According to Forrester, understanding your customer(s) journey has become a critical element to marketing success.
What is Fauxsumerism?
For decades, retailers have seen an increase in consumption so it is understandable that seemingly fundamental shifts in consumer behaviour across segments and generations will raise eyebrows, if not red flags.
As a disclaimer, I am very conservative with what I deem a trend and not just a slow news day, but NY Magazine is on to something when they point to the Millennial love affair with wish lists and window-shopping, or what many call, “fauxsumerism.”
The concept is not new; it has been a favourite past-time of a large portion of consumers throughout history. But consider if you will, the astonishing degree of consumerism that has characterized North American culture for the past 100+ years.
The economic growth we’ve seen may have less to do with industrialization or technology than an unrelenting desire to simply buy “stuff”.
The Intelligence group and their most recent Cassandra Report found that over 30% of Millennials found more satisfaction in browsing, than buying. On the bright side, 40% of those surveyed cited they are making wish lists as they browse. It is up to marketers and retailers to actually convert these wish lists into actual purchases.
Also emerging are a number of sites and apps to feed this trend, see Wish, LoveList, Nuji. The ever-growing Pinterest is a mainstream iteration which caters to, feeds, and satisfies this behaviour and it is not used by just Millennials.
So what is a retailer to do?
- Recognize that these consumers are still buyers—70% continue to covet the purchase stage.
- Understand the role these emerging trends play in the purchase decision—Millennials are more cautious consumers, in some regards. This group has redefined delayed gratification.
- Prepare to invest in the pre-shopping stage. There is a whole lot happening with Millennial customers before they even enter what has traditionally been referred to as the buying stage of the customer journey.
The approach for discovering, exploring, buying and engaging is different for every consumer segment. Sometimes that is a by-product of their generation, their socio-economic status or the category of their purchase. Do you know where you fit in your customer’s journey; where you can introduce yourself, where they can come to like you and then try you and then fall in love with you?
Do you know where you fit in your customer’s journey; where you can introduce yourself, where they can come to like you and then try you and then fall in love with you?