and wants,
when placed in a shopping context, these meanings can deviate slightly.


Needs are essential, and at times necessary for a particular point in
time, whilst wants can be more compulsive, and when looked at from a
lateral perspective, unnecessary, but good to have.  I am a shopper
motivated mainly by many, many wants! Which is why some may agree with
Cat Deeley in that ‘I don’t shop because I need something, I just shop for shopping’s sake.

Bearing in mind the needs and wants of shoppers, retailers spend
time, efforts, capital and much more to lure during the busy season.
Sales, discounts, bulk buys, freebies, multi-buy bargains, coupons,
gifts-with-purchase, and much more are common tactics utilized that have
been successful over decades. But how do these virtually compulsive
buying strategies compare to shoppers needs and wants?

Bearing in mind the needs and wants and their varying levels of
strengths, four emotive forms of enticement can be formulated, each of
which attract shoppers to the act of shopping. These allow shoppers to
grasp their shopping motivations better (if they have the ability or the
time to grasp their emotions in a flurry of dancing options). The four emotion-based quadrants of shopper psychology are as
follows.

Require: Products with a high need but a low want are generally ones that must be bought, hence required,
usually for utility purposes, technical support, or anything that is
necessary to sustain something else. Batteries, restroom essentials, a
lightbulb, or other elements that support the function of an entire
ambiance or event fall into this emotion. Some grumble over the added
cost this adds to an otherwise emotionally gratifying shopping trip,
often forgetting that these things are required for a reason.

Crave: With a high want but a low need, this feeling is best called crave. It depicts the urge to pick something up, knowing subconsciously that it may not be utilized frequently, will be a fad that loses steam quickly, and a perfect fit for the frivolous folks in the addiction framework.
Strange but attractive items like impractical but fashionable
accessory, holiday scented stuffed toys, or an nth belt, are all
examples of things that, as mom might say, we really do not need! Notice
how some of these end up taking volumes of space in closets, under
beds, in bulging drawers, or in misty attics.

Love:
For something with a low need and a low want, one may wonder why it is
bought after all! This is where impulse buying is most prominent. Ever
bought something because it was obscenely cheap (recall the 80% off
price!)? Ever bought something because it came with a freebie? Or bought
a cheap cosmetic product at a department store because of the herd of
products that come free with it? These are examples of a love driven
purchase.

Ever gazed at a magazine at checkout, or the packet of gum
staring at you with minty eyes and claims, or the sale priced food item
placed at the end of a cave-like aisle, which you find you have
purchased in no time at all?

These are all things you may not need nor
want. Besides thoughtless purchases, the mass market variety of severely
in vogue trends can fall here. Think of things you love to do because
everyone else does them: sport Ed Hardy paraphernalia, buy the Avatar
blu-ray, or pull out the Uggs in winter. Sounds like the societal pressure that retains a trend in the market, doesn’t it?

Desire: And finally, there is the golden product: the one you desire.
You definitely want it, and you most certainly need it. Which is why,
as the laws of economics go, it is either usually scarce or pricey. A
princess cut diamond ring, an authentic artifact or accessory (versus
the knockoffs), or the exorbitant initial prices of the Apple family
products when they are released, and subsequently purchased in record breaking numbers

Electronics fall into this category; and while some may argue we do not
fundamentally need or want them (thus quoting them as a love and not a
desire), since our needs are basic combinations of 
food+shelter+clothing, statistics and behavior patterns show that most
houses do not sustain themselves without electronics or basic gadgets: computers, laptops, televisions and cellphones. Talk about an electrically warped world.

 Next, we will see how retailers and “producers” of consumer goods can cater to these four segments, completing the picture on the rapidly evolving customer-retailer relationship.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.