Three Years and Counting

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Three Years and Counting

It is now three years since the GFC became a common acronym in the English language. Prior to that as business we were riding the wave of success. The initial reaction of most retailers was to discount product o get them through the crisis. It would surely not last more than a year. Three years later and the economies of the world are still on the edge. One thing that has changed is consumer behaviour and that will continue to affect the way we do business. Recently a White paper came out entitled “The Impact of the Global financial Crisis on Consumer Behaviour” by Helen E Perriman,Dr Rooma Roshnee Ramsaran- Fodar and Dr Priya Baguan. The White paper identifies some key changes we all need to be aware of Image and “nice to have” buying decisions have been moved to the background in consumer shopping behaviour whilst a “fear of the future’ still exists in the consumers mind. Hard value and cost benefits are important and the astute retailer is promoting these in their signage and marketing strategies Consumers are eating out less and entertaining at home more. We have seen a surge in private labels and consumers shopping across banners rather than keep to one loyal outlet. Retailers who are expecting the consumer to rebound and go back to more expensive brands still have a long time to wait Consumers are now supermarket hopping and that will continue for some time. There are four key trends that businesses need to focus on if they are to grow their businesses in the GFC. Consumers want simplicity and therefore as a retailer you need to simplify the offer Ensure you are an ethical business. Consumer have become very sceptical of business ethics Discretionary spending is now acceptable and fashionable and retailers need to make sure they are in tune with this trend Consumer are less loyal and retailers need to really understand the buying motivators of today’s consumer