This is great news for online marketers, because shoppers have to do two searches: first for the product they want, then for the price they will accept. Indeed, the first search may include not just the web sites or Facebook pages of top of mind merchants, but also reviews, forums, blogs and other social media interactions that go into forming purchase intent. Why is this good news? More time on site is one obvious reason but more opportunity to interact with the brand and with friends is another. More time to shop means more time to be social.
Luxury, historically about being expensive, evolved to become value-oriented. At [the Ipsos] November 2011 Point-of-View Forum on luxury, we presented data showing 89% of Affluents agreed, “When I decide to purchase a luxury item, I go out of my way to find the best price possible.”
How can brick and mortar merchants take advantage of this phenomenon? First, provide large amounts of actionable, sharable information. Have a photo of those shoes in blue? Let the customer tweet it to her friends. Second, do what online merchants can’t do: change you mind, turn on a dime, make an exception. Surprise and delight – and watch your customer post to Facebook with a smile on her face. Third, use a well-designed loyalty program to turn current customers into loyal customers, and loyal customers into high spenders who will tell their affluent friends about your business.
- Luxury may be back. Tacky isn’t.
- Shopping for value is as much a part of retail therapy as shopping for products. Smart brands promote both.
- Brick and mortar merchants can take advantage of their one-on-one customer relationships to surprise and delight customers who are or may become loyal.