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Brand switching is overblown

The shopper doesn't belong to you.

Brand switching is overblown.

The topic might be the most overused - and misguided - survey question. Researchers are constantly flooding us with inquiries about ‘why do you switch brands’ and ‘will you switch for a more personalized experience?’

This survey-splaining seems to be positioned as equal parts intimidation and fear-mongering into thinking that Gargamel is lurking around the next street corner ready to snatch up your customers.

Of course shoppers shop elsewhere. No shopper belongs to you (even those on a sub).

Your best shoppers today were NOT your best last year. And likely won’t be your best next year.

It’s the scale of reality that is important to know.

Per the State of Commerce from Signify’d:

Only 27% of the best apparel shoppers were at the same or better frequency last year.

NB: ‘soulmates’ in the graphic refers to these top buyers that made >= 4 purch in L12m, with >= 1 in the L4M.

Barring the nauseating segment nicknames used in the report (reminiscent of those confounding smoothie-bar menu items - what exactly is a ‘Sunny Day Peel Estate Power boost’?), the insight is right on the money.

You - and your rivals - are constantly circling shoppers like a revolving sushi bar. They choose what to pick, how much, and how frequently based on needs (appetite in the sushi bar metaphor) and values (flavor, nutrition - you get the point).

At some point the shopper is ‘full.’  They just can’t fit any more of your delicious Spicy Tuna Rolls onto their plate.

The aim, though, for apparel brand marketers and merchandisers, is not to figure out exactly when your shopper has had enough (dropping the sushi metaphor now), but to know when, how, and especially why, to reach shoppers of all types.

One last related word on this: We often use aggregate segments to show the insight - this one includes 4 RF (recency, frequency) segment permutations. Any combinations of recency and frequency that we create are typically directionally informed. 

Those lines we draw are artificial. Your shoppers (non-subs) don’t select a specific interval and frequency. Using the 'other' artificial - AI - can help in determining when *a shopper* is changing their cadence with you and may be on the verge of increased or decreased engagement. Use the machines to help you know your individual shoppers.

Signify'd State of Commerce 2023

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