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Cautious Optimism in Consumer Spending

Thursday, February 03, 2011

In Q4 of 2010, 42.7% of consumers indicated their financial situation would be better in six months, compared with 33.8% in Q1 2010. This according to a study conducted in Q4 2010 by Empathica of 11,000 North American consumers. Another 15% of consumers are spending more now than a year ago.

Empathica Chief Customer Officer Gary Edwards said, “While showing signs of increased optimism, consumers are still relatively skeptical about the economic outlook and their own spending intentions. Coupons, special promotions and incentives continue to be helpful in fueling consumer spending moving forward. Just because more consumers intend to spend, doesn’t mean that frugality is over.” 

It appears that men are spending more than women, with 10.4% of men indicating they are spending “significantly” more vs. women at 3.9%.

Tangentially interesting is another finding from the study that 72% of consumers indicating that they use the web to comparison shop online and then buy an item in-store.

Implications for Chief Customer Officers?

The market is improving, customers are beginning to open their wallets.  Customer segmentation is more important then ever to ensure you prioritize efforts to win back damaged loyalty with those most important customers.

Additionally, this research supports many others in recent years that indicate that the online channel is every bit as important as the retail or direct-sales/distributor channel in terms of the overall customer experience. If the online experience is clumsy, you’ll not draw prospects into the stores.

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Categories: Chief Customer Officer | Customer Insight


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