New research by shopping app company Klarna reveals that 67 per cent of consumers now rate value for money as the most important thing for them because the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Clicks and cliques: Understanding shopper tribes now survey well over 4000 consumers across Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA also implies that customers value promotions and deals (60 percent), good reputation and trustworthiness, (60 per cent) and having a wide range of products available (58 percent).
Over half of respondents (55 per cent) said that an easy returns process and next or same-day delivery options (51 percent) have become more important this year. The report, designed to assess how copnsumer behaviour has changed since the onset of the pandemic, notes that 49 percent doing more of us are now shopping online and 44 per cent are doing most or all of their shopping online now.
Choice in payment options is also seen to have grown in importance, and in some cases can be a real dealbreaker for consumers. The report noted that 42 percent prefer to shop from brands or retailers that offer flexible payment options, while 32 per cent won't shop from those that don't.
A year like no other
“This year's events have transformed the way we browse and buy, reinventing our relationships with brands and retailers and accelerating change at an unprecedented rate,” Fran Ereira, Country Head of Klarna Australia, said. “Merchants must keep a finger on the pulse of their customers' wants and needs and adapt many and service offers accordingly to build a connection with shoppers they are driving loyalty and, ultimately, sales.”
And Natalie Berg, Retail Analyst and founding father of NBK Retail, pointed out that although the retail industry is no stranger to disruption, nothing in our lifetime has jolted the like COVID.
“As retailers turn to navigate the new normal, resilience and agility will be essential for survival,” Berg said. “There won't be any return to the status quo. The days of being everything to everyone are well and truly over: in order to find their tribe, retailers need to be bold about who they are and just what they stand for. Opportunities have emerged, enabling retailers to reimagine both physical and digital commerce for future years.”
Consumer “tribe” behaviours
The research uncovered subtle differences between groups of consumers, and how retailers can best build relationships these groups: busy families are the most indifferent as to who they buy from, meaning retailers need to work harder to win their custom; aspirational, wealthy shoppers who buy premium products display the most brand loyalty; consumers who reside in the moment and are heavily affected by social media still plan to buy themselves nice things despite cutting down on other expenses; fashionistas with tight budgets prioritise brands that offer promotions and deals; and conscious consumers do most research in to the brands they buy from to make sure those brands are sustainable.