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.”

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

4 Responses to Take My Handbag, But Don’t Touch My Internet

  1. I find it inspiring that charitable contributions made the untouchable list. Even in times like this, it’s good to see people still believing in the important of helping others.

  2. Thorsten says:

    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.

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      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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