Retail in Asia

In Trends

Tinder culture has made shoppers ‘highly promiscuous’


Tinder culture has changed how we date, and now it’s changing how we shop.

The dating app encourages browsing over emotional investment by presenting users with an endless array of potential partners to consider while requiring very little up-front work or commitment to establish a “match.”

Likewise, the highly promotional environment in retail today has given shoppers a sense that there’s always going to be another, possibly better deal down the road. This has led to a sharp decline in brand loyalty, which is a nightmare for retailers.

Like potential suitors on Tinder, “in this world, retailers really are a click away from a competitor,” said Ian McCaig, cofounder and chief marketing officer of Qubit, who was formerly the director of marketing for Google UK.

SEE ALSO: Loyalty programs increase spending for 89% of Chinese consumers

Customers’ attention spans are diminishing, and if retailers don’t hook them right away, they will lose them, he says — possibly forever.

“Most customers now have the attention span of about eight seconds. Making sure you deliver them the right content in those first couple seconds is critical,” he said. “Loyalty is a huge issue” in the age of Tinder.

Today’s promotional environment has made shoppers highly promiscuous.

To retain shoppers, McCaig advises his clients to feed them specialised content based on prior purchasing behaviour as soon as they land on their website.

For example, the website Net-a-Porter welcomes returning users by name and gives them access to an “Extremely Important Person” program that delivers them specialized offers and content. That way, returning users get rewarded for coming back, he said.

“The runway for retailers to get this right is shrinking and the next one to two years, there’s going to be a big gap between the retailers that get this right and the ones that get it wrong,” McCaig said.

“By 2018, you could see a lot of the retailers that get it wrong go out of business. Shoppers will either vote with their feet or click away. It’s a scary place as a retailer.”