Experiential Marketing: Customer Centric Shopping Experience
In an online study on over 5000 retailers in Euro zone by the WPP Group PLC, aimed at identifying the motivation behind the customers why, what, where and how in term of shopping, it was found that consumers follow a multidimensional approach. The shopper of the modern worlds has high standards of the shopping experience than his predecessors. In order to fulfil these standards, the retailer needs to adapt and gain a much better understanding of his target customers than ever before. As the marketplace become ever more complex, polarized and competitive, the large demographic classifications of retail customers are fast becoming laughable.
The following insights showed that customers:
• Are extensively manipulated by their moods, which is a key variable deciding how much they spend, which is something an exceptional shopping experience can promote.
• Want different items when they shop for goods in a certain product group and vice versa.
• Start by looking at single items on their shopping lists then buy the remainder in a fixed pattern. The may also purchase additional items in random pattern or according to the store layout. Products close in range to a particular category are bought first e.g. shopping for cake essentials means buying eggs, flour, icing all in one streak.
• Expect a convenient, hassle free experience and are willing to accept premium pricing if this is guaranteed. Change in layout and structure is only embraced if it contributes to their customized shopping needs.
It is evident from the above findings, what experience focused retailers must do and that is:
• To understand the local customer based on geographic, behavioristic and psycho-graphic profiling to provide a customized shopping experience which will reflect on how much is bought based on occasion and the individuality of each customer.
• To create a sense of excitement and capture the interest of the customer in order to nurture an emotional connection.
• To provide shoppers with the tools they need to reach an informed purchasing decision which eliminates the hassle of hunting for a functional & relevant product.
Retailers must bring themselves at par with the wholesale giants and create an enhanced shopping experience that stimulates demand and purchase. Customers are on a mission and the retailer is their confidant; one who must have deeper insights than before in order to deliver relevant offering that are tailored to different customers, which helps in retention and conversion.
The retailer must realize that in order to provide a customer centric shopping experience, it all comes down to his understanding (or lack of) the customer. Once the retailers understand what aspects and attributes bring customers back to his store, what they need, how they go about shopping & differences in ethnic shopping methods, they will be better able to develop service and merchandizing services as well as store formatting aligned to the needs and patterns of their target customers.
For the seasoned retailer, a bolder approach towards creating personalized shopping experiences that are tailored to customer preferences will be seen. These preferences can and will change in accordance to the requirements (shopping list or occasion) of that particular day.
Differentiation is key and that will be possible once customized experiences are offered, experiences that don’t get on your target markets nerves, rather those that bring them back time and again, maximizing the experience and reaping two way rewards.