Take My Handbag, But Don’t Touch My Internet

There’s interesting research in February’s National Retail Foundation’s STORES magazine that looks at the willingness of consumers to give-up certain things during this economic downturn. Here’s a graphic that I recreated from the article (the online version was hard to read).

Top 10 items that consumers view as expendable and untouchable

My take: This is interesting data, especially when looking at the number of consumers unwilling to part with their Internet, wireless, and cable services. Even in a downturn, consumers want to stay connected and entertained — at least at home.

It’s hard to understand the impact that this will have on high-end items on the expendable list (luxury handbags, maid service, etc.), because most people go without these items to begin with; so it’s not surprising that many people view them as expendable.

The bottom line: Don’t let poor customer experience make you “expendable.”

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I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

4 thoughts on “Take My Handbag, But Don’t Touch My Internet”

  1. However, the study did not ask “are you willing to give away your luxury handbag you just bought before you give up your Internet?”.

    The study asked (and I paraphrase) for the Expendable column “What things are you not going to spend money on”, and for the “Untouchable” column “if you need to cut your recurrend spending right now, what are you not going to touch”

    It’s dangerous to jump to quick conclusions by connecting these two questions.

    1. Thorsten: Thanks for pointing this out. The title of my post was meant to be snappy, not analytical. I didn’t connect the two items inside the body of the post, so hopefully not too many people will find it misleading.

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