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On today’s Business Beat, Jeff Sloan talks about the changing expectations of the U.S. consumer and how brand loyalty is no longer the driving force for shoppers.
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Good morning, Paul!
According to insights from a new McKinsey report, the retail business landscape continues to morph and change, even in this post-pandemic period. The report highlights how consumers have vastly changed the way they shop, who they shop with, what matters to them as consumers and why fundamentally they do business with a given company.
Here’s some key takeaways, Paul. Nearly 40% of shoppers have switched brands during the pandemic. Wait, what happened to consumer loyalty? Not anymore. Not at least like it used to be. You’ve got to earn every sale now as a retailer and not rest on your laurels based on what was known as consumer loyalty in the past.
Eighty percent have new shopping behaviors. For example, even though we are way beyond the worst of the safety concerns associated with a pandemic as consumers, we really got used to the buy online pickup in store option that was offered to us during the pandemic. And we’re not ready to give that up. What was seen as a safety requirement before is now seen as a convenience. That’s here to stay.
Further, the requirement for a brand to stand for something, to have a greater purpose that goes beyond simply financial performance is now more important than ever. When a consumer selects a brand to do business with, they want to know what does this brand stand for? And does it align with my interests?
Lastly, consumers want to see the employee makeup of a given company mirror the diverse U.S. population. And, of course, any retailer wanting to be around, not only for the next sale, but any possible future sales are now forced to address the issues of equality, purpose and customer service at a fundamental level with real focus and intention, like never before.
The power of the U.S. consumer has spoken, Paul, and businesses better listen up.
I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.