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 am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin

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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