Evolv­ing with­out los­ing sight of the ba­sics

Point of Purchase - - EDITOR’S NOTE - Vas­ant Jante

Wel­come back to an­other month of shop­per con­nect in­sight and un­der­stand­ing. As we put to­gether this is­sue, a few things strike me. One, is of course the ways in which the shop­per is be­ing stud­ied, which is grow­ing man­i­fold. From dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing be­tween the shop­per and the con­sumer to cat­e­go­riz­ing the dif­fer­ent kinds of shop­pers, from un­der­stand­ing psy­che to mon­i­tor­ing loy­alty, it seems to be never end­ing. Brands and re­tail chains across the world are do­ing more and more, com­mis­sion­ing more and more stud­ies to help them gain in­sight into that in­trigu­ing crea­ture called the shop­per.

Who would have thought, for in­stance, that chang­ing dy­nam­ics in the mod­ern In­dian fam­ily would af­fect their re­la­tion­ship with their friendly neigh­bour­hood gro­cer (Mr Damodar Mall’s col­umn on the shop­per-in-law)? Or that there may be five kinds of shop­pers who need to be ac­cord­ingly lured or not, de­pend­ing on their ap­proach to shop­ping? Or for that mat­ter, the fact that the Six Ws that are tra­di­tion­ally ap­plied to news re­port­ing could well ap­ply to shop­per study strat­egy as well, at least ac­cord­ing to Ankur Shiv Bhan­dari, MD, Kan­tar Re­tail In­dian sub-con­ti­nent? These Six Ws by the way are: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Sim­i­larly, as Tara Prab­hakar, De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor, R&S, Asia Pa­cific, ex­plains in her col­umn, there is more to the way clut­ter and prod­uct place­ment is man­aged in store than what we may have be­lieved all along and this has a lot to do with shop­per be­hav­ior, psy­chol­ogy and con­di­tion­ing.

Well, these and more are what our colum­nists and in­ter­na­tional sec­tions this month fo­cus on. And this also brings to my mind an­other ques­tion: Fine, ev­ery­one talks about shop­per con­nect and con­sumer con­ve­nience. But how much are re­tail chains re­ally in­vest­ing in staff train­ing? How much of their fo­cus is re­ally on groom­ing the store staff in ba­sic com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills that could well make the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence a more pleas­ant one for the cus­tomer/shop­per? Mr B.A Ko­dan­dara­mam, Chair­man and Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Viveks, shares some of his in­sights on these is­sues and more in his in­ter­view with Point of Pur­chase this month. His mus­ings in fact re­flect on the need for re­it­er­at­ing some fun­da­men­tals in the path of growth.

This, I be­lieve, is im­por­tant. Be­cause I won­der if, in the con­stant quest for evolv­ing, we are los­ing sight of some ba­sics—namely some fun­da­men­tal val­ues and com­mon sense ap­proach that could well shape our growth and also re­de­fine in­dus­try stan­dards. May be we need to chew on this a bit more.

And then we have our usual stan­dard fare of POP Parade and Brand Stand sec­tions that only goes to show that not only are newer seg­ments look­ing at re­tail vis­i­bil­ity for bet­ter po­si­tion­ing, but the way in which brands are do­ing it is also get­ting more dy­namic. So, as I al­ways say, happy read­ing!

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