Global recession creates “hypersensitive consumers”

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 24th July 2009

The global recession is giving rise to a new breed of consumer that demands greater value for money and is less likely to put up with inferior service, according to a UK report released overnight.

The BDO Stoy Hayward research discovered that 74 per cent of shoppers will now leave a store if they experience bad service, while 71 per cent would look elsewhere in search of cheaper prices as consumers begin to believe retailers should feel privileged to have them in their store.

Don Williams, retail partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, said today’s consumers are more ‘switched on’ and increasingly happy to shop around to find the best deals and the most satisfactory service.

He pointed out that long queues and poor product availability are top grievances among consumers, with retailers needing to overcome these issues if they want to attract shoppers.

“Retailers should be frightened by the fact 74 per cent of their customers would leave the store if they encountered bad service. In the current environment, this is something that they just cannot afford to ignore,” Mr Williams warned.

Indeed, they must provide consumers with a shopping experience rather than a shopping trip in order to stand out over their competitors.

“To win the hypersensitive consumer’s business, retailers can’t afford weakness in any part of their strategy. Brands, channels and formats may all need to be reviewed and aligned: the key to success is a holistic approach that removes any hurdles to purchase and provides a rich and engaging shopping experience,” Mr Williams concluded.