Rapid population growth, changes in social, economic, and cultural structure, differences in consumer needs, technological developments, consumer behaviors, and preferences have created a new consumption culture. Today, new sales channels emerge to respond to the rapidly changing consumer demands, needs, and behaviors. The rapid increase in the number of new channels seriously affects the competition in the retail sector. In this context, it is essential to determine consumers' behaviors, preferences, and changes in physical retail stores.

Source: McKinsey 

Especially after the pandemic, customers have become more open to trying new brands, retailers, or shopping channels, which makes it even more essential to keep up with their specific needs. Let’s dive into what consumer behavior in retail stands for, and how retailers can keep up.

What is Consumer Behavior in Retail?

Retail consumer behavior is defined as a process that includes decisions to select, purchase, use and dispose of products and services to meet the wants and needs of individuals or groups and the activities related to these decisions. The features of retail customer behaviors are described as follows:

  • Retail Consumer Behavior Motives: Since customer behavior emerges as a result of certain motivations, they are done to achieve certain goals. Therefore, retail consumer behavior is the behavior done to fulfill the purpose of satisfying consumer wants and needs.
  • Retail Customer Behavior is a Dynamic Process: The process involves interconnected, interrelated, and successive steps. Consumer behavior is an extremely dynamic process, and the activities that make up the consumption process take place in a certain order and hierarchy.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors affect consumer behavior. However, the effect of environmental factors may vary according to the purchase's purpose, the consumer's internal state, and other situational factors.
  • Consumer Behavior May Vary for Different Segments: Consumer behavior also changes depending on facts such as personality, motivation, learning, and personal experiences. The study of consumer behavior helps in product and service development, and to place a solid strategy, creating customer segments while analyzing is the best way to go.

Vispera’s retail execution solutions help you understand customer behavior with the magic of image recognition, end-to-end store execution, and visual intelligence technologies. With shelf and shopper strategy solutions, retailers can create a perfect retail experience for customers.

Why Do Consumers Prefer Physical Shopping?

With the boom in eCommerce, many people have an opinion that consumers prefer online shopping over physical shopping, but the reality is not at all. In fact, only 7,2 percent of grocery shoppers prefer online channels globally.

But still, it’s true that retail companies are using various methods to attract consumers to physical stores to solidify their advantages. 

How Do Physical Stores Increase Customer Value?

One of the most fundamental problems of physical stores is the inability to increase customer value, but still, brick-and-mortar stores have an advance compared to e-grocery shopping, as a considerable amount of customers still state they have bad experiences with e-grocery shopping. In this context, the customer can increase the value with certain methods that should be applied. These methods are listed as follows:

  • Stores should be stores. Grocery retailers should never forget what customers visit them—to buy what they need in the easiest way possible. Therefore, designing the stores and shelves considering the demands of customers is essential.
  • Technology is your best friend. Today, there are many tools available to design a better physical store experience. Taking advantage of cameras, AI, and analysis tools are the most reasonable solutions to adopt.
  • Customers should be identified based on their behavior in the store and a store should be designed in a style that appeals to them.
  • Whatever the price is, there must be a convincing and justified argument behind it.
  • Customer data should be applied to store execution via new retail execution technologies such as visual intelligence and CRM.
  • The consumer should experience the convenience of BOPIS(Buy Online Pick-Up in Store), added to the benefits of offline shopping.
  • Customers should have a smooth shopping journey, designed for their exact needs.

The common point of the above methods is to listen to the customer. Listening and helping the customer always makes the customer feel valued. 

Vispera offers the easiest way to communicate with the customer—without even interrupting them! With Vispera’s two main solutions, Storesense and Shelfsight, you can get a glimpse of customer behaviors through store/shelf analysis and draw data-backed conclusions.

Which Is Better, Shopping Online or In A Physical Store?

In order to compare whether online shopping is good or physical store shopping is better, first of all, it is necessary to compare both physical store shopping and online shopping with their advantages.

The advantages of online shopping include a convenient and comfortable environment, competitive prices, product variety, ease of gift delivery, time, access to second-hand products, and online reviews. In contrast, the advantages of physical shopping include close inspection and testing of the product, bargaining opportunities, immediate product availability, employee assistance, and reliable shopping. Although brick-and-mortar stores have fallen behind the perks of online shopping on the data analysis front, today’s retail execution technologies make it easier than ever to analyze physical store metrics.

Why Are Physical Stores Still Vital for Retailers?

There are many reasons why physical stores are still important to retailers. These reasons are as follows:

  • Consumers are more likely to buy a product they have seen in person.
  • Physical stores increase online store traffic by approximately 37 percent.
  • Physical stores lower the return cost.
  • Quality, face-to-face customer service drives sales.
  • Brand experience is still innately physical.
  • Physical stores bring more traffic than online stores.

Opening new physical stores increases a brand’s online presence greatly, through brand mentions and online searches. The online effect equates to increased financial returns, making physical stores a good investment in terms of both popularity and profitability.

How Can Expectations About The Future Change Consumer Behavior in Physical Retail Stores?

Expectations for the future affecting physical retail stores include the increasing expectation of customers for a seamless retail experience. Consumers expect retailers to provide as seamless a shopping experience as possible.

In the near future, physical stores need to realize that a personalized customer experience is paramount in order to be successful. In addition to creating retail experiences that will give people a reason to visit the store, it will be necessary to prioritize health and safety. 

Thankfully, Vispera lets retailers create a more customer-centric physical store experience. With Vispera’s shelf-top camera solution that tracks and analyzes shelves non-stop, you can make sure that the shoppers’ favorites are always on shelves and visible, get insights into customers’ shopping journey, take your cross-merchandising game to a higher level, and create perfect shelf placements that drive growth. Request a pilot to see how Vispera can transform your retail experience.