"This year, more than ever, retailers need to be at the top of their game," noted Pam Danziger, who is president of Unity Marketing, a retail consulting firm in Stevens, PA, and author of a new book: "Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience." "With shoppers super cautious about their spending, retailers need to give them a reason to come shopping. But shopping alone can't be the reason. They need to draw them into the store by offering an experience that makes shopping fun, engaging and entertaining," said Danziger.
She acknowledged that retailers face a challenging environment in which there are too few customers spending too little money. In the book, she offers some ways to improve business through practical ideas and business building solutions that retailers can implement immediately to attract more shoppers and increase basket ring. "That is the key for retailers to survive in this recession," Danziger advised. Shopper behavior research has found two factors for getting people to spend more money on shopping trips: Increase the amount of shopper time spent in the store, and increase shoppers' interaction with merchandise and staff.
As a result of consumer research, Danziger has identified seven factors, dubbed the, "Pop Equation," that successful stores make use of to transform the shopping experience in their stores. Employing clear, practical examples, her book illustrates how different retailers have used each of these seven factors in the Pop Equation to, "make their shop pop."
Those stores that succeed do the following: encourage high levels of customer involvement and interaction; evoke shopper curiosity; have a contagious, electric quality; present a convergence between atmosphere, store design and merchandise; express an authentic concept; are priced right for the value; and offer an environment that is accessible, nonexclusive and free from pretensions. "A shop that pops becomes a destination for loyal customers to visit again and again, not because they need to buy anything, but because they want the thrill of shopping there once more," noted Danziger. "A shop that pops thrives because all the while shoppers are getting their experiential thrill, they are also shopping and spending money."
Fueled by in-depth research about what people want when they shop, the book profiles nearly 20 retailers who have overcome obstacles to succeed. Among them, Feast!, an upscale food retailer based in Charlottesville, VA. Its customers are offered generous samples of rare artisanal cheeses and locally grown produce. The store's mission is to, "Get it in their mouth and make a sale." Feast! and other retailers featured in the book have learned the secret of successful retailing, and that is: It is less about what you sell and more about how you sell it, according to Danziger. In other words, it is all about creating a shopping experience for the customer.
The lessons apply to both large national retailers as well as small independent mom and pop stores, and anyone else involved in retail. In addition to reading the book, retailers can find out how well their stores are creating an experience for customers, and how they can enhance the shopping experience in their stores, by taking the Shops that Pop quiz at www.whypeoplebuy.com/cms/Home_Page/Pams_Books.php.
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