Here's What Really Gets People Into Stores

Photo: CLEMENS BILAN/EPA/REX/Shutterstock.
Flashy window displays, celebrity campaigns, and even experiential experiments aren't enough to get shoppers to actually come into stores. After all, it takes a lot to pry people away from online shopping in their pajamas. But a new study by First Insight showed that there's one thing that stores can do that'll bring customers in by the droves — and it's pretty simple: Have a sale. Quartz reports that "45% of American women need to see a markdown of 41% or more to even enter a store."
First Insight surveyed over 1,300 American consumers via game-like surveys that looked at how shoppers reacted to different markdowns. The research team collected data from men and women during a period between January 2013 to January 2016. The results? Average consumers are willing to pay 76% of the full price when it comes to women's clothing. And even though more and more shopping is being done online, two-thirds of consumers said that they'd rather shop in brick-and-mortar stores after seeing markdowns online. Armed with smartphones, shoppers are checking other stores and comparing prices while they're out shopping, so retailers all feel the pressure to put things on sale.
Researchers also noted that brands can take most of the blame for this behavior. Shoppers just aren't seeing the value in paying full price, especially since so many have grown accustomed to waiting for things to go on sale. First Insight's CCO, Jim Shea, told Quartz that shoppers might even be getting tired of that waiting game. "Ultimately, brands and retailers need to get out of this discounting spiral," Shea said. "I think that it's a sort of drug that the consumers are becoming somewhat numb to and the retailers are going to have to find other ways to get people to buy."
Shea adds that to get shoppers in stores, retailers should concentrate more on what's actually on shelves, not the stores themselves. By offering things that aren't available online or at other stores, shoppers will feel a greater urgency to get out of those pajamas and step into those fancy shops. That way, not only will customers be more interested in shopping, they'll be more likely to pay full price.
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