When it comes to running household errands, for example, shopping at your local store for a pack of cookies, most of us would probably go to our favorite store despite having multiple alternative stores in our localities. Do brands have something to learn from this customer behavior? Should brands be indifferent about this behavior since almost similar assortments are carried by most of these retailers? If not, what brands need to do to win shelf space in these apparently popular local stores?
There could be multiple reasons why many of us might have a strong store choice. It could be the location that seems convenient. It could be the pleasing appearance and decoration of the store that provide customers with positive experience. Such positive experience may also be enhanced through courtesy and helping attitude of sales persons behind the counter. When it comes to local stores at our doorsteps, some stores would be able to manage a stable base of customers through “social behavior”, like getting to know customers personally and engage customers through chit-chats during the shopping time. Some stores may simply win because of their ability to shorten customers’ shopping time by employing more salespeople to serve when it gets crowded. Some customers would deliberately choose those local stores that have no problem to change a 1,000 taka note for an item costing Tk. 50! You call it “customer service” at the store level.
Brands must be aware of such retailer behavior that greatly impacts customer behavior. While it would be an enormous task to train local shop-owners on how to deal with customers, what brands can do is to develop a ranked list of retailers based on their customer friendliness. When it comes to fighting for shelf-spaces, the popular stores should get the first attention. Have you been able to identify the popular stores in your category?