The inevitable increase in prices associated with an increase in the exchange rate leads to a change in consumer. The exact match of the assortment and the appearance of the store to the new customer is the key to successful sales. With the help of what simple tools you can quickly compose a portrait of your client and how reorganization of the store format will help you retain the consumer - the merchandising specialist Marina Polkovnikova knows.
Marina Polkovnikova - Founder of VM-Consulting agency, merchandising and store design consultant with 12 years of experience. Lecturer at the Art & image Institute, speaker of business programs at Mosshoes, EuroShoes exhibitions, conferences to increase retail sales.
VM Consulting Is a visual merchandising agency for fashion stores. Provides a wide range of services from setting up a merchandising system, store audits to store design and staff training. The agency's clients are such brands as Tom Farr, HC, Giorgio Grati, ToBeQueen, RendezVour, Mascotte, Meucci, the Golden Taurus jewelry store chain, etc. \
Before the crisis began, buyers changed their preferences, the customer was rotated both within the same price category and between them. Thus, the correction of the client’s portrait is not an anti-crisis event, but an annual necessity. The retailer should monitor market changes regardless of economic shocks, as changing the customer preferences is not only influenced by price. But, of course, right now this question is especially acute.
Most analysts tend to believe that buyers will buy no less, but will shift in price. If in a favorite store the price tag jumped from 2800 rubles to 4500 rubles, it is easy to assume that the buyer will go to the retailer, where the price tag from 1500 rubles increased to 2800 - 3000 rubles, but the quality of the goods is as usual.
At different poles
All customers can be divided into 2 types - time keeper and fan shopper.
time keepers they don’t like shops for their hustle, bustle and loss of time valuable to them .. As a rule, they go to the mall a month or even a season to immediately replenish the wardrobe with everything they need, that is, preferring it with such an unpleasant thing for them "Procedure", like shopping, will cope at a time. If they have sufficient financial resources, they often resort to the services of stylists, buyers, which free them from having to spend time looking for a suitable wardrobe. Moreover, when working with “keepers”, buyers always visit stores in advance, looking for suitable models in order to offer ready-made options to the client. If the “keeper” is forced to pick up clothes on his own, he will usually prefer a store in which there are many ready-made solutions - bows are presented on mannequins or through merchandising: goods that complement each other are placed next to each other.
Character traits. It is not difficult to find out the “keeper” from the buyer: these are, as a rule, serious people who are restrained by the manifestation of emotions. They are democratically dressed. In their wardrobe there will be no bright spots and unexpected combinations of colors and textures. Fashion trends in their wardrobe can be traced, but everything is very, very reserved. The coat is classic, the suit is universal. Clear, tasteful, stylish. Such buyers rarely heed the opinion of the seller and are not ready for open communication. They are somewhat arrogant and believe that a person who has achieved nothing but to work at the box office is unlikely to be able to advise them anything. The exception is sellers with whom they have already established contact, who have proven their competence and have established themselves as professionals. Kipers are rarely seen in stores on weekends when there is a large influx of customers.
Merchandising techniques. Weighing and layout should be specific and understandable. Such customers will prefer a multi-brand clothing and shoe store, where the assortment is presented more fully and it is easy to assemble a full-fledged image. Shop windows designed for this category of customers should also be clear, the client should easily “count” the assortment of the store before it even enters it. There is no “water” and extra decorations in the interior; the rule works here: the simpler the better. An important role in retaining such a customer is played by the store staff. It is necessary to record all purchases of the “keeper” in order to lure him with a personalized approach. Time keepers will surely appreciate such attention to their person and will stay with you. “Olga, the last time you bought a bag from us, we have a new collection and in which there is a model that fits your bag perfectly. We set it aside for you. We are sure that it will suit you. ” You do not just inform the keeper about the arrival of a new collection, but inform him about specific models that complement his everyday wardrobe. The client will return to you more than once.
fan shoppers - fans of shopping. They get incredible pleasure from hanging out in the shopping center. In search of the necessary gizmos, they can come to the same store several times a week - “what if”! They spend a lot of time trying on, but they can leave the store with nothing. And that will not upset them at all. They require a lot of attention to themselves, distracting sellers from other customers who are more likely to make a purchase. But this does not mean that from "shoppers" it is necessary to brush off, as from annoying flies! They are so emotional, open, sociable that they help the retail point to create a pool of loyal customers: they willingly give advice to other customers, provoking them to buy. They are aware of trends, trends, fashionable combinations of colors and textures, so they are willing to listen to their opinion. They are often trusted more than sellers, since they are not interested in the success of the store’s sales and I advise them sincerely, focusing only on their own experience in fashion.
Specific traits. A striking representative of this group of buyers is the main character of the movie “Shopaholic”. Bright, emotional, ready to spend the last for the sake of the little thing you like (and here financial wealth does not matter). "Shoppers" are susceptible to impulse purchases. They love accessories and in the store the first thing they do is go to the accessory group.
Merchandising techniques. For this category of buyers, the shop windows and the interior of the store should be emotionally vibrant and attractive. "Shoppers" like to create fashionable images themselves, but interesting bows in the windows will surely attract their attention. If the vast majority of your customers are shoppers, work for them. Create bright bows, lay out the most trendy models on priority places and shelves.
