There’s no doubt that, thanks to Covid, our retail landscape as a whole is going through a major transitional period. As a result, consumers are shopping differently, with new interests and expectations.
For example, here at Niven we’ve observed that consumers are currently buying recreational products at a record-breaking pace. Things have reached the point where most dealers are out of stock. On top of increased demand, manufacturers have seen reduced production schedules and merchandise output, much of it due to supply chain issues.
Unpacking recent retail shopping behaviors and trends
During a recent shopping adventure, I headed to a local pool store to check out their new Jacuzzis. What I saw instead was 20,000 square feet of empty space. How could this be? The sales attendant informed me that all of their spas were completely sold out for 2021, and their next shipment wouldn’t arrive until Spring of 2022. I wondered: Is this the new normal?
So I did a little research on the availability of other big-ticket recreational items. Sure enough, I found that fishing boats, ski boats, pleasure craft, recreational vehicles (motorcycles, side-by-sides, etc.) and even bicycles were in short supply.
The obvious conclusion is that, thanks to the pandemic, we’re all spending more time with our immediate family and friends. And we’re spending more money on outdoor sports and recreation.
How has consumer shopping behavior changed in recent years? Where is it going?
And that’s the only change we see coming. Our modified ways of shopping will most likely continue, perhaps even spurring a lasting paradigm shift.
For example, before Covid, the average consumer spent 35 minutes making an in-store purchase. Next year, the norm will likely be closer to 10 minutes. As shopping evolves, shoppers want satisfaction more and more quickly. How will brands accommodate these new evolved consumers? And how will they engage new consumers at retail, so they can gain additional market share?
Of course, technology will help to create brand awareness. And the endless aisle will provide a virtual way to expedite purchases. But it will take constant innovation and visual stimulation, as well as precision selling methods, to win future sales. The good news for our clients is, Niven is embracing it all.