How retailers can meet changing customer needs: RedSeed


With rising inflation pushing up prices all over the economy, most Australians are now looking to cut their spending into the new year. So, what can retailers do to keep up?

After several years of disrupted holiday spending due to the spread of Covid-19 and lockdown efforts to curb its spread, Christmas 2022 was looking to be a much healthier spending season for retailers. However, with rising inflation pushing up prices all over the economy, most Australians are now looking to cut their spending into the new year as a way of keeping up. 

According to the National Retail Association, two thirds of consumers are now planning on reducing discretionary spending, with verticals such as jewellery, home and furniture, and footwear expected to have a difficult few months ahead. 

And when they are shopping, more people will be looking to buy products on sale, or at a discount. This year, then, is more important than ever before for retailers to convert the customers that do interact with them into sales. 

RedSeed’s upcoming ‘Supporting your customers in times of change’ report details a number of customer insights, and extrapolates more than ten takeaways for businesses to consider about what they could do to better resonate with today’s customer. 

Here, we’ll take a look at some of these takeaways. 

The ‘basics’ are still important, but they’re changing

Online retail has become incredibly important over the last few years, and has made shopping more accessible and impulsive than it ever could be in person – however, the in-store experience is still king, and having well-trained floor staff is key. 

According to the NRA’s Consumer Sentiment Report, over half of respondents said that the biggest barrier to customer retention was bad customer service, followed by out-of-stock items and long queues. 

Where that gets muddy, however, is that 57 per cent of customers also want in-store staff to leave them alone when they want them to, and over a third want staff to not be overly salesy, according to stats from Retail Doctor. 

What customers want, then, is a welcoming environment with well-trained, knowledgeable staff that can give them helpful information on what they want to buy (if they ask for it), and the ability to be in and out of the store quickly. 

So, how can you achieve that?

Staff need better access to technology 

One way of doing so is giving staff better access to technology, and training in how to use it effectively. 

Whether it’s navigating a company-wide inventory system, finding items from nearby stores to be brought in for a customer to buy, or simply accessing detailed information about the product in question, it’s incredibly important to facilitate a better purchasing experience

And while most of the retail industry has adopted a technology-focused approach in the last few years, 25 per cent of shoppers still think retailers have been too slow to adopt new technology in Australia.

Today’s shopper has very specific ideas about what they want to happen in a store: they enter, find and get information about the product they want, and then quickly and simply purchase the product. Anything a brand can do to facilitate that will go a long way in building customer retention.

Want more insights into how retailers can better meet customer demands moving forward? Download RedSeed’s ‘Supporting your customer in times of change’ report here.


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