Once I read that what stopped man previously discovering the form of the Earth with its continents was not indeed his ignorance “but rather the illusion that he already thought he knew” what its form was. I agree! We also assume we know how the heart and mind of shoppers work, and do little to observe the changes that have occurred this past decade. While supermarket stores were traditionally designed for customers that make a monthly shop, with large aisles, an enormous variety and low prices, the need to save on time has been compelling shoppers to buy at the local store, on the Internet or at the vending machine.
The world over, less has become more. Simplicity is the name of the new retail game. Simple, but not simplistic. It is by understanding the shopper that a retailer will be able to adequate his store to the new times in consumer spending. To give an example: in the United States, almost 50% of trips to the supermarket generate tickets of five items or less. This shows a trend of a reduced shopping basket and the figures point to an increase in the
number of trips to the point-of-sale.
Pushed for time, customers shop more often, in smaller quantities choosing from within a reduced selection of items. In fact, the store with the highest turnover per square foot in the United States has just 2000 registered items on its shelves, compared to 30 thousand, on average, among the competitors. Reducing the shopping options, this shop diminished the anxiety of its clients and raised its sales fivefold.
While the majority of retailers are asking themselves how they can beat their competitors in price, the cleverer retailer has been asking their customers and have been concerned about displaying the products so that they provide a shopping experience that matches the idea behind the shopping trip, whether it’s a trip to replace items, or stock up on products, or just to pick up a few items and get out the store fast.
Creating “layered” store layouts, the retailers use the double positioning of products and a layout that caters to the customer who wants to find products. It is possible to adequate the store to the shopper’s idea behind his/her trip to the store. And when this happens, the customer gets the impression that the store was made for them, independent of the time and money they are prepared to spend.
The choice of sales channel is a decision from the shopper. There is no way the retailer has any control over this part of the buying process, but once inside the shop, just give the shopper what they want, without traps that make them walk through the shop, and they will come back more and more.
Originally published at Mundo do Marketing website in 12/2/2009