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Empowered consumers hold the key online, says Experian

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Retail and home shopping brands need to adapt in order to connect online with ‘the empowered consumer’, says a new report from Experian.

The report, ‘Engaging online with the Empowered Consumer’, says the rise of Web 2.0 and social networking, price comparison sites and online discount codes have all led to consumers expecting greater value and service levels. The reality is, though, that many retailers and home shopping companies are failing to live up consumers’ multi-channel expectations, says Experian.

Using the home shopping sector as an example, key figures from the research include:

  • 45% of customers are single purchasers, with figures rising as high as 75% in some cases

  • 60% to 70% of ‘best’ customers have not purchased in the last 12 months, signifying that companies are taking one or two seasons to recognise that high value customers have lapsed.

  • 30% of customers generate nearly 70% of revenues.

Brands need to encourage repeat purchasing and loyalty by blending offline and online insights to dictate precisely how and when a company engages with today’s increasingly-savvy customers, say the authors. “The biggest problem is that whilst many companies have a multi-channel marketing strategy in place, more often than not it operates in isolation of the rest of the brand portfolio. The result for the consumer is a fragmented experience with inconsistent service levels and value propositions.”

Experian’s Marie Myles explains: “Our new report lifts the lid on why engaging online with the empowered consumer is a business imperative in today’s tough economic climate. The fact that online retailing has grown by 40% in the last 12 months underlines why brands must change the way they communicate. While ‘wow’ factors will be memorable and generate conversations, innovations in marketing and brand loyalty will be lost if the basics continue to be ignored. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the exploitation and application of existing data assets. The enhanced insight derived from this approach and the move to a coordinated customer contact strategy will lead to more profitable and longer relationships between brands and consumers.”

Readers can download a free copy of the report from Experian’s website.

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