Retailers Get Ready for Thrifty Shift Among Shoppers

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 12:00 am  

Eileen Sotomora of Little Rock, with daughter, Charli, said she searches the Internet to find deals on everything from plane tickets to shoes.

Karrh said businesses should try to gain the trust of their customers by offering testimonials or guaranteeing the service or the product. That makes the company more trustworthy and sends the message that the company will take care of the customer if something goes wrong, he said.

Online Shopping

The post-recession consumer also is doing more research on the Internet, especially for big-ticket purchases.

“The whole buying process has been turned on its head,” Karrh said. “When they walk into the showroom, they already have done their homework.”

He said consumers are turning to the Internet for price comparison and customer reviews on social network sites.

Rangan, of Booz & Co., said he didn’t think that the Internet would replace brick and mortar stores, though.

“Consumers still want to have the experience of touching, feeling, experiencing the product or service first hand,” Rangan said.

But online purchases are making strides, the Booz & Co. report said.

The marketing experts said they think this value-conscious consumer behavior is here to stay.

“I don’t see how the genie ever goes back in the bottle,” Karrh said, “which means it’s incumbent upon businesses to understand value from the consumer’s perspective.”







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