Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We may never shop this way again

The Economist has a look at why we may never shop the same way again.  Money quote:

Both the shift towards greater thrift and greater scepticism about brands will influence other consumer trends, too. Interest in things such as green products and healthy foods will continue to grow in a post-crisis world, but customers will be less willing to pay a premium for them, and will demand more value for money when they do.

The downturn will also accelerate the use of social media, such as blogs and social-networking sites, by consumers looking for intelligence on firms and their products. As trust in brands is eroded, people will place more value on recommendations from friends. Social media make it harder for brands to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes, but they also offer canny companies a powerful new channel through which to promote their wares and test new products and pricing strategies.