Lately I’ve developed an interest in understanding the stimuli behind the consumer’s buying habits. And this morning as I was checking my emails ,I received seven promo emails about the Island green foamposite from different retailers i.e Footlocker, Citygear, DTLR, Eastbay, Champs, Finishline, Shoe city, Footaction just to name a few. Now I don’t have to tell you that my natural response was to click footlocker’s link first out of all of them. Suddenly I stopped and asked myself: Why Did I click Footlocker’s link first? And why didn’t I even consider the other stores? Now let me make something clear to you guys before I go any further; Footlocker owns Eastbay, Footaction and Champs so they’ll always have an edge- basically out of 7 stores, there is a 58% chance that Footlocker’s link gets clicked while every other store has a 14% chance.
So what are some of the things that influence our decision making as it pertains to buying sneakers whether it be online or in stores?
Footlocker has been around since 1974; sneakers became very popular in the mid 80’s, and FTL was the place where everyone conglomerated to get their sneakers fix. So after years and years of buying from footlocker, most people feel an obligation towards them, and buying from any other stores is almost like a betrayal hence the subconscious loyalty.
Experience ( customer experience):
I can almost tie the customer’s experience with the idea of loyalty. Because you can’t have loyalty without a positive experience. This is by far one of the most important thing that many companies fail to do right. And Sportszone in my opinion has the worst customer’s experience nationwide. I don’t want to spend more than two minutes in that store. The layout is terrible and not very welcoming; it is to the point where I don’t even go inside their store when I visit my local mall. But Footlocker, Finishline, and I’ll throw in there DTLR always deliver in this area. House Of hoops is the epitome of customer’s experience; as soon as you walk in the store you’re welcomed with amazing posters, a brightness in the store, a friendly crew and the kicks lounge is amazing. And what that does is make you want to come back again and again. But DTLR is my favorite place to visit because of the amicable environment within the store. Consequently I’ve developped a sense of loyalty towards DTLR based on my experience ; hence every time I go in the Mall now, the first store I visit is DTLR.
This third criteria ought to influence every single one of our buying decisions, but unfortunately most people ignore it. I know many individuals who don’t even bother checking other stores for better prices prior to making their decisions. They buy from the same store they’ve always bought from even if another store has the same shoe discounted.
Most transactions are now taking place online and the same rules still apply. But there has been a market disruption caused by brands like Nike and Adidas. They have their own online stores and as a result, they’ve acquired a considerable share of the market by making their products available in their own eshop. They are basically competing against the people they sell their products to. It’s interesting how certain GR ( general release) sneakers sell out on the Nike SNKRS-app but are still available on footlocker and other stores. For those who don’t know, Footlocker stock drop by 28% last month.
I know I went a little off topic but I’ll ask you the question again: where do you buy your sneakers? And what motivates you to prefer one store over another? This is a very important question not only for the consumer but for the retailers as well. If they can understand the triggers behind your spending habits, they can solve a lot of problems. In my opinion, the biggest thing many of these companies lack is the customer engagement. No one really shops at the mall anymore so most customers are are online. How do you engage these people? How do you keep them coming to your website every day? Why do people go to Nike and Adidas website constantly? The answer is very simple but complex at the same time- it’s RELEVANT CONTENT, finding a way to identify with the consumer to drive him/her to their platforms every day. and today’s world, that is what influences the consumer’s choice.