The "Amazon era" of technology and e-commerce has made cost and convenience a forefront of retail and consumer product business for over a decade. Certainly, low prices, ease and efficiency are top motivators for many consumers when choosing stores, brands and products.
But these are not the only drivers.
Shoppers are moved to transaction and brand loyalty by a range of factors. It can vary by age, demographic, and so much more.
Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that low price points and ultra simple shopping processes are all that consumers seek (or what they predominantly seek). While it can be true, it can also depend. Failing to recognize the unique dynamic that makes your customers and prospective customers choose your products can have an adverse effect. If you're not careful, it can hurt your brand and bottom line.
It is imperative to assess and determine what your own customer motivators might be. There are thousands of media articles and references on the topic on consumer behaviors that you can tap into. But you'll want to hone into what specifically fits your customers and prospective customers.
At Simple Mills and within our industry, we've found that these below often play a role in why consumers buy our products:
People make purchases that fit who they are or who they aspire to be (or both). Our customers are often people who are concerned about what they eat as well as their footprint on the environment. They tend to make choices that fit this identity consciously -- but many consumers do not. Who are your customers? Who do they want to be? Determine this. Keep it in mind at all times.
Value is highly individual to consumer groups - what one group considers valuable can differ from another. Amazon customers may value the ease and competitive prices that Amazon offers. For Whole Foods customers, it is often rooted in that they can trust products are natural and responsibly sourced, with price and ease less relevant. Don't assume that what matters to one matters to all.
It's easy to forget that stores and products are an experience - one that many consumers enjoy. Apple is a great example of the power of product experience. Prior to it introducing beautifully designed products, the look and feel of tech gadgets and gear was often ignored. It gave Apple an enormous capability to beat out what was (and continues to be) a crowded market. Give thought to this with your store and/or product.
We inadvertently participate in a community and experience connectivity with others who buy the same things we buy. It creates a commonality. For example, Simple Mills customers often engage and interact on our social pages. Harley Davidson motorcycle owners gather every year at a large festival in the company's hometown. This can also be very subtle, where purchasing your products simply makes the customer feel part of something larger.
Cost and convenience often require a compromise of quality. For the shopper moved by quality, this matters - and you'll risk losing them if you cut corners here. Hundreds of luxury brands have held potent positions in their categories because their customer wants craftsmanship, fine materials and so on. Don't assume that price will keep a customer alone. If making things easier for your customers requires you to chop away at your product, don't do it.
In an era of innovation, ideas explode across all markets. But not all fill a need - and needs of all kinds play a huge part in consumer behavior. It can be base needs like food or shelter, or something else. Google was enthusiastic about its Google Glass product. But consumers felt differently and it affected sales. My company's customers feel a need to eat natural, whole foods. Find this in your customer. Make it your priority.