Consumer dynamics are changing: the consumer is becoming increasingly demanding and independent and technology is able to meet each and every demand for speed and convenience, making everything possible with just one click from the comfort of one’s own home.
We are facing a momentous change: e-commerce and the big players, Amazon above all, have marked a turning point. But retail, both the shopping centre system and the high street, hasn’t just been standing around either.
Luca Pellegrini, marketing professor at the Iulm University of Milan, expressed his point of view at Ordine & Extra-Vaganze, the annual Popai conference held on 25 May.
Pellegrini launched a challenge entitled “What exactly does the consumer expect and demand?” and supplied his own four-point solution.
“Despite the effects of the crisis, in recent years we have witnessed a revolution in the relationship between consumption of goods and services. Nowadays it is the second category to dominate at 52.6% consumption compared to 47.4% for goods. What are the implications of this? That we need to start selling services, like Eataly which may be a sales point but is also mostly a space for consumption, or Lush which has twinned a wellness spa with the sale of cosmetic products. Not providing services means a loss of revenue and added value.”
A more stimulating context
In order to attract the consumer to a physical sales space, it needs to offer something extra: a customer experience of some kind. The professor claimed that “[consumers] want to easily find proximity (whether physical or virtual), comfort and entertainment. They want to play, to learn something, to experience something.”
A fluid relationship
The customer must be able to perceive an element of personalisation in the relationship. “Omnichannel and social interaction are fine, as long as there is real content in the app and something that really involves the customer with regard to their interests or solving their problems” continued Pellegrini.
“Sometimes we are willing to spend a little more, but mostly we want intelligent economy” explained Pellegrini.
Retail will have to increasingly offer easy-to-use goods and services in welcoming and stimulating contexts, demonstrating attention and empathy towards the customer. “How many supermarkets already have, not a relax area, but a couple of benches for resting on? And how many sales points have a bar?” asks Pellegrini.
Our contribution: and how many of these have developed a musical selection that involves the consumer in a customer experience via the ears too or that, consciously or unconsciously, evokes an emotional association that produces a positive memory of that place or brand?