Retail market is highly competitive. To survive, retailers need to adapt to the dynamic retail landscape, be creative and push the boundaries of innovation.

Gone are the days when manufacturers decided the product features, size, color etc. That was the time when customers were willing to buy from the available alternatives. Now the scenario has changed, and competition has become intense. Customers have a range of choices, compare product offerings, and take decisions. Today, people are very passionate by nature regarding their brands. Properly planned and appropriately devised marketing tools have the capacity to enhance the feelings of the customer regarding the brand.

Customers are generally not interested in product attributes, but are likely to be interested in knowing how the merchandise would match with their personality. Though all customers would not behave in the same manner, this is the general attribute of majority of the customers. Customers are attracted towards a product due to the effect of their feelings. Brands that prefer to stand out of the box should make use of this attribute, and use appropriate tools to appeal to the customers.

Retailers today face a number of challenges. They have to meet increased competition, meet higher customer expectations, and enhance the loyalty of their customers. Retailers are under a pressure to deliver more for less. They apply many strategies to achieve success. The key factor to be considered is that customer involvement can be created and boosted by establishing a smooth and easy connection with people, and create a pleasant shopping experience. By this, retailers can establish a competitive edge in the industry. Every retailer is now in a position to assess new methods to create a better and pleasing customer experience to survive the market.

A retail store experience varies to a great extent; depending on the customer demographics, and the product segment. Overall customer satisfaction is a complex metric. There is a constant interplay of rational and emotional feelings inside every customer's mind.

C:\Documents and Settings\megha\Desktop\shopping-bag.jpgDrivers for enhancing customer satisfaction:

Price and value: The price tag included in the merchandise should match with the perceived value the customers get by making the purchase.

Personal experience: Success of a retail store depends much on the orchestrated communication between the store staff and the consumers. The retailer needs to employ friendly, knowledgeable staff; who can anticipate customer requirements, and exceed them. The store employees need to embody a culture that customers value.

In-store experience: If the retail store is well designed, organized, and stocked with merchandise in an appropriate manner, it would provide the customer with fun experience.

Communication: Well communicated store promotions, and staffs with good communication skills will give a pleasant experience to the customer. Right amount of information about the merchandise at the right time should be given to the customers in a manner without encroaching in their privacy and comfort.

Good customer experience is the top driver for satisfaction. Retailers provide relevant and pleasant store events capitalizing on these factors. Some apparel retailers showcase one category of product in three or four places apart from the earmarked space. This is to induce impulse shopping attitude in the customers mind.

Offering a good shopping experience differentiates the store in the consumers mind by creating a favorable perception that exceeds expectations. Retailers who invest their time and money in providing a satisfying shopping experience to their customers will be able to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Providing a pleasant feeling to the customer makes a primary driver to earn customer satisfaction.