Retail Customer: Who They Are And What They Want

Retail is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and that is due to its importance. Statista, in 2021 reports that the worldwide retail market generated over 26 trillion U.S. dollars.

Thus, it is crucial to understand what a retail customer is and wants. Furthermore, retail customer experience is an emerging topic in management studies.

If a business wants to attract new customers, it needs to understand what is happening in its retail environment and aim to offer a better customer experience.

This article aims to give a concise overview of retail customers and how you can get their attention.

What is a retail customer?

A retail customer is someone who purchases goods for personal use or consumption. They are usually looking for a specific item and will return to the retailer if they cannot find what they need. 

Customers who shop in your store regularly, especially if they have an account with you, are known as “retail customers.”

A retail customer can also be a non-consumer customer. To maintain loyal customers, you must provide customer service above the competition and have the best prices.

Retail customers, from athletes to stay-at-home parents, come in all shapes and sizes and have different needs when purchasing goods and services. 

What are the characteristics of a retail customer?

 The following list describes the typical characteristics of a retail customer:

  • Retail customers always look for new ways to save or make more money. Retailers should be aware that they may need to offer incentives or discounts to keep their customers happy and satisfied with their experience.
  • Retail customers are generally loyal but have high expectations for service and quality products and services. They are reliable but not necessarily loyal to the same store. Retailers should be aware that if they don’t meet those expectations, there’s a good chance the customer will go somewhere else—either online or even out of state or country.
  • They tend to be frugal and wait until sales are going on before making their purchases. They like to save money by buying things on sale or at reduced prices.
  • They like being able to buy something quickly and easily. They may want to try out items before buying them, or they may want to take them home for testing before buying them outright.
  • Retail customers often shop for food, clothes, books, shoes, and other items available in the stores.

Retail is a competitive business; retailers need to identify and understand their competitors’ products and services to stay competitive and gain market share.

Retailers should also treat their customers as if they were family members because they are.

Treating your customers well will help them stay loyal over time, which means more business for you.

Why is retail customer experience so important?

1. Customers get a pleasant shopping experience

A retail business needs to provide a pleasant shopping experience for its customers. A pleasant shopping experience means the customer is happy, safe, and comfortable buying products from the company.

You need to focus on changing the shopping experience for a happier customer. It is possible to achieve this by adapting your product presentation and inventory levels to meet the unique needs of your customers.

A pleasant shopping experience is critical for a retail customer to become loyal to a brand. It’s not enough that customers have good experiences; they need them to be memorable experiences.

2. It influences the public brand image

A vital aspect of any successful retail experience is helping customers control their happiness. The retail customer experience influences the public image of a brand.

If a consumer has a positive experience with a product or service, this could help brand recognition and loyalty in the marketplace.

In addition, this information can help you determine if your customers are satisfied or dissatisfied with the overall experience at your business location.

Stores that provide the right products and respond to customer needs will enjoy repeat visits and goodwill among their customers.

3. Attract new customers to your business

Retail customer experience is critical to the success of any retail business. A retail location manager’s most important role is attracting new customers to their location.

There are various ways that physical location can be an asset for retailers, but few take advantage of them.

Good customer experience is not just about making your current customers happy and satisfied. It also helps to attract new customers and keep them coming back. 

The retail customer experience will play a big part in winning over those on the fence. 

4. Better response rates on marketing efforts

Retail customer experience creates a better response rate to marketing efforts by increasing customers’ likelihood of positively responding.

Creating joyous moods and environments in our stores can help people be happier and more relaxed. 

Research shows that retail customers respond better to cognitive advertising. Customers remember brand associations in their minds, and a great customer experience creates those associations. 

Retailers with high-quality, personalized, and tailor-made customer experiences improve their products’ success and increase sales.

5. It builds loyalty

A great retail customer experience will build loyalty, a big challenge for most retailers. It also creates positive word of mouth for the brand and can increase purchases.

The more a shopper enjoys using a business, the more loyal they become. It can be as simple as providing an excellent customer service experience, but the little things often make a big difference to customers.

What is the difference between a retail customer and a corporate customer?

A retail customer shops in your store, and a corporate customer purchases something from you on behalf of the company they work for.

They may have different needs, but they both require the same thing: quality products at an affordable price.


How can you improve your engagement with your customers?

For businesses, you must understand retail customers’ expectations since they will likely decide where they’d like to shop. You can better serve and engage your customers by understanding their motivations and how they find your services.

What are the biggest challenges facing today’s retail customers?

The biggest challenges facing today’s retail customers are, in order of importance: the rise of eCommerce, the decline of brick & mortar stores, and the rising cost of living.

What does a retail customer want?

A retail customer wants what all customers want: value. They want a great experience and product selection. They also want to feel unique, receive premium service, and not be forced into sales talk.

Final thoughts 

As a retailer, remember that the customer is in charge. You’ve learned a lot about the retail customer, their wants, and what they expect from their retailer.

So, why not take advantage of these findings and take control of your business?

The demographics of the modern population are ever-shifting and changing, which profoundly impacts retail customers.

Stores must keep up with these significant shifts to compete and sell their products. 

This means that market research into potential and existing customers is paramount if you want to understand how they operate so you can sell to them more effectively.

Now that you know what a retail customer is and wants, it’s equally important to understand how to make them repeat customers. Read the article on customer service skills for more information.

Thanks for reading.