Gone are the days, when consumers were the underdog upon the mercy of thankless Sellers. When prices were the strings of moving the puppet (Consumer) as per their desires, Monopoly was the key principle of sellers. Seller's domain was hovering over the fate of buyer's pocket. Nevertheless, every night has a day; every success has bunch of stories of failure. There is old saying: "The Wheel of justice grinding slowly but surely"
Same phrase applies here, now: World has changed. Time has played a strategic role; it has flipped the coin to the side of buyer/consumer. Domain of Monopolistic phase is over. A new era of customer first slogan has conquered the retail world.
Consumer is the king of the fate of sellers. Consumer is foreteller of the retail business and their survival in the market. Respect them, care them, attach them, and understand their requirements. Else, ready to pack up and kickoff from the business.
This is the hardcore reality of retail business now days. Cities like, New York, Los angles, Vancouver, Toronto, London, Paris, Milan, Mumbai, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo are booming and expanding in retail business due to their strategic approach in deciding facilities, customer services, warranties, retail visual and their prompt response on customer requirements.
Let us have a look, on customer's necessity and demands
- Product, which fulfills more than their actual need.
- Price, which gives extra care to their pockets
- Place, which is convenient to buy.
- Promotion, which really provoke them to buy.
- People, reach to them, who really want it.
- Psychological factor, which make them buy the product.
- Personal factors, give a satisfaction to their inner self.
- Packaging, that make them walk in to the outlet
- Peace, get them real satisfaction considering all above factors
First four are the fundamentals of Marketing/ Retailing, always emphasized by big economists and marketing Gurus. However, balance 5 is a matter of concern nowadays. It always matters a lot, whom are you targeting, exclusivity of product for some specific consumers. It is not only attractive packaging/ colors/ designs/ prices/ quality/ contents, but also knowing their psychological and emotional needs are very important. Eventually retailers need to involve with consumer emotionally. They need to know them personally making them understanding their functional requirement considering their functional uses for their purposes.
There may be different purposeful ways to get attached with consumers:
- A free demonstration (applicable to electronic goods, new inventions)
- Offering little more discounts, over and above offered discount, considering their frequent visits to the retail outlet/stores.
- Giving the personal advice for particular brand/ quality considering your first hand experience with 1000s of customers.
- Ask them their functional requirement (Shirt and tie for job interview/ function/ meeting etc.) Moreover, guide them.
- Let them know your schemes/ offers about to introduce them, advise them to wait for weekends/ special days unless it is very urgent to buy.
- Give credit cards to your premium customers for shopping against some rewards points/ cash back schemes on ever purchases.
- Free home delivery service for oldies and handicapped customers.
- Exclusive lines at cash counter for Oldies/ children and handicapped customers.
- Special gifts for children of some specific age group.
- Try to place all age merchandise at same place or next to each other. E.g. Kids clothing with women and men. Retailers can arrange like this order- Kids-women-men, here psychological factor shall work. Kids will pull their moms to buy their clothes; ultimately, women shall start looking some collections for themselves, as per my own observed personal experience women tend to buy something or other from their every visit they pay at stores. Women shall pull the men to select something for them. Eventually all three end up buying for each of them. It is a win-win situation for retailer and consumer. Moreover, it is also a psychological chain to attract customers.
- Finally, treat them politely with respect, No matter, how wired the question is.
Understand that employing any above mentioned resorts needs lots of patience, money, and strategy. Remember; in time of recession and competition, attaching emotionally is an imperative need to win the game.
However these kinds of services are available with lot of big stores, like Wal-mart, The Bay, Sears, A progressive need to employ these resorts is paramount need to retail industry.
About the Author
The author is student of Post Graduate in International Business at George Brown College, Canada.
The author expresses his views on the Tail of Retail