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How Retailers Can Adapt to 5 Changed Shopping Habits



How Retailers Can Adapt to 5 Changed Shopping Habits

Your customers' spending habits have changed. Here's what to do about it.

The pandemic has had a dramatic effect on consumer spending. Countless studies show the amount of expendable income in your customers' wallets isn’t the only thing that’s changed — the way they use it has shifted, too. 

Understanding your customers and what motivates them to spend is key to growing your business. Are you aware of how your existing and potential customers have changed? The rapid shift in consumer behaviour has been (and will continue to be) a challenge for every business. As a business operator, your ability to adapt to this new environment will determine if you are able to both attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Consumers vote with their wallets — here’s what they want. 

  1. Availability of stock
  2. Value for money
  3. Curbside pickup
  4. Visible hygiene precautions 
  5. Tap and go payments

Keep reading to discover more about five ways your customers’ shopping habits have changed, as well as what you can do to adapt and take advantage of these shifts to grow your business.

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1. Don't bank on brand loyalty

Product shortages have had a lasting impact on consumers. Whether due to panic buying or supply chain issues, stockouts have forced many shoppers to choose an alternative product or brand. According to a McKinsey study, 46% of shoppers have tried a new brand or retailer since the outbreak of the pandemic. As a result, brand loyalty has weakened. 

Now is the time to consider how you can win new customers. Could you diversify your product offering? Do you need to consider stocking more than one brand of a product in case of supply chain outages? 

65% of consumers have been impacted by recent stockouts, and 40% of those consumers visited a different retailer as a result. If you stock more than one brand of product and one product is out of stock, your customers will very likely select the other — rather than making the trip to another store. You could consider this simple change for your most popular product lines.

2. Offer more value for money

The number one reason for switching brands is value. Value is different from price. It has to do with the worth a customer perceives your product to have. 

38% switched brands because of better prices or promotions.

Being competitively priced is important, and you do need to be aware of what your competitors are charging — yet your customer cares more about value. If you give customers something more, you add value. That value can take many forms — a promotion; a loyalty scheme; a “buy 2” discount; personalised service and more are just a few examples of value-adds.

The simplest way to win customers on value is to drive a bargain. Everyone loves a bargain; various studies have shown that shoppers’ brains get excited by the thought of a bargain. The loss leader pricing strategy is a classic strategy that hinges on this. However, if you are prepared to take a loss on one product, you need to have a plan in place to get that consumer to spend more on other products. Upselling and cross-selling are key skills to develop when relying on a loss leader pricing strategy.

Studies also show bargains stand out better when the sticker price is in red. If your current sales stickers are in any other colour, this is a quick change you can easily implement to attract more eyes (and drive more sales).

3. Bring it out to the car

One convenience measure consumers have recently become accustomed to is curbside pickup. This offering enables customers to order a product over the phone, and then conveniently pick it up from your store — without needing to worry about parking. 

It’s contactless and the customer never leaves their car.  If they haven’t already paid over the phone, simply take your mobile EFTPOS terminal out to the curb to collect payment. Nearly 50% of consumers have tried it and 81% of consumers want to. Is this new convenience something you can offer your customers?

Zeller Terminal is cordless and connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot and SIM Card — so you can take it to the curb, car park, or even with you when delivering larger products. 

Ready to get started with Zeller?

4. Create a hygienic customer experience

These days, your customers are more perceptive of hygiene measures in all environments — including retail. Social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitising have become the norm. Letting your customers know you are taking the current health situation seriously and endeavouring to provide them with a safe shopping experience can add to the customer experience. 

Could you reconfigure your checkout or service desk to encourage social distancing? Have you placed hand sanitiser at the store entry, and checkout? Your customers expect overt demonstrations of hygiene from you as they change their own personal habits. The bonus is that in keeping customers safe, you’re also helping to ensure your staff stay healthy. 

5. Make tap and go payments easy

The outbreak of COVID-19 accelerated the existing consumer trend to opt for a card over cash. It’s predicted that by 2025, cash payments will account for just 2% of the value of all point-of-sale transactions —  and that Australia will become the most cashless country in the Asia Pacific region by that same year. 

Consumers are embracing digital payment technologies ; around four in five customers using tap and go payments each and every week. In fact, Australians currently make around 625 electronic transactions per person, per year — compared to just 275 a decade earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for small businesses in Australia to access simpler, fast, innovative and affordable payment technology, like that a Zeller mobile EFTPOS machine offers.

In these transformative times, retailers must be agile and keep up to date with changing consumer attitudes. Now that you have 5 topline insights into how your customers are shopping, it’s time to make the necessary changes in your business to ensure it’s your business they choose to spend with.