The past 18 months has reshaped the retail landscape and sent retail analysts into overdrive trying to understand how consumers behaviour has adapted and shifted during the pandemic.
What was once accepted truths about shopper’s habits have been disrupted, and understanding what this means for big or small retailers is paramount in 2022.
Capgemini’s new report ‘What Matter’s to Today’s Consumer’ helps unpick changes in consumer behavior, and understand what might be temporary or more permanent shifts. It highlights how the ‘conscious consumer’ is becoming commonplace and emphasizes the impact of ongoing supply chain issues and cost of living increases.
Supply chain issues set to continue
In late 2021, business leaders from a range of sectors told the House of Commons business, energy and industrial strategy committee that small businesses would bear the brunt of labor shortages and price rises until 2023.
Tim Bridges, global sector lead for consumer products, retail and distribution at Capgemini speaking via email, underlines what is at stake. “Retailers mustn’t take their eyes off supply chain challenges this year. They can spend huge amounts of money marketing but if the product availability is constrained it’s all for nothing”.
Cost of living sky rockets
Consumer spending has been a major driver of the UK economic recovery, but with UK consumer confidence dropping to its lowest level in 11 months as people worry about surging inflation and fuel bills, there are suggestions that rising living costs will slow the household spending recovery.
Bridges explores how retailers are tackling this issue. “We are starting to see two different approaches to tackling price rises. One is a move to subscription models. Here, price increases are spread out over time. The other is to let consumers decide – do they want what they’re after, or an economy option? Often, consumers still opt to pay a premium – as long as they are offered a choice.”
Forbes.com, Katherine Erdley