Are you doing enough to attract ‘SuperShoppers’?
10th Mar 2014
Photo credit: My-Retail Media
Recent reports revealed that a quarter of UK retail spending comes from just 18 per cent of shoppers, called ‘SuperShoppers’ (25 to 44-year-old men and women working in professional or managerial roles). Retail technology expert Alan Watson takes a look at this valuable segment of the market.
In the retail industry, we seem to have an obsession with buzzwords and the latest is the ‘SuperShopper’, a small but highly valuable percentage of the shopping population. But behind most of these buzzwords, there is an important underlying message and the SuperShopper is no different. So why should we be taking notice of this particular segment of the market?
What is a SuperShopper?
You only need to search online to see numerous stories which discuss the SuperShopper, but for those who are unfamiliar with the term, the SuperShopper tends to be 25-44 year old, either male or female and in professional or managerial roles. According to research conducted by Deloitte, this segment makes up 18 per cent of the shopping population, but accounts for 70 per cent of total retail spend, which stood at more than £200 billion last year. What we know about customers in this age group is that they are very tech savvy and enjoy the multi-channel shopping experience. They want 24/7 access to enable them to shop wherever and whenever they want and above all, they want a quick, simple and fuss free shopping experience.
What also makes the needs of the SuperShopper particularly important is that whilst price is always going to be a consideration, I would argue it is not a prime motivator for their purchase. In my experience, these types of customers aren’t looking for the cheapest product and are willing to pay a premium in order to get the products and service they want, at a price they feel is reasonable, from a retailer that offers them a hassle free shopping experience.
Not just an elite e-shopper
Let’s not confuse this segment with that of a wealthy e-shopper. The same Deloitte report revealed that 30 per cent of SuperShoppers browse online before coming in store and take advantage of services like click and collect. So, SuperShoppers clearly enjoy both online and high street shopping and so retailers competing for their attention and their business need to offer something that allows both experiences to be integrated into one. Whether that is via loyalty schemes that recognise their recent purchases, click and collect services, or easy returns online or in store regardless of how they purchased them, it’s more about ensuring that they receive a consistent experience at every touch point.
Downtime is not an option
How does technology play a part in attracting and retaining these customers? These customers are typically cash rich and time poor, so IT downtime is highly dangerous ground! I believe that too many retailers are jumping on the technology bandwagon without understanding the total cost of delivering and maintaining their whizzy new service offerings. As a result, they usually end up experiencing repeated periods of downtime due to inadequate in-store training, poorly supported e-commerce operations, retail hardware and software that isn’t matched to their specific needs and a lack of appropriate IT service support. It is a simple fact that any or all of these factors combined could result in your SuperShoppers heading straight into the arms of your competitors.
So what is the solution?
Quite simply, the solution is whatever you do, make sure you do it well. Don’t implement new technology or systems simply because your competitors have done so, but because they serve a real need for your customers and will enhance their shopping experience. Constantly review your customer journey to ensure you are able to maintain your service levels and reduce the likelihood of a negative customer experience. When you address every business issue by putting the customer experience at the top of the list, that’s when you start to deliver the consistent, joined-up shopping experience that all of your customers, including your ‘SuperShoppers’ will thank you for.
Alan Watson has over 30 years experience in Retail IT service support and is the MD of global IT service specialists Barron McCann. Click here for more information on Barron McCann.
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