Choice is viewed as a good thing, but it can be dangerous. Even though the supermarket concept is taking its lumps these days, treating your shopping for success like a trip to the market is a good way to make sure you avoid a spill in aisle you.
A few weeks back, I discussed the Four P’s of Marketing (or Five P’s in the online world) in the blog. Besides that valuable base knowledge, how can a virtual shopping trip help keep you honest with your marketing efforts.
1. Front Door Greeting – The market likes having something fresh in your face. Produce usually. Well, keep it in mind with your first impression. Is it a meeting, web site, ad, trade show or something else? Don’t over think it, but don’t overlook it.
2. Values – Recently, I read an account of Walmart’s same store sales drop and what management was doing about it. The difference that leaders found from research was that the product islands or “clutter” had been eliminated in favor of more space. Those shoppers liked the clutter because it gave them the feeling that they had a lot of great priced items to choose from. So, the clutter returned and the numbers started to return.
Do your research! If sensory overload fits your customers and your business, go for it. If not, make sure you have some values to offer – or rotate – to keep your customers moving into your “store.”
3. Endcaps – We have all read the accounts of the messy breakup between Starbucks and Kraft. There’s more than meets the eye and I won’t bother with the particulars. But, one complaint from Starbucks relates to the placement strategies Kraft has employed. Become familiar with the tools you can use to put your product in featured positions. If you want to experiment, do it in calculated ways so that you can measure it.
Social networking, online shopping tools, traditional media buys, online placement, smartphone apps……the world is your oyster, but don’t pound a bunch of sand only to end up without a pearl. Again, research will help you connect with your customers and confirm why people like you so you can do the things that will keep them coming back for more.
4. Secret Shopping – One reality show I will watch is “Undercover Boss.” Don’t forget what being a customer feels like. The biggest flaw is using all that you already know to help you decide what you are about to do next. Know something new.
5. Make It Special – Sad (but expected) news a couple of days back was the beginning of bankruptcy for A&P markets. Again, there were many reasons for this result. But, one of the childhood memories I have is mom buying the “Eight O’Clock Coffee” and having the clerk put it into the grinder at the check-out. You noticed the smell of freshly ground coffee beans sending you on your way and greeting the new shoppers on their way in.
What is the “wow” for your business? What special service or product do you own? I know a successful businessman who worked his way up from rank-and-file employee to the purchase of the company. He decided that the company, which had repped multiple product lines, would now control just five products that are industry leaders. His goal is to streamline the selling and service process for both the customer and the staff. Decide what you will own so you help your customers own them too.
Of course, it’s not a simple effort. But, plan your shopping list carefully and then fill your cart with the ingredients that will make your marketing super.