The ´new normal consumer´ is essentially frugal. And its numbers are rising dramatically in saturated Western markets. To such an extent that traditional value chains, designed to manage and market abundance, run into trouble.
This is the message Simonetta Carbonaro, expert in consumer psychology, expressed yesterday in Nieuwengein, Netherlands, during the conference What’s Going on in Retailing. “Consumers want less. They seek quality and authenticity. This shift turns traditional value chains suddenly into inefficient and unsustainable systems.”
Supermarkets and hypermarkets are icons of mass distribution. They should be turned around says Carbonaro, offering clear and compact products that offer customer solutions. They should also make their customers aware that food can be tasty and essentially locally sourced.
“Retailconcepts that are only geared at exploiting economies of scale are a thing of the past”, Carbonaro says. “Marketers must stop thinking in terms of consumers as targets. Consumers are no enemies, but partners. And they are not alone. Using new technologies they shop with their communities and share insights. Retailers must focus on own labels and dramatically shorten their supply chain. Building long term strategic partnerships with their suppliers.”