Recently I published a blog about Retail’s Perfect Storm.

In a series of new posts I will add some additional information about each of the storm’s forces.

The Wind: Shifting lifestyles

– Many retailers long for the good-ole-days when customers did as they were told. Shop when we say, buy what we feature, pay as we prescribe and return items when we say its okay. There was a time when the retailer’s ability to gather the latest fashions or the best gadgets allowed it to take control over the consumer. Today the consumer has taken control, shopping 24-7 in the way that’s most convenient to them. They are a smart bunch that can determine the value of a product or service by comparing across multiple available sources. Alas they are behaving badly it may seam, at least to the parents that were in the past so directive.

Younger consumers are less obsessed with things. This is the death of conspicuous consumption that has driven the consumer economy for the last many decades.

Partially this is due to the ubiquity of things that many grew up with but there are other factors. Reallocation of funds from accumulation things to experiences is impacting all forms of retail, digital or physical.  These things are cyclical but expect this trend to go on for a generation.

There are some that say the retailer needs to modify the consumers behavior to suit their business model. Others say the retailer must conform to these new behaviors, while most retailers keep doing what they have always done hoping for a different result.

This of course is the definition of insanity, but I won’t go that far.

What then is the right balance?Advanced analytic approaches are required to build a detailed understanding of customer’s personas and motivators. These 2 factors will help describe the customer’s behavior patterns.Gartner 2016Motivators are important because they are the levers that when combined with personas can influence

Read all: Retail’s Perfect Storm: Customers Shifting Lifestyles Cause Major Damage – Robert Hetu