Category Archives: Consumer behaviour

Avoid the tyranny of choice

The gloomy Danish philosopher Kierkegaard found much of life to be painful, but it can be assumed he would have harboured a particular ennui for online shopping.  Too many options, especially when combined with the stress of information acquisition, create … Continue reading

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The fiction of friction

Current wisdom has it that retailers must smooth away ‘friction’ from the shopping journey. Time is the ultimate scarce resource, we are told, and customers will reward us for giving it back to them. Decluttering, quick check-outs and electronic payments … Continue reading

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The productivity conundrum

Christmas saw a continued acceleration of online migration: not perhaps an inflection point, as the trends have progressed now for several years, but certainly a quickening of pace. Each year, the fourth quarter is the one which sees the big … Continue reading

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Poll dancing

Following last Thursday’s humiliation of all pollsters and pundits it would be understandable, and indeed probably appropriate, if no piece of consumer research were ever again digested without a hypertension-inducing slug of salt. But before we write off statistics and … Continue reading

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Be distinct or risk becoming extinct

It has become a commonplace that polarisation is accelerating. In grocery, switchers are migrating to hard discounters and premium chains such as Waitrose and M&S. In fashion, Primark and luxury brands are growing fastest. In general merchandise, it is B&M … Continue reading

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Seize the journey, not the moment

Much thinking about customer service has focused on “moments of truth”, the particular interactions with high emotional content which provide the opportunity to “delight” the customer and intensify loyalty. This idea is a useful reminder that an investment to make … Continue reading

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Ethical marks enter the mainstream

Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s recent dispute on whether Fairtrade products can be price-compared to non-Fairtrade comes down to what degree ethics play a role in consumers’ purchasing decisions. There is a strong body of evidence suggesting that the Fairtrade mark enhances … Continue reading

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Why retailing needs a new model

“Showrooming” involves customers visiting a store to seek advice or to experience a product, but completing the purchase through an internet retailer or directly with the brand. It has become such a menace for bricks-and-mortar retailers that a number of … Continue reading

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Winning customers’ trust

One of the most striking findings of this year’s Retail Proposition Strength Index, launched by OC&C at the World Retail Congress two weeks ago, was that customers’ trust in retail brands is in sharp decline.   Of nearly 400 retailers rated … Continue reading

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Top of the Pops

In most economies, consumer confidence languishes at low levels. But how is consumers’ caution leading to reappraisal of their favorite stores?  To say that value is in fashion, or that discounters should be winning, understates the complexity of changing consumer … Continue reading

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