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By: Jeff Falk
Posted: November 18, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

Complementary to Trend Horizons.

Consumers and Retail

“We want to be for sale where consumers want to buy us,” Ed Shirley, the vice chair of global beauty and grooming at Procter & Gamble, told the CEW Newsmaker Forum audience on Sept. 15, 2010.

And where consumers want to buy their products has become ever more complicated—with new economic sensibilities to access, emerging markets to test, giants ruling the landscape and virtual shopping experiences available at any time the consumer feels the mood to spend. In her “What Now? What Next? What’s Worth It? — How to Get Shoppers Back into Stores Right Now” presentation at Shopper Marketing Expo in October 2010, Wendy Liebmann, CEO and chief shopper for WSL Strategic Retail, said that: “As the economy ekes its way to recovery, shoppers no longer live to shop—they shop to live. They have a new set of entrenched values and a new list of stores on their radar. That means companies need to reconsider everything they do in order to succeed over the next two to three years.”

So the basic question seems to be: today, how do we engage consumers during their shopping experience?

Evolution

“There’s a new definition of retail,” said Marc Rosen at his “Looking Back to See the Future” panel during Luxe Pack Monaco. “It’s about rebuilding excitement. Consumers are not enticed to buy solely on what’s new. It’s an experience ripe for new invention. [It] is not about copying [what’s been done], but taking a lesson and timely, sensitive insight into consumers’ lives.”