Tuesday 5 March 2019

Making Sense of the Savvy Consumer in Flatline….

Given ten years of market confusion, consumers are now beginning to make some sense of the financial turmoil, are developing increasing confidence in their common sense when making purchasing decisions, and those who still have jobs are working longer and harder, and possibly for less money.

As a result, they are relating every £1 of ‘discretionary’ expenditure to their current and future earnings, assessing the opportunity-cost in terms of alternative uses of the money, like never before…

They are raising their own performance standards, and using them as a measure against which to evaluate every product and service offering, refusing ever to outsource their decision-making to marketers and retailers again.

In addition, mobile-isation of market-comparison has made it easier for the savvy consumer-shopper to evaluate alternative offerings objectively and accurately, and is guiding their expectations of performance in the process.

The New Savvy Consumers

Welcome to the new savvy consumers, the professional shoppers, discerning buyers who are simply seeking to obtain satisfaction of their needs in an open market, at a price that compares well with alternatives available, based upon simple common sense, and trust in no one....

As the newly emerging primary driver of demand, the savvy consumers have to be persuaded that their needs are being met, for a fair price, and that their purchases deliver more than expected in practice. In other words, this new consumer, if willing to spend, is unwilling to accept anything short of good value for money.

The destruction of consumer-trust

Consumer-trust, having been severely undermined by the bankers and politicians, is now at an all time low, in that consumers realise that they have been betrayed by the ‘pillars of society’, and they are no longer prepared to ignore the learnings….

As a result, they now believe that in the final analysis, they can no longer afford to risk outsourcing purchasing decisions to marketers and sellers of goods and services. In other words, the consumer is now using basic common sense to evaluate what they get for their money and is rejecting second-best….

A real opportunity for the good guys

If this is seems like more doom and gloom, then we are simply not expressing it properly…

In fact, we believe that the emergence of the savvy consumer is the most positive and exciting social development of the current cash crisis. We are now living through the evolution of a commonsense approach to buying goods and services by increasingly informed consumers, who are prepared to vote with their feet. This is a development that will obviously challenge traditional marketing and selling practices, but will provide significant opportunities for those suppliers and retailers that are prepared go back to basics, factor this new reality into their product offerings, and always strive to exceed consumer expectation…

In practice, this means that the consumer is providing an entirely new basis for suppliers to re-evaluate every SKU in their portfolios against available alternatives, and ruthlessly eliminate anything that does not clearly demonstrate a total match with latest consumer need, made available in a way that shoppers want to buy, better than the competition. It follows that the customer portfolio has to be re-assessed from the same point-of-view, again with the aim of identifying and cultivating trading partners that are capable of expressing the brand offering in a way that can meet consumer-shopper needs at point-of-sale, profitably.

This elimination of consumer-brand mismatch and product overlap from supplier portfolios will reduce supplier costs, allowing liberated resources to be invested in winner brands with increased emphasis upon consumer satisfaction, thereby selling more to current savvy consumers, and making it easier to sell new products to those increasingly trusting and loyal users.

In the same way, building trade partnerships with like-minded retailers has to present joint-opportunities to optimise common-sense market need, while others await a return to ‘normal’…

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