Valentine Makhouleen
This is a scrapbook of ideas. Here I file away things I find interesting (like shiny pebbles).

The recession changing shopping habits

I needed to buy a network drive enclosure for all of my work files, and since the economy is not in the greatest shape, I had to do a little more research into what I wanted and where I could get it for the best possible price. First, using Google, I came across a fairly reputable review site SmallNetBuilder with a strong community of experts. D-Link DNS-321 and DNS-323 were recommended to me so I was set to seek out a deal on these enclosures. I have had very good experience with D-Link personally, so I was pretty set on this model – all the features made sense and the price range seemed affordable.

DNS-323

As I usually do, I first visited TigerDirect and looked at what they had in stock. I found my DNS-323, which was listed at $225.99 + tax and shipping. Ouch. Having heard of Dell on Twitter, I decided to see if I could find a better deal there. After talking to a few Dell Twitter employees using TweetDeck, they located a deal on DNS-323 for $145.99 and $0 shipping. I completed the sale and received the product the next day. What a great brand experience – it took me about 30 minutes to make an educated purchase at a great value, based on a multitude of custom recommendations and personal connections.

A company that has a meaningful dialogue with its customers and provides them with great value will sell.
Bravo, Dell.

P.S. I am in no way affiliated with Dell and have never been their customer.
P.S.S. Today I came across this article, which perfectly reinforced up my experience:

Asked whether they want more stuff, consumers in rich countries have responded with an emphatic “No”. The breathtaking speed with which retail sales have plummeted in both America and Europe (see chart) has caught retailers and manufacturers by surprise. In response, companies have tried desperately to prop up revenues using a variety of promotions, advertising and other marketing ploys, often to no avail.

But as they battle with these immediate problems, marketers are also pondering what longer-term changes in consumer behaviour have been triggered by the recession. It is tempting to conclude that, once economies rebound, customers will start spending again as they did before. Yet there are good reasons to think that what promises to be the worst downturn since the Depression will spark profound shifts in shoppers’ psychology.

The downturn will also accelerate the use of social media, such as blogs and social-networking sites, by consumers looking for intelligence on firms and their products. As trust in brands is eroded, people will place more value on recommendations from friends. Social media make it harder for brands to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes, but they also offer canny companies a powerful new channel through which to promote their wares and test new products and pricing strategies.

Marketers ignore the messages that emanate from these groups at their peril. For one thing is clear: this recession has triggered a wholesale reappraisal by shoppers of the value that their habitual brands deliver. The winners will be those that adapt intelligently to the new reality. The losers will be those who think they can win simply by telling consumers to “Want It!”

Read the rest on Economist

28.04.2009 at 11:21 am · Share
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