Rogers diffuse model
The concept of diffusion of innovations is based on the theoretical developments of the French legal scholar Gabriel Thardt, who lived in the 1962th century. This theory was popularized by the American sociologist Everett Rogers in XNUMX, thanks to his published book, "Diffusion of Innovation." Rogers defines “diffusion” as the process by which innovation (for example, new ideas, processes or products) is transmitted over time through certain channels among members of social systems. To identify the different types of consumer behavior, Rogers developed a classification method using the so-called innovation propensity distribution curve. The adaptation process is defined in terms of the individual behavior of people and taking into account how their behavior reflects the speed with which they are ready to try something new.
Depending on the types of such behavior, Rogers identified 5 groups of people:
- early followers
- earlier most
- later most
Draw a graph (see diagram)
1. Innovators - 2,5%
2. Early followers - 13,5%
3. Previously, the majority - 34%
4. Late majority - 34%
5. Lagging - 16%
Innovators - risky and educated, active in finding sources of information, able to understand and apply complex knowledge, not afraid of failures. As soon as a new trend appears, innovators “try on” it immediately. As soon as this trend becomes widespread, innovators reject it and switch to searching for a new, unusual, unique image. These people are out of fashion, as they themselves create fashion. These are designers who do not track, but feel that it will be fashionable. Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander Wong are innovative designers whose collections await the entire fashion world. Bright representative of the group: the editor of Italian Voque Anna Dello Russo - she does not create fashion, but broadcasts it. Innovators are not afraid to experiment, look stupid or funny and be outside of society.
Early followers - venerable social leaders, well-known, educated, strive to use new technologies to introduce a novelty into society, are risky, insensitive to price. These are mostly people with good incomes, which allows them to choose only the best and the most fashionable. In recent years, fashion bloggers have joined this group. Thanks to their passion for fashion, they attend all shows and do not miss a single social event, they are aware of all the trends and subtly feel that they will be commercially successful. Their ability to isolate the hottest trends from the general mass finds its fans. This is the category of people who need to be in fashion: movie stars, media people, designers. They are opinion leaders, they evaluate what is relevant and what is not. Each subculture, its age group, social circle has its own leader, its early follower, which is an icon of style. His choice is significant for many fashion lovers.
Early majority - are discreet and have many informal contacts. Their motto is: “Do not be the first in something new!”, “When it is time to move, let's move all together!” This very clearly reflects their attitude to fashion. They are not against fashion trends, but let others “test” them for themselves and if the fashion idea passes field tests, representatives of the early majority are ready to wear it. So, for example, innovators started wearing pointed shoes a year ago, while the early majority picked up the trend only six months later. Representatives of this large group do not deny fashion. They love trends, but not all of them are ready to try on themselves. They choose stores where fast-fashion is certainly present, but there are also basic models. Typical retailers working for this consumer are Bershka and Zara, Podium market.
Later most - are skeptical, traditional, prudent, accept innovations under the pressure of the majority. They “read” trends from acquaintances, from passers-by on the street. Only after they are convinced that a particular trend is not a short-term phenomenon, but off-season, they are ready to buy it. They are rational and prefer basic things. Retailers such as Massimo Dutti, Gant, Stockmann are oriented towards such a consumer. In these stores, of course, the main trends of the season are presented - in color, texture, fabrics - but they are more restrained.
Lagging behind - traditional, very suspicious of innovation, are not leaders, have narrow-minded views, are very sensitive to price. There are two categories of buyers: those who have money, but they are completely indifferent to fashion. Once a randomly selected brand becomes the only one possible for them. The second category is low-income people who simply do not have the ability to dress fashionably. They prefer to shop at sales and at discounts.
Your task, using one of these two gradations of consumer behavior, is to create a clear portrait of your client. It is easier than it sounds. In appearance, style, chosen image it is easy to understand who is in front of you - “shopper”, “keeper”, early or late follower. Who most often comes to your store, and most importantly - who most often buys.
Nowadays, most retailers have neither time nor money to resort to lengthy research on consumer behavior. Visual assessment is that simple and understandable way that always works. Two or three days of work of a manager, marketer or merchandiser of the company will make it possible to draw up a portrait of the consumer and make the necessary adjustments to the assortment policy and merchandising.
Make a small questionnaire for your “researcher”, in which he will record information about customers: age, appearance, what he is wearing, approximate social status and average monthly income. It is better to study the consumer on weekdays in the evening hours (during the day there are a lot of random people in the store), 30 - 40 descriptions will help to reveal the general behavioral characteristics characteristic of your customer.
If the store sells to the buyer from the late majority, it will be erroneous to create bows and prioritize goods designed for the early majority. Of course, a talented merchandiser can change the look of the store and interest buyers of another group, but having studied the entire assortment of the store, they are unlikely to make a purchase. If you are focused on the late majority, you should not show the wonders of merchandising to attract consumers to the store - this will not increase conversion.
In a crisis, retail faces a difficult task: to retain an old customer and attract a new one. It is necessary to track the situation with the client, analyze the portrait of the customer in 2015 and change the assortment (add a more affordable category of goods, increase the price gradually and not for all groups of goods) or use the merchandising tools