How Marketers Can Respond to Price Concerns

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Consumers are feeling price conscious after months of historic inflation and a looming recession that some say the US has already entered. What exactly are consumers feeling, and how are marketers to respond? 

Ted Rogers, chief revenue officer at Digital River, checked in with Street Fight to share results from the company’s latest consumer survey. 

Digital River’s research shows that consumers are feeling price-conscious given inflation. Sixty-four percent say they want help from retailers to deal with inflation. How should retailers respond?

It’s difficult to say in definitive terms how retailers can help ease the inflationary burden on customers, especially when they’re also affected. A good start is to offer a variety of shipping options, from free to expedited, with transparent pricing and no surprise feeds on delivery. 

Offering flexible payment options like buy now, pay later could be an olive branch, but shoppers should also be wary of the debt risks that can be associated with these services.

Fifty-four percent of consumers say they’ll be shopping online more. What does this suggest about the stability of the post-COVID ascent of e-commerce?

The fact is, while ecommerce has seen exponential growth since it first burst onto the scene, the pandemic turned it from an occasional habit to an everyday practice. The rumored recession will be a litmus test for the space it occupies in an unstable economy, but new habits aren’t easily broken. Consumers know that they can reliably and conveniently buy essential products online, and a recession may not change that.

Thirty-eight percent of consumers say they’ll spend less on Christmas this year. Two-thirds are reducing spending on non-essential items. How can retailers encourage consumers to choose them during the holiday season?

In times like these when the state of the economy is in flux, consumers will naturally be more selective in their shopping decisions and rein in unnecessary spending. That means that consumer attention, to an even greater degree, will need to be earned. 

The ecommerce stores that find the most success in tough times need more than just quality products; they need to deliver an experience that removes stress from the purchasing equation instead of adding it. Secure checkouts, a variety of payment and shipping options, and agreeable storefronts are all necessities, but those that can master the nuances of selling online will set themselves apart in a competitive market.

How do pricing and messaging complement each other as marketing tactics to drive gains during a recession?

Pricing and messaging are individual variables in the larger marketing equation, and dissonance between the two could scare customers off. If a brand needs to make a price hike, transparency is the best policy, as it demonstrates an effort to foster customer understanding.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]