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    Consumer-Centricity a Key to Retail Success: Study

    A new IDC report reveals the importance of a strong focus on the consumer.

    Consumer centricity is among the key factors of success in retail, according to a new study measuring how retailers and consumer products manufacturers use consumer-centric data and analysis to drive their businesses.

    According to “Being Consumer-Centric: A Retailer and Manufacturer Update, ” produced by IDC Global Retail Insights and sponsored by Demandtec and Precima, companies are seeing benefits from consumer centricity, but more opportunities are available.

    “This survey confirms that retailers and consumer products manufacturers have become more consumer-centric for several years and are serious about committing to this type of initiative,” said Marc Dietz, VP of marketing at DemandTec. “Given the difference between top-performing retailers and the rest of the pack, it is interesting to see the tremendous opportunity for additional investment and improvement.”

    Findings of the survey include:

    • Most retailers (75 percent) and consumer products manufacturers (58 percent) rank consumer centricity as a top 3 success factor
    • 80 percent of retailers and 67 percent of manufacturers expect an increased focus on consumer centricity in 2009
    • Manufacturers need to work on leveraging consumer insights across the organization with only 43 percent indicating their ability is better than satisfactory, compared to 64 percent of retailers
    • The limited availability of team resources is the largest impediment to consumer-centric success for both retailers (37 percent) and manufacturers (43 percent)
    • Lack of support and executive sponsorship is no longer a significant barrier for retailers (16 percent) with more than 75 percent retailers appointing a senior consumer-centricity role

    “As expected, this research clearly demonstrates a continued trend toward consumer-centricity as a critical business strategy,” said Brian Ross, general manager, Precima. “What is surprising, however, is that we find that many of the core obstacles – such as limited team resources – are unsolved as barriers to success. This is a clear call to both retailers and manufacturers that getting the fundamentals in place, including the right data, the right people, and the right tools is critical to a winning consumer-centric strategy.”

    “Overall, the research shows that while both retailers and manufacturers have taken steps to incorporate consumer centricity into their strategic and tactical activities, there are still many untapped opportunities,” said Leslie Hand, research director, IDC Global Retail Insights. “By dedicating the appropriate people and technical resources, retailers and manufacturers will create points of differentiation in their product offering that will retain existing consumers and attract new ones.”

    The survey sample consisted of 120 respondents, including 55 retailers and 65 consumer products manufacturers with titles of director level and above, and was conducted through online and telephone interviews.

    The executive summary of the survey is available at www.demandtec.com/retailsurvey or www.precima.com/centricity.

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