It is no secret that today’s shoppers do not always feel valued for who they are. The good news is that the retail
industry is making strides in Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) and customers are noticing–which in turn creates a
tremendous opportunity for retailers. Our recent survey of shoppers reveals that not only do they expect retailers to
engage in conversations around social issues, but that I&D influences their purchasing and switching behaviors.
Retailers can expect better performance when they offer products, services and experiences that reflect what
shoppers want and value.
People are already shopping their values
Retailers’ I&D practices are making an impact on shoppers’ behaviors right now. People are already shopping based on their values. Forty-one percent of shoppers tell us that in the last year, they have shifted at least 10 percent of their business away from a retailer that does not reflect how important I&D is to them. Diverse shoppers are even more likely to leave.
Shoppers are not just turning away from retailers that do not share their values, they are turning toward those that do. Twenty-nine percent of all shoppers, and still more diverse ones, are likely to switch to a retailer that reflects the importance they place on I&D.
There are things that retailers can do to provide a more inclusive shopping journey for all people. Some are already making inspiring progress across the business.
Lead with purpose
There is no quick fix to becoming a retail leader in I&D. The approach must be holistic, not half-hearted. It must be sustained, not short-lived. To move the needle, lead with inclusion first—inclusive behaviors seed a more diverse culture. Because the reality is that hiring for diversity alone does not drive meaningful change if all employees do not exhibit inclusive behavior.