We all know the old saying, "the customer is always right." When the retail and service industries originated and popularized the phrase, it was primarily about making sure that we were meeting consumer needs in the category. (Whiter whites and brighter colors. No more frizz! More peanut-y goodness.)
We still need to do that, of course. The need to get the product right is stronger than ever. But there are other sets of needs these days, brought on by the always-connected consumer. For example:
- The person that's never more than five feet -- usually even less -- from a screen
- The person that can type 140 characters and potentially reach millions
- The person who gives something three stars instead of two
Today's retail customers are constantly connected and that has made them savvier about price comparison and information gathering. They've also completely reset expectations for engagement with, or about, a brand. Radical shifts in consumer behavior are shaking up the industry in profound ways. Far from creating only problems, however, these new customer dynamics are creating more opportunities for savvy retailers to drive connection and sales. It may be harder to do everything right, but the results are worth it. Here are seven key consumer trends that the best and brightest retailers are responding to -- and turning to their advantage.