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UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S SHOPPER:

the Epicurean Miser

UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S SHOPPER:

the Epicurean Miser Consumers today are inspired to purchase by two seemingly conflicting motivators. First, consumers’ pocket books, still very much affected by the state of the economy over the past few years, continue to inspire conservative purchasing. At the same time, today’s consumers are beginning to feel they’ve pinched pennies long enough. They’re tired of always skimping on indulgences and generally making do with less. As a retailer, you find yourself facing a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. How to connect your brand message and make a loyal customer of a shopper who believes they shouldn’t spend too much and at the same time wants to feel like they’re treating themselves to some of the niceties they’ve been denying themselves during this economic downturn.

GRANT AMNESTY :

These shoppers don’t want to spend but they want to indulge? So… how can that be reconciled?

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UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S SHOPPER:

the Epicurean Miser When a shopper enjoys their experience shopping with you and walks away believing in the worth of what they’ve purchased, then you’ve created VALUE for that customer and they will come back again and again; they will spread your value message through word-of-mouth testimonial, social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and online review sites; and ultimately, they will serve to increase your market presence.

BUT VALUE, REAL VALUE, CANNOT BE FAKED... A NIELSEN STUDY RELEASED IN OCTOBER 2011 OF 25,000 SHOPPERS FROM 51 COUNTRIES FOUND THAT

“GOOD VALUE” WAS THE MOST POPULAR REASON FOR USING A RETAILER WITH 61% SAYING THAT VALUE PERCEPTION HIGHLY INFLUENCED THEIR PURCHASING DECISION.

“Value is not about price alone. Retailers and manufacturers who offer good values tailored around benefits of the product beyond price will resonate with consumers who continue to look for ways to stretch their money in a tough economy.” -James Russo, vice president, Global Consumer Insights, Nielsen

YOUR JOB Your job, then, is not to create the illusion of value. Today’s savvy shoppers would see right through this. According to a 2011 survey by technology provider Sybase 365, 34% of mobile phone users would use a mobile device to compare prices, 28% to research deals, and 27% to find a product review. You aren’t getting anything past these “plugged in” consumers. Your job is to determine your brand’s inherent value, define your value proposition and consistently communicate your brand message to the customer. Your value message should resonate with both sides of the modern shopper, creating a brand balance that sends a message of “affordable-but-not-cheap” and offering an enjoyable shopping oasis of acceptable selfindulgence.

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UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S SHOPPER:

the Epicurean Miser

THE INDULGENCE OPTION This idea of “acceptable self-indulgence” is more than solely the environment. It is partially that, but also the ability to experience “goodies” that the consumer may not have thought of – and might find completely acceptable, value-wise. A big part of this is the product or range of products and services available within the environment. The other is the setting that product lives in. People want to feel taken care of. People want choices. Even if the shopper selects a less costly product she will feel better about it simply having had the choice. The “essence” of her selection is enhanced by the association with a variety of other, perhaps much more expensive, options and a carefully designed retail environment.

Understand your customer’s needs… Base your value proposition on those needs... Create a gratification zone the shopper looks forward to revisiting. So what value can you bring to the shopper, beyond price? Are you… Fresh? Timeless? Trendy? Convenient? Healthy? Environmentally Friendly? Fun? Hip? Does association with your brand denote status?

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UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S SHOPPER:

the Epicurean Miser

A TASTE FOR THE FINER THINGS The majority of shoppers may not be flying to Paris for fashion week, but sales don’t lie and there is concrete evidence that access to opulence is desirable among today’s shoppers. From the headline-worthy buzz and big sales of luxury lines partnering with discount retailers such as Versace with H&M and Missoni with Target in 2011 to more sundry fare such as Campbell’s successful partnership with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, shoppers are giving their stamp of approval. Just look at Starbucks, a brand whose “value” is appreciated by millions, worldwide, although their prices are clearly not the lowest among coffee vendors. Starbucks’ value lies firmly in the realm of indulgence, offering over 87,000 beverage customization possibilities, convenience, a warm store ambiance, consistent service, and cafe-like, wholesome, stylized or often organic fare. Nowhere in their branding do they vary from their core value propositions, and shoppers continue to flock for $5 coffees. In fact, Starbucks’ quarterly same-store sales have increased steadily since Q4 2009.

Nearly 7 in 10 consumers who splurge on specialty items — such as lobster macaroni and cheese or liquorinfused jam — do so “to treat themselves.” –National Association for the Specialty Food Trade October 2011

NOW IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY Stand out from your competition in a way that speaks the Epicurean Miser’s language:

VALUE. While almost everyone else is marketing with laser-focus on low price (which can create a subliminal image in the consumer’s mind of low quality), the savvy retailer will differentiate themselves by creating a retail experience that satiates today’s shopper’s craving for a little bit of indulgence coupled with affordability. Think of your retail space as a gratification zone that seamlessly meets the customer’s needs and invites them back for positive experience after positive experience. If you do it right, your customer will think of you exactly in that fashion and will be enthusiastic to return to your store time and again.

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UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S SHOPPER:

the Epicurean Miser

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

KING RETAIL SOLUTIONS KRS (www.kingrs.com) has been providing award-winning retail store design, manufacturing, distribution and installation services to local, national and global retail clients for over 40 years. In each of these service areas, we are recognized as industry leaders. For more information on how KRS can help you connect with your customer, make a lasting impression, boost brand image and drive sales, contact us today:

BUSINESS.RELATIONSHIPS@KINGRS.COM

800.533.2796

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Understanding Today's Shopper  

The Epicurean Miser