Dreamers, explorers and locators are key to retail sales, says design firm

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Consumers have key mind states and retailers need to let them dream, explore and locate across all channels, says FITCH

Consumers have key mind states and retailers need to let them dream, explore and locate across all channels, says FITCH

Global design consultancy FITCH has revealed three shopper mind states, which it claims characterise the behaviours of shoppers across the world and are set to drive the future of retail.

Following a year-long study in seven major markets, polling 7,250 people, FITCH has identified dreaming, exploring and locating as the three universal states of mind that all shoppers share across the globe. 

Dreaming – In this mind state, shoppers actively look for new ideas and inspiration. They skip between categories and brands to find inspiration or learn something, and have fun while doing it.

Exploring – Here, the shopper is open minded, but has a category specific purchase intent. They may have a few options in mind but are open to suggestions and influence. They are looking to browse easily, find more information and narrow down their choices.

Locating – In this mind state, shoppers are looking for a brand, product or service. They know the specific item they are looking for. They want things to be easy to find and welcome timely and relevant reminders.

FITCH’s strategy director, Aaron Shields, said: “This unique study has substantiated what we’ve known for some time. Shoppers’ needs are not being fully met, and retailers need to act to satisfy consumers in a multi-channel world. If retailers address the need for consumers to dream, explore and locate across all channels, then they are on their way to providing more enjoyable, seamless experience. With the UK high street struggling, malls in China remaining empty and big box formats being called into question, this, of course, can only be good for the global retail economy.”

The identification of these mind states and the supporting survey has revealed a number of challenges for retailers, said FITCH. It has found if shoppers’ dreaming, exploring and locating needs are not met, then the customer experience is diminished – bad news for retailers. 

Shoppers who feel all three of their mind states are being met, are 21% more likely to describe themselves as currently happy with their retail experience, with much of that difference being attributed to dreaming activities, said FITCH.

Worryingly for domestic retailers, FITCH found the UK has the unhappiest customers around the globe, with only 19% indicating they are happy, in contrast with the Chinese (55%) who have the happiest retail experiences.

However, shoppers in emerging markets of China, India and Brazil, are twice as enthusiastic overall than their counterparts in the US and UK. Moreover in the UK and US, more people find shopping a chore – 19% and 15%.

While most people polled regard themselves as enthusiasts in the categories they shop in – 94% in electronics, 85% for food and 89% in fashion – satisfaction with their shopping experience is far lower.

The study also found, despite the technological boom, 54% of respondents worldwide still prefer an in-store shopping experience, with just 30% preferring to shop online. 

Mobile shopping is the favoured option for 13% of shoppers, and only 7% make purchasing decisions through social media.