Post-Recession Shopping: Purpose, Not Panic

Articles
March 09, 2010

Post-Recession Shopping: Purpose, Not Panic

Some post-recession shopping tactics will be like those in the recession – lots of coupon use, continued trade-downs and private label purchases.

Some post-recession shopping tactics will be like those in the recession – lots of coupon use, continued trade-downs and private label purchases. This tough economy has ingrained survival mechanisms in shoppers that now seem to be part of the American character.

Rather than seek deals feverishly, however, people will buy more selectively. Tired of cutting back and trading down, they’ll become more purposeful in the way they reintroduce their wants to the household budget. This will become the opportunity for retailers and CPG to offer affordable do-it-yourself alternatives, such as high-quality, freshly prepared meals for takeout that could replace restaurant visits.

Their receptivity will blend with a new deliberate nature to their buying, as they practice practical consumerism. They’ll shop with purpose, not panic. And they’ll use technology (mobile phones, online searches) more to identify savings opportunities:  “The recession has tempered the rampant and excessive consumption, giving way to more mindful choices as shoppers increasingly seek out online and mobile coupons, comparison shopping sites, and loyalty and rewards programs,” said Lisa Feigen Dugal, PriceWaterhouseCoopers U.S. retail and consumer practice leader. “Retailers will need to adapt their strategies to appeal to this new generation of consumers.”

This will add to their challenge to make promotion and savings information easy to access across all touchpoints, and to optimize their search engine and paid search vehicle activities to make specific items easy to find.

So indicate key insights of a new report, The New Consumer Behavior Paradigm: Permanent or Fleeting? issued today by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Retail Forward, a Kantar Retail company.  

The Lempert Report feels that the more stores are able to align their offers with shoppers’ new thinking about spending (and coax them back to higher purchase levels), the more they’ll be associated with the climb back to normalcy that people crave so much.