Have you ever been to Epcot World in Orlando, Florida? The first time I was there, I was ten years old and just amazed by all the awesome styles, products, and materials that other countries had to offer. Epcot World is an exhibit at Disney World that combines eleven different countries into one giant adventuring. Upon arrival, you are almost overwhelmed by all the variety and different things that each of the eleven countries has to offer. Fast forwarding to now, I’m reminded that a person does not have to go to Epcot World to experience this; rather they can go to one of our local shopping malls. A piece of every country is now being introduced in our own retail stores simply by the very clothes people wear, the styles they wish to exhibit and how they want to be treated by the retailer provider.
While I was reading an article by Alison Embrey Medina, titled “International Perspective” in the January 2013 edition of the DDI, I could not help but think of my experience at Epcot World. Alison Embrey Medina conducted six interviews with six different retailers from six different countries in order to get a feel for consumer behavior worldwide. In each of the six interviews, every interviewee mentioned that travel has a lot to do with consumers gearing towards a more personal, original,
and unique style. As a result of this increase in travelling, consumers are continuing to be exposed to more and more different styles from other countries that they may not have known about prior to their visit. In addition, the dominance of the internet, and the use of “smart phones” are giving consumers a more accessible way to see and purchase these styles.
There is no doubt in my mind that consumer’s in today’s society are all about individualism and are not shy about spending the extra money they have in order to obtain this individualism. This is why we are starting to see a change in the consumer’s spending habits. What once was considered a discretionary spend, is now being looked at as a mandatory spend. The retail store itself has become more welcoming, in the atmosphere it creates, the emotion it tries to stir up in you the shopper, and in some cases even the entertainment it provides.
The consumer is looking for a more emotional connection to their shopping experience, so some stores may need to change their atmosphere in order to meet that need. Stores are beginning to demonstrate a cozier, friendly environment, which then appeals to the consumer’s emotional needs.
Designers are beginning to gain more freedom to create custom made products. Today’s savvy consumers like custom made products, and place a higher sense of value on them.
Their spending habits are also changing. Now, with so much knowledge and access to different cultures and their material goods, it is beneficial as a provider to offer those expectations in order to appeal to the consumer.
Here at Sharn Enterprises that’s something we know a lot about. Since 1974 we have provided custom store fixtures to many of the nation’s top retailers and manufacturers. Our customers continue to benefit from our ability to design and manufacture both small and large quantities at the lowest possible price while incorporating various materials and maintaining manufacturing precision and product integrity.
With globalization being more common in today’s society, many companies are choosing to export products to other countries due to consumer demand. Sharn Enterprises is a “Proud American Manufacturer” and we feel that exporting is a great way in which to keep countries moving closer and closer as a whole. To that end, Sharn has committed to substantially increase its exports in 2014.