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What have you offered lately?

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According to consumer surveys conducted by Impact Group, this is what Ms. Jones is looking for when she is shopping for furniture:

What do these facts mean?

Three important factors:

1)      Ms. Jones expects you to have an image and an appeal. Although advertising, store layout and design are lower on the list does not diminish their value—it is not an expectation of the consumer.  Have advertising collateral that is hip, understandable and in today’s atmosphere is important and Ms. Jones knows when your walk does not match your talk.

2)      Value is important—it always has been. Yes, value and price are number one on the priority list.  These two terms have been molded together in today’s economy.  A few years ago value would have been higher than price and not seen as one in the same.  However, a few bad days in the stock market and a foreclosure make both value and price seem hand in hand.  But, the same principle holds true:

a.       Value=when price is < personal experience or when personal experience is > price

3)      Ease of shopping is not just about a friendly staff. This factor hits deeper than the environment you have in your store.   It involves everything at the fingertips of Ms. Jones.  Whether it is OFFLINE or ONLINE she wants her shopping experience to be easy and user friendly.  Making her search through your store without a sales person does not help her personal experience but neither does sending her to a manufacturer website to look at product.

We know what Ms. Jones is looking for in her shopping experience.  We also know that things that needed to be improved three of four years ago are expected to be running in tip top shape and things that were not top of mind even today are expected to be running in tip top shape.

So, what do we do now?

It’s time for a tune up.  Identify your weaknesses, your strengths, your customer profile now, your future customer profile and how you are speaking about your brand in the marketplace.

How

do you do this?

  • Step outside of your comfort zone and truly evaluate yourself in the marketplace.
  • Join a performance group and see how other retailers are talking about themselves to today’s customer.
  • Hire an outside consultant who will work with you step by step to make sure this new plan is implemented effectively and efficiently to maximize impact.

Changing is not just changing because everyone else is.  Change solidifies the legacy your brand has and can have moving forward.

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