It’s common sense that knowing your customers is crucial to a retailers success and that ensuring this understanding of who buys your clothes (and why) is embedded throughout the company - with designers, buyers, marketers and merchandisers all sharing the same customer view and product vision.
Yet an accurate understanding of who actually wants and buys their product isn’t a given for many retailers.
Whilst online focused retailers like PrettyLittleThing are fully in tune with the partying Gen X customer and this understanding permeates everything they do from the clothes they sell, to the delivery options offered to the very offices they work in, and Adidas customer focus makes domination of the sneaker game look Yeezy.
Other retailers struggle as they think they understand who their customers are but often base this on historical performance, despite the fact that consumer preferences and behaviours are evolving faster than ever before.
Many retailers also fall into the trap of creating product for the customers they aspire to have and not the customers they actually have.
So how can these retailers make sure they are focusing on the correct customers - how can they quickly and accurately sense check who their brand and products actually appeal to?
Two traditional options - review their own data and customer focus groups
These approaches both focus on historical performance, meaning retailers often don’t actually know how new products will perform with customer groups and don’t include looking at how customer groupings who aren’t already identified as customers will feel about products.
In sectors such as FMCG, companies have for years been working on Product Testing, allowing brands to test new products with multiple audiences before committing to stock or marketing strategies.
We often find that with Mallzee Insights we identify disconnects between who a management team thinks their customers are and the customers actually positively interacting with their brand via the data generated by our 1.5 million shoppers on Mallzee.
Our retail insights reports detail exactly what consumers think of each partner retailers products - broken down by demographics including age, gender and location. These insights enable retailers to accurately design, buy and market products to the most receptive audiences rather than wasting time and resource based on an outdated customer vision.
This data can be provided on products already brought to market through regular reporting but the real power is driven when insights are generated through our Product Future offering before products are brought to market.
Choice is increasing, consumers are becoming more discerning, the lines between traditional consumer groupings are increasingly blurred and all of this is happening against a backdrop of rising costs and reduced consumer spending - meaning even retailers who know their core customers can benefit hugely from adding an understanding of all auxiliary demographics who like (and might buy) their products
For example; when working recently with a well known premium brand who had a strong belief that their customer base was an older, 30 years plus demographic, we found (thanks to the diversity of our users and data) that there was also strong interest from the younger mid 20s customer for their lower priced highly branded accessories and bags. These customers had a lower spend but coveted these entry level pieces as a gateway to the brand. We delivered this consumer insight to the client who could effectively use it to target the younger audience using the appropriate items and channels.
For this and many retailers - it’s not always a case of not knowing your consumer audience but rather not knowing all of it. Given the pressures facing retailers throughout the UK its all about broadening consumer audience and discovering the revenue gains that can be made by optimising product selections.
If you want to understand every customer that your products are actually resonating with, ensure that your ranges are true to the company vision and that you are correctly targeting your products, get in touch using the contact box below.