Lauren Freedman, senior consumer insights analyst for Digital Commerce 360, shares 10 tips on how to bring the revenge buyer back to retailers' stores. Some may seem tried and true, while others are capabilities that have been adopted during the COVID-19 era.

I do not need a pandemic to be a revenge shopper. And I don’t believe I’m alone. But let’s face it, the media enjoys classifying shoppers to capture attention and it works. When I did a search for who coined the term “revenge shopper,” it looks as though it first appeared in the May 28, 2020, Business Standard. Its definition included, “this brand of customer is waiting with bated breath for the lockdown to ease so she can head out to the nearest luxury products store.”

Of course, there’s pent-up demand. Maybe we are just getting around to feeling hopeful. After more years than I choose to count in retail, I believe most real shoppers do not need a reason as they like to shop. Yes, we may not have felt a need lately and perhaps we have finally grown tired of our favorite work-from-home outfits, but we are READY.  It’s not just luxury but many other categories as well. I’m ready for something new and if it’s a good deal, even better. In fact, I’m planning a trip and want to step it up.

In the spirit of the revenge buyer, I decided to have a look around the web at apparel and accessories sites to see how they might be presenting themselves and if anything caught my attention. And let’s face it, I need a shopping fix, so these visits can help direct that pent-up energy.

Mostly, I believe that for shoppers it comes back to basics, enticing and engaging the shopper. With that in mind, I’m going to share 10 tips on how to bring this revenge buyer back to your store. Some may seem tried and true, while others are capabilities that have been adopted during the COVID-19 era. Either way, my shopping wheels are turning.


1. Give shoppers hope

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is the need to feel hopeful. Kendra Scott embraces a message of optimism and has even built a collection around this theme.  Her homepage introduces this unique collection and links to the offering, sharing a powerful message for us all: “To be an optimist is the most radical thing of all.” Video is utilized to show off the product on model creatively teasing their jewelry.


2. Words matter

Speaking to the times may be more important. Through their compelling homepage imagery and copy from Stuart Vevers, executive creative director, Coach talks about optimizing beauty and lasting quality. All these aspects of fashion may resonate with the shopper more than ever and have long been part of Coach’s heritage.



3. Create themes that resonate with shoppers

As spring has sprung, shoppers are looking to get outside. Athleta zeroes in on this desire with its “Take it Outside” campaign. The messaging is timely as it encourages shoppers to savor every moment while linking to its spring essentials. The theme is built as a video showcasing the product emerging from one of its backpacks and that is sure to engage activewear buyers.

4. Celebrate trends that matter.

New arrivals coupled with critical themes that are resonating with today’s shoppers make for compelling merchandising. Tumi’s branding captures the spirit of the times, “Innovative by Nature, Sustainable by Choice.” With heightened interest in travel, Tumi is ready for their customers to take it on the road.

5. Think multi-dimensional from a theme perspective

Retailers are wise to offer shoppers a series of themes as they never know what will resonate at any given moment. Urban Outfitters takes just such an approach combining themes from new arrivals to most liked or popular products. Its always-on brand imagery captures the customer’s attention and guides shoppers to best meet their wants and needs.

6. Take new to the next level

New has always been the cornerstone of the fashion industry. Saks Fifth Avenue lets shoppers not only know that there are new arrivals but shares how many “fresh finds” it is presenting this week. The depth of these additions is sure to inspire any avid apparel buyer.


7. Showcase powerful imagery to tell your story

As I sought out luxury brands when conducting my research for this article, I could not help but take a second look at this Tiffany T1 collection. Its “strength in self” headline resonated with me given the courage we have all needed to get through these challenging times. The model and standalone product images combine to effectively tell its story.

8. Enable shoppers to book an appointment

As shoppers browse sites, it is important to remember that there are still different levels of comfort with store shopping. We have learned during COVID-19 that enabling appointments is an opportune way to assist shoppers in an array of needs. Making them available in-store or online ensures retailers will be successful. Positioning them throughout the site gives them visibility and introduces this capability to your customers. Louis Vuitton is an excellent example of a luxury retailer putting this tactic front and center.

9. Creatively reward shoppers

The shopper still enjoys a deal. Neiman Marcus encourages its customers to take advantage of its “Double Your Gift Card” promotion. That includes shopping new clothing and adding a shoe or a bag. If customers do not want to double down with a whole new look, they are still able to earn a gift card on single qualifying purchase.

10. Make orders available for same-day delivery

Shopper interest in same-day delivery has certainly been heightened during the pandemic. Our Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights Omnichannel survey of 1,052 online shoppers indicated that 36% of respondents had taken advantage of same-day delivery from web retailers while 26% had done so via store-based retailers. From Nordstrom to Neiman Marcus to Macy’s and Amazon, more retailers are continuing to add same-day services. Explore the viability of same-day services for your business as faster deliveries are on the horizon.


Bonus: 11. Revisit your store to ensure your shoppers have a reason to come back

Combine the safety protocols of COVID-19 with the newness of a post-COVID-19 world. When recently visiting Artizia, it prominently positioned signage throughout the store including near the dressing rooms. When chatting with an associate, she mentioned the retailer’s diligence in this area. She also shared that it had lines out the door last Saturday when Chicago had a beautiful day. The store was well appointed as always, and this combination brings revenge shoppers back to retail.

Revenge for shoppers means finding experiences that elevate their mood and embellish their wardrobe. For retailers, it is all about captivating the customer and converting them online and in store. Testing these tips can help us all move past this pandemic once and for all.