Retail is not easy. It’s easy for retailers to get so caught up in the details of running such a massive, demanding operation that they actually miss out on the real reason they exist; to meet customers’ needs and satisfy their expectation.
In looking out for every bug and plant in the forest, retailers often miss out on the BIG picture the forest of trees presents. It is important to step away from the grind and take time to experience your retail offering from your customers’ point of view.
It may surprise or shock you that while you may be thinking you are operating a well run ship, your customers maybe merely tolerating you while holding their breath for the next best thing to sail in and ship out with their sales. So before your competitor figures out your weak spots, lets point out examples of some real turn offs that customers endure in retail outlets and how to fix them.
Store assistants huddled together in aisles or simply not present to offer shoppers assistance. The general assumption that customers can find what they need easily is one of the biggest turn offs for any shopper. Assumption communicates being taken for granted and no customer likes to feel un-important no matter how little they spend in store.
Aisles that lack enough lighting or are littered with stuff: Customers are already struggling with purchase decisions and fitting product prices within their slender budgets. There is no reason to complicate their lives further by making it difficult to navigate your store.
Confused displays and/or dysfunctional store arrangements. There must be a place to accept that your floor space cannot afford you BIG Retailer Store Status and re-invent your store into a Shop-and-Go convenience if it better serves your main customer traffic. Your customers will thank you for your kind consideration in not trying to be all things to all men and helpful to none in the end.
Nairobi has an influx of hastily constructed malls coming up without enough infrastructural thought given to access or parking convenience for shoppers. This is by no means a reason for your retail outlet to completely disregard the comfort and convenience of your shopper simply because the Property Developer did.
Lack of Appreciation for What your customer goes through In-store
Closely tied to location accessibility, is taking time to better understand who your customer is, what their preferences are, and what they expect from your retail offering, on a store by store basis.
There are many ways market research can help you discover what other turn-offs your customers may be agonizing over at your store. Retail research methods like audits, mystery shopping, store location evaluation, in store display optimization, purchase decisions analysis, not only help un-earth the problems but also generate insights that have revenue potential that can be converted into winning actions and strategies.