In a world marked by persistent inflation and changing consumer habits, retailers and brands often face a challenging landscape in the marketplace. Erin Russeck, Chief Research Officer at AMC Global, delves into these issues in her recent article published in Total Retail, "Price Pressures Persist: How Retailers and Brands Can Navigate Changing Shopping Behaviors."
Rising Prices & Consumer Response
The theme of the article revolves around the ongoing pressure of rising prices and inflation on consumer behavior. Erin shares findings from a recent wave of our ongoing consumer behavior study that examines the impact of these price increases. While consumer perceptions of price hikes seem to be stabilizing compared to our previous inflation study, shoppers are still adapting by employing various cost-saving strategies. For instance, many consumers opt for generic alternatives for items like over-the-counter medicines to mitigate the impact of higher prices. The article also covers data from the study that shows the ongoing economic stress experienced by consumers has led many to shift from discretionary spending to focusing on essential needs. This transition is reflected in the recent earnings reports of major retailers, pointing to significant changes in shopping behavior among U.S. consumers.
Gender Disparities Regarding Inflation Concerns
One particularly interesting aspect highlighted in Erin’s article is the gender disparity in financial concerns during this ongoing period of inflation and price hikes. Women, our consumer study shows, express more apprehension about the U.S. economy and their personal finances compared to men. This disparity is rooted in the unique challenges women face, such as caregiving responsibilities and more lower-wage positions. The Total Retail article suggests that brands and retailers need to explore the factors contributing to this gender gap in financial stress to better serve female consumers, who often play a pivotal role in household purchasing decisions.
Using Market Research to Stay Ahead
Throughout "Price Pressures Persist: How Retailers and Brands Can Navigate Changing Shopping Behaviors," Erin talks about how the right market research approaches can help brands and retailers employ the action-oriented strategies to reach their target audiences. When the marketplace is changing quickly, gathering shopper data to inform brand strategies regarding product placement, pricing, and promotion is essential. AMC’s recent study also offers solutions for retailers and brands to help consumers navigate the impact of inflation, like the importance of offering bulk purchasing options and making generic and store brand alternatives easily accessible. Additionally, they can actively promote discounts and coupons to cater to price-conscious consumers who are buying high-priced products less frequently.
Retailers and brands need to be ready to adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs of price-conscious consumers. By understanding shifting consumer behavior through ongoing research, businesses can develop strategies to thrive in an ever-changing economic landscape. Reach out to us today to get started!