Evolving without losing sight of the basics
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!