Retailers face disconnect with consumers on holiday shopping—are senior execs to blame?

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Man ordering Christmas gifts online using a credit card and load of colorful gift boxes delivered next to his desk

With the holiday shopping season so crucial for retailers this year, you’d think that retail execs would be studying consumer preferences obsessively so their brands can go above and beyond to meet their needs. But new research from experience management firm First Insight shows a significant disconnect between consumers plans and execs’ perceptions.

Senior retail executives are not keeping pace with the changing purchase behavior and preferences of consumers who prefer to shop online, according to the firm’s latest research, which surveyed consumers and senior retail executives on consumer shopping habits, purchase behavior and influences driving decisions.

For example, the data shows that while 59 percent of consumers surveyed plan to shop online this holiday season, only 35 percent of senior retail executives believed consumers prefer to shop this way. In addition, only 41 percent of consumers plan to shop in a physical store, compared to a majority (59 percent) of retail executives who anticipate consumers will head in-store this holiday season.

“It’s clear from our data that the consumer has changed forever, but the industry doesn’t understand how much they’ve changed,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight, in a news release. “While the industry has always trailed consumers, and has been very good at being responsive and reactive, it’s clear that consumers love to shop online. It’s critical that retailers and brands begin to anticipate these shifts now, including what and how consumers are buying, and where. The only effective way to do this is by tapping into the voice of consumers and building the right experiences online and in-store. The industry must stop responding and reacting to consumer behavior, and start anticipating it.”

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holiday  consumer preferences  CONSUMER REPORT  Senior Retail Executives  Holiday Shopping  Consumer Purchase Behavior

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