Mar 11, 2006

An exciting shopping experience has a major impact on consumer spending (IBM survey)

IBM in collaboration with The Store/Kantar, recently did a survey in France, Germany and the UK that shows that an exciting shopping experience has a major impact on consumer spending. Respondents shopping for groceries and consumer electronics, and who described their shopping trips as exciting, consistently spent more – sometimes very much more – than those who did not find the experience exciting.

For instance, French respondents who thought shopping for consumer electronics was exciting spent more than three times as much as those who thought it was boring (€302 versus €95). And British respondents who thought shopping for groceries was exciting spent almost 50 percent more than those who thought it was hard work or a chore (€65 versus €45).

The survey advises retailers to create an emotional connection with their customers by capturing their attention and imagination, and building a sense of excitement.

“When customers are engaged in the experience they will stay longer in a store and they will often spend more,” write the authors. “They will also seek out such retailers; they will walk or drive farther to find such places, ignoring more conveniently located but less appealing outlets.”

Everybody knows where I’m going with this, but I’ll go there anyway and hopefully not make too much of a fool of myself by saying things that are so self evident. The checkout process is one of the last things the customer does in the store. It’s where a good overall experience can be reinforced and where even a bad experience might sometimes be forgiven. Today, the moment of purchase needs to be as fast and convenient as possible and at the same time provide customers a sense of excitement. There, I’m done.

Well, actually there is one more thing.

Using our recently acquired pain avoidance language (see prior post here), and combining it with attractive attributes that banks want to add to their brands (see post here) provides the language tools to create a new way for banks to present their payment services to merchants.

“My payment services have built-it promotion features that help you avoid giving the same high value promotions to all customers, and instead let you surprise and delight customers with targeted offers based on each customer’s prior purchasing history. The promotions appear instantly, and unexpectedly, at the bottom of the customer’s credit or debit card receipt. So the last thing the customer does in your store becomes a little bit more exciting, and the customer is given yet another reason to come again.”

There. I’m going skiing again. The season is almost over here in the Southern Alps. And then I’m back into some heavy duty travelling. Looks like a couple round the worlds over the next few months.

Driving successful shopping occasions through deeper insights

See another IBM paper on enhancing the customer's shopping experience here.

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