Episode 81 – Featuring Britt Beemer

Why Do We Buy What We Buy?  (…And Why Does Britt Beemer Know What That Is Before WE Do?)

If you’re looking for a telltale indicator of how things have changed, look no further than how you shop.

While, in some cases, the stores you frequent may be in the same location as they were 20 or 30 years ago, that’s about where the similarities end, as the customer experience inside those stores has changed significantly during that time.

If you think about how you interact with your favorite grocery store, department store or clothing store nowadays, it can be stunning.  By presenting real time coupons, discounts and specials on the things that you buy the most, among many other tactics, it’s as if they know what you’re going to buy, even before you do.

And that’s just on a micro level.  Take your experience, and multiply that by the hundreds of millions of people in the U.S., and retailers are now taking a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to what consumers are buying, and thus, their operational efficiency increases exponentially (which means, if you pardon the cliche, they “pass the savings on to you”!)

How did this happen?

The answer, as it does in most cases in the world of business, lies in the data.  And when it comes to consumer behavior, no one in America is better equipped to break down this data than C. Britt Beemer.

Hailed by many as the foremost expert on consumer behavior in the United States, Beemer is the Founder and Chairman of America’s Research Group, a Charleston, South Carolina-based organization devoted to the research and analysis of consumer behavior at all levels, from the mom-and-pop store down the street to the “big box” retailers that dominate our malls and shopping centers.

Beemer uses this data to essentially “see the future” of how consumers will shop, providing all of us shoppers with a mirror to see our habits, and providing retailers with critical information needed to make spot-on purchasing and pricing decisions for their merchandise, to not only get a jump on their brick-and-mortar competition, but also the burgeoning alternative of e-commerce.

On Sunday’s edition of The Raja Show, Beemer joins Raja to discuss his work, including tips for both shoppers and retailers to take advantage of the current retail climate in the U.S.  Plus, he discusses the current state of retail in the U.S., and impact that the recent economic turbulence has had on the shopping decisions of American consumers.

(And he peers into the crystal ball to discuss what lies ahead for the next six weeks, as, like it or not, we are now fully immersed in the 2014 holiday shopping season.)

Episode 81