Power of Retail Stores
The customer is at the core of any retail relationship. There are the four P’s and the subsequent P’s that have been added by researchers, there are hypotheses like retail is detail, there is the drive to go the extra mile for the customer, there is the stress of location perfection, and then there is more. But let us sidestep all these complexities for a moment and wear our ‘zero base thinking’ hat. And then examine the very basic necessities for a retail exercise to be successful. Because when we have a grasp on the success, we have a grasp on power.
Retail, basically, is a buying and selling exercise. So, very simplistically speaking, there have to be products to be sold and buyers that are ready to buy them. The millennial consumer is more self-aware, more exposed and open about stating their needs or demanding. The present-day consumers are willing to spend to satisfy their self-esteem or the image, yet they are choosey and want to experience beforehand the product or service and any brand or company which can appeal and offer the positive experience, is bound to excel. Mostly the retail stores are now evolving as consumer experience destinations. Various parameters contribute towards creating this consumer experience, which includes the design of the store, its branding techniques, display, ease in interaction, creating a barrier-free environment and the ease of access to the desired products inside the store. In short, the principle is to make it convenient for the consumers and to satisfy their ego needs by providing the desired environment inside the store. In the present time, largely the retail industry is limited to non-engaging store experiences and difficult visitor management. The marketing, visual merchandising, product display, etc. including other communication channels of advertisements inside the store are shown to all irrespective of their inclination towards the product or the brand. The user experience is non-engaging as retail stores offer only a primitive way of shopping, how their experience was and many more metrics that can be useful to the organization are missed out.
Though there is a developing trend of engaging professionals from established retail design & experiential design studios or agencies to take the consumer experience to a higher level. The challenge in India for the brands gets multiplied with the absence of experienced convertors of those ideas to reality. There are only a few experienced convertors with wherewithal to support the varied need of the designers or the brand marketers to support, detail out or add value. Mostly the retailers or retail brand projects team has to engage with multiple agencies or vendors, which is somewhat possible for flagship stores or for large retail outlets; however, when it comes to midsize or small size retail outlets and extending the same experience across these outlets, the retailers and the project team struggles a lot. Expecting these small vendors or multiple agencies to understand the nuances of the consumer experience is asking for too much, especially when there are multiple locations and multiple retail formats.
The potential of the physical retail industry
Currently, global online sales are approximately 15% of total retail sales. This means that for every rupee in online sales, there are six rupees being spent offline or in a physical retail store. Though online sales are growing fast and a lot of venture money is being pumped into this sector, especially in emerging economies like India and China, physical store retail seems to be holding somewhat steady over the recent years. Online retail, by itself, has privacy-related concerns and several concerns regarding identity theft and various other cybercrimes. In addition, there is the experiential aspect of physical retail and the fun and entertainment quotients of offline shopping – a much-needed dimension in today’s hectic world.
Future steps for expansion and SND’s role
Physical retail stores are now increasingly adopting display and communication techniques to give their customers an enhanced user experience to attract and retain them. They have made displays and points of sale more interactive and dialogue-oriented. The entire effort in physical retail is to make the entire experience more entertaining and fruitful in nature. Through some of these steps, physical retail can easily regain lost ground and keep being the preferred choice for customers in the coming future.
Satin Neo Dimensions is a leading manufacturer & pioneer in rolling out intelligent Retail Fixtures & fit-outs, Wayfinding & Branding for the choicest of brands and government-owned organizations in India. Satin Neo Dimensions has contributed through value engineering, lean manufacturing, timely deliveries, and installations to create enticing consumer experience zones for many of the leading brands in India. It has state of the art manufacturing facility spread across 100000sqft of space, housing latest machines for Metal Sections, Extrusions, Sheet metal, Woodwork and for Branding. For more information write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org