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Tag: retail consultancy
As the shops get busier in the weeks before Christmas, the issue of queuing becomes more and more obvious.
Queuing is the bane of shopper’s lives and bad experiences can often result in aborted purchases, negative feelings towards a retailer and, sometimes, all-out rage! But how can you avoid these pitfalls?
Everybody has a general benchmark as to how long they think a queue will last. For example, you know that a queue at immigration will take forever; the bank will probably take a similar period of time and the post office could take much longer. On the shorter side of things, the cash-point should only take a few moments and the traffic lights will change any second – don’t even bother taking it out of gear. ]
But what happens when there is a deviation from the norm?
In simple terms, you feel good when you win and bad when you lose. This feeling is often amplified when compared against the progress (or lack thereof) of other queues at the checkout or as you exit an aircraft (not only is your queue not moving, the other queue is making remarkable progress). Similarly, beating that car in a traffic jam never fails to put a smile on your face.
Do you remember the last time you were in a packed pub, trying your best to reach over the bar and catch the barman’s attention? All you want is a couple of drinks and you don’t want to miss out on the banter back at the table. You eye up the opposition, make a mental note of your arrival time and, after much jostling, sharp elbows and dagger looks, you finally look the barman in the eye, get the nod and know you are next. At this point you relax a little, knowing you have claimed your place in the world. Even so, you are slightly on edge as you see your predecessor’s money disappear into the till, your neck is out like a giraffe and the barman looks up; only to turn the other way and deal with much later arriving member of the opposition – look at the smirk on their face! Feel the anger rise up inside of you. You feel cheated, wronged and have a distinct prejudice against both the barman and the sly queue jumper.
Do you want your customers to feel like this? I wouldn’t think so, but what can retailers do to keep the rage at bay? The answer is distraction.
M&S food make a wonderful job of it, bringing out your inner child with a dazzling array of sweet impulse buys (mini yum-yum anyone?) and in one fell swoop make you forget you are in a queue and you are at the checkout in no time (whilst making a significant contribution to profits).
But it’s not just impulse buys that beat the queuing blues. Performance works wonders as well; watching a florist create a stunning arrangement makes time fly by…
What were your best and worst queuing experiences?
A recent trend in the office is the increase in requests for measured surveys from retailers who are opening stores on the Continent. Although the physical process of surveying and drawing is the same, the geographic spread can bring with it a number of challenges; inefficient planning can dramatically affect your cost base.
However, nothing is insurmountable and you can avert a number of potential issues by following our top 5 tips for success:
1. Give your survey supplier as much warning as possible.
2. Allocate site surveys in batches wherever possible
3. Work with your survey supplier and let them know the bigger picture.
4. Ensure that all the agents and store managers know that the survey team is coming.
5. Be flexible on the drawing return date.
Obviously it’s not always about cost, but we believe it is important that our clients don’t pay any more than they need to, so if you are considering expansion into Europe and want to use a survey company you can trust, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Another hot topic from the 2012 Supermarkets conference we attended last month was the future of the large format supermarket and its design.
As mentioned in my previous note on the exponential growth of convenience stores, the growth from convenience stores and the discount chains – such as pound shops and discount grocery – is out-stripping the sales increase from ‘big-box’ grocery retailing.
By 2016, Market research forecasts an increase from 13% to 24% of supermarket sales to come from non-supermarket locations. Put simply, the rise in popularity of e-commerce, convenience stores, pharmacy, travel money, banking, etc. is reducing the growth potential from adding new space through large format openings or extensions, by offering an easier return on investment.
So what does this mean for today’s supermarkets? Well, the store of the future is likely to be heavily influenced by each retailers ‘clicks and mortar’ strategy. Putting dark stores in large conurbation areas on one side, more online deliveries (currently only <5% for grocery shopping) will mean less shoppers in store and perhaps a larger back of house area to facilitate home delivery or in-store collections.
Some retailers are already exploring ‘drive through’ collection points in car parks for those customers who might want to order online and collect their shopping on their way home. Less customers in store might free up more room for complimentary or destination franchise space within store to help drive footfall and make the supermarket feel more like a traditional high street or market all under one roof? There are lots of options, lots of opportunity and many cul-de-sacs to be explored.
What is clear, is there a changing marketplace with changing consumer habits and it is likely we will all see various trials and future store concepts being rolled out as the supermarkets jockey for the right idea and market position.
Whether you are a retailer trying to achieve sign-off on a new store concept or you are a manufacturer of highly specialised equipment in a competitive tender pitch, we’ve got some great news to share with you.
Our specialist 3D team are now able to offer ‘true-3D’ visualisation of your products, ideas or projects – a major technology breakthrough that gives your audience an experience like no other.
It all sounds very fancy, but what does this mean for our customers?
1. If your meeting rooms have a 3DTV or you have access to a 3D compatible laptop, all of our 3D animations and interactive environments can now be delivered to you in True 3D. This is great for adding an extra dynamic to your presentations, pitches and customer demonstrations.
2. The bit we are most excited about – we believe that bigger is always better, so we have invested in high-end 3D projection technology which is now available for hire throughout the UK. Using short-throw lenses and positioning the projector only a few feet away, we can now fill entire walls with high-def 3D animations.
Ask your audience to slip on our active-shutter glasses and take to the stage! We can even send one of our 3D operators along to navigate the interactive models for you, letting you focus on your delivery. Alternatively, get the audience out of their seats and guide them through a life-size, 3D tour of your latest idea.