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    on July 28, 2022

    The current state of retail: How fast action is the key to success

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    Things are changing in the retail space — and fast. In order to meet growing demands, you’ll have to move just as quickly as a retail marketer.

    Your means of success? Flexibility, fast-thinking and strategic practices.

    Tiffany Froy, VP, Client Partner at PureRED, a marketing service and technology partner in retail and consumer spaces, shared her views on the importance of urgency marketing in retail and what brands can expect in the future.

    A rapid shift in consumer behavior

    There’s a new age of consumers shopping the market today, and they’re more empowered than ever before. Technologically advanced, purpose-driven and efficiency-focused, consumers have changed, and serving them requires a delicate touch. 

    “Consumer behavior has shifted at a rapid rate over the past 2.5 years. Now you have a very savvy consumer who understands the digital landscape, and it’s not just Generation Z and Millennials who are digitally savvy — it’s Generation X and Boomers to a certain degree,” Froy said. “With that, messaging and promotions have to be nimble and impactful.”

    How can you achieve this? Froy says there are two channels for success: your value proposition and the everyday shopping experience.

    Highlighting the unique aspects of your marketing campaigns can help generate purchases. Have a product that will only be available for a short period of time? A service that will make the shopping experience easier? Promote it — especially if the market is calling for your specific services. 

    “It’s always been an underlying goal for consumers to get the best value, but over the last three to four months, with rising prices and inflation, consumers want to make sure they're getting the best experience,” said Froy. “In a space that’s highly competitive like retail, you have to make sure that your messaging is reaching your consumers effectively.”

    The importance of quickly meeting consumer needs

    Having a strong sense of urgency allows you to pivot and provide consumers what they want by focusing on the needs of the market. Nimble practices that allow brands to be flexible and quickly meet audience needs are growing in importance as the actions and behaviors of consumers change.

    As Froy stated, changes in the market are coming in fast and largely impacting consumer decisions. In a recent survey on grocery store shoppers, retail data science company 84.51° discovered 88 percent of consumers feel concerned with inflation and rising prices across critical household products. As a result, over half of households are looking for sales and switching to lower cost brands.

    “If you think about a consumer pre-pandemic, you have a consumer who would shop with multiple stores to fill their basket. Now, consumers who still have to make necessary purchases are looking at whether they can shop at one store and still have a valuable basket,” said Froy. “Typically when someone is shopping, they make their biggest purchases at the first stop. So becoming that first stop is a major goal for a lot of retailers.”

    There’s no denying it: Consumers are interested in saving time and money. And with the growing emphasis on these factors, Froy says purchase decisions are becoming less about brand name and more about the value of the product. 

    “I feel like you’re going to start seeing a rise in these private label brands. If someone can’t find one brand of toilet paper at a store, they’ll begin looking for the private label version of that brand, said Froy. “To me, that’s where that nimbleness in urgency marketing comes in. Brands have to pivot and have that sort of ‘in-stock mentality’ where they can still serve customers.”

    The retail space is evolving and customers are changing alongside it. To truly serve your customers today, you’ll have to act fast and make it easy for customers to get what they need. 

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    Lindsay Keener

    Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.

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