In an Associated Press article that ran in the Bangor Daily News, the headline asks the question: Can retailers wean shoppers off bargains?
Before I answer that question let’s take a step back. The article talks about how “deal junkies” are forcing some pretty large and well-known retail chain stores to consider an everyday low pricing model, much like Walmart.
This reinforces the point I was trying to make in my last post. We consistently find that for most retailers price is not the highest priority item. In ForeSee’s E-Retail Satisfaction Index: 2012 Top-100 Spring Edition, price is the highest impacting element for just 15% of the measured sites.
We also see that price has a higher score and is even less impactful on customer satisfaction during the holiday season. In our 2011 Top-40 Holiday Index, only one site had price as the highest impact. Even in our latest Mobile Satisfaction Index: Retail Edition, we only see 3 of the 20 companies (15%) with a large mobile presence have price as the highest priority.
Don’t get me wrong, that means price is the top priority for some retailers and is something those companies need to take into consideration. Make sure to read my last post, “Not Buying It” where I go into greater detail about pricing impact and the J.C. Penney story. After that post ran, someone made a good point: “wouldn’t the ForeSee data suggest that with a low impact score, the switch to everyday low prices would have minimal impact on cSat (customer satisfaction)?”
You might think so. However, we need to look at this with a don’t-fix-what-isn’t-broken mentality. In other words, a component of customer satisfaction such as price may not need fixing because it isn’t a true driver of the experience. But when you attempt to fix it anyway, you end up making it a more impactful item.
So, the answer to the question the article’s headline asks is: yes, retailers can wean shoppers off bargains.
The better question to ask, however, is: SHOULD retailers wean shoppers off bargains?
Only you can answer that. Is that the right strategy for your company? Is that what YOUR customers – not someone else’s “deal junkies” – want? And the only way to get those answers is to measure the customer experience and measure it continuously.