Nearly two-thirds of consumers polled in a new survey are less confident in the economy than a year ago, and 76 percent of them are spending less money. The new research from customer engagement firm Verint reveals how retail marketers can boost their chances of attracting more discretionary dollars in an era of high inflation.
The newly released Verint Guide to Customer Engagement in the Retail Industry study shows that entertainment and clothing were cited as the top areas for budget cuts in retail purchases as consumers struggle with inflation and economic uncertainty—and 56 percent of shoppers indicated “value for the money” as one of the two most important factors that impact their loyalty to mass market retailers.
The survey also shows the fiscal benefits of customer retention and keeping existing customers happy. Ninety-one percent of consumers shop at their favorite mass market retailer at least once a month, with 83 percent spending $50 or more on average.
Retailers that delight first-time shoppers can also benefit greatly
Three-quarters of consumers who tried a new mass market retailer for the first time in the past six months shopped there more than once, with 90 percent of first-time shoppers making purchases at least once a month thereafter.
After having an amazing customer experience, 88 percent are likely to make a repeat purchase, 82 percent are likely to recommend to friends or family, 68 percent are likely to join a loyalty program, and 63 percent said they are likely to write a positive review.
“At a time when global inflation has become one of the biggest issues facing consumers, leaving them with less disposable income, maintaining ‘share of wallet’ is critical for retailers,” said Verint’s Jenni Palocsik, vice president, marketing insights, experience and enablement, in a news release. “Creating exceptional experiences should be at the heart of every retailer’s engagement strategy. And our study shows ‘to the retail customer experience victors, go the spoils.’”
The study also shows that a negative customer experience can send shoppers packing; reasons that consumers were likely to stop purchasing from a retailer included: if a customer service issue isn’t resolved in a single attempt (62 percent), if unable to communicate on their channel of choice (57 percent), if forced to repeat themselves (55 percent), and if they have to endure long wait times (50 percent).
This summer, Verint conducted an online survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers who had purchased from a mass market retailer from February to July 2022.