Checking the consumer pulse during the pandemic

Communicating with consumers and gaining their trust is more paramount than ever as retail behavior shifts during and after the coronavirus. Increased digital shopping and engagement will create opportunities for retailers to customize the post-pandemic shopper experience, but as consumer behavior changes rapidly, retailers must be able to meet on-demand requests to gain loyalty. Karl Haller, the leader of IBM's Consumer Industry Center of Competence, joins the Retail Gets Real team this week to share what he's learned from regularly checking the consumer pulse during the pandemic.

Haller says consumers are seamlessly connecting digital and physical more than ever, and that means retailers must do the same. "There's also become an unbundling of buying and fulfillment. You can shop and buy digitally, but now, your fulfillment can happen in any number of ways.

"Historically, in the last 20 years, we've kind of divided the world into store sales and ecommerce sales. Well, now I don't know what a store sale is or an [ecommerce] sale is. If I'm sitting in a store buying something on my phone and picking it up in a locker or if I'm using the app to pay, and then having something sent from another store to my home, I don't really know how to count that. I don't think consumers care. And I think the industry has got to shift to not caring, and also to understand that these are fundamentally unbundled behaviors now, and we've got to stop aligning our P&Ls in the old channel paradigm.”

To learn more about how customers' shopping behaviors have changed and what it means for retailers, listen to the full episode.

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