How many different grocery stores do you go to every month? Chances are that you are loyal to a particular store, as are most consumers. Strong consumer loyalty is a retailer’s ultimate goal because repeat business is the key to profitability and success within the retail industry.
Cost is often not what makes a consumer incorporate a retail store into his or her routine. Loblaw’s, for example, is slightly more expensive than store brands like No Frills, yet has a dedicated following of consumers who love the look and feel of the stores, the spacing and organization of the merchandise and the diverse range of merchandise. Similarly, Fortino’s also offers pricier merchandise than a food chain like No Frills but many consumers choose Fortino’s because of the wide selection or brands and the quality of the produce. Product placement, customer engagement through product demos, dynamic store set-ups and displays also play a role in the customer’s overall experience.
The customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. At retail, the customer experience is what will dictate the loyalty that a consumer shows to a particular retail store or brand. Efficient merchandising and distribution plays a huge role in the customer’s experience and features many moving variables that include:
- a wide range of products and brands
- accessibility to those products and brands
- product availability (products are sufficiently stocked and on the shelves)
- products are properly priced
Consumers want to find what they need in all one place especially when it comes to grocery shopping. A consumer will generally be loyal to a store (even if the cost of goods is slightly higher) when they can get everything they need in one central location. A consumer who visits a retailer to find that they don’t sell the brands they love, are consistently out of stock (sold out or simply not on the shelf) and/or the items prices are not clearly marked, can quickly get frustrated. Where un-stocked merchandise is concerned, it is very inconvenient to the consumer and they will likely not forget the experience the next time they need to shop.
It pays to invest in the customer experience. Many retailers and brands have come to realize that working with professional merchandising and marketing companies can make a big difference when it comes to enhancing their customers’ experience, which leads to increased profit, heightened customer loyalty and increased customer retention.
Professionals with expertise in this regard can point out and facilitate in-store improvements and offer services to improve overall merchandising and distribution. For example, working with a merchandising and distribution company will mean that your products will always be on the shelf because their staff will ensure that it is never out of stock or sitting in the back of a retailer’s warehouse. They have the skilled resources to provide trained support on-demand during high seasons, facilitate in-store marketing campaigns and assist in ensuring adequate distribution and effective merchandising to increase store loyalty.
For more information about the customer experience and improving store loyalty please contact Store Support at 905 847 6513 or visit www.storesupport.ca