Stay in tune with customer behaviour

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

According to a study by The Nielsen Company*, 65% of Kiwis are:

  • eating less fast food and takeaway meals,
  • using less power, gas and electricity,
  • buying fewer new clothes,
  • using their cars less, and,
  • switching to cheaper grocery brands.

The survey suggests that New Zealanders plan to keep their spending under control even when economic conditions improve.

With this in mind, what can you do?

Know what this means for you - a drop in consumer spending could mean lower profits. And you may find that your customers want to negotiate on price or want 'cheaper' alternatives.

Give great customer service - this is easy to do and often doesn't cost anything. Importantly, your customers will remember you for it.

Offer incentives - a free gift, a discount voucher or a two-for-one offer will encourage your customers to come back to you when they do want to spend money.

Encourage referrals - word of mouth is the best form of advertising, ask your customers to recommend you and reward them for introducing new business.

Provide a lay-by-option - it may seem a bit dated but you're more likely to make a sale if you allow customers to pay over time for products they can't afford 'now' - and as there's no credit, there's no risk to you.

Sell online - consumers are cutting back on using their cars, so make sure they can still buy your goods via your website.

Comment and tell us how you're dealing with changes in customer spending behaviour.

*The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey, April 2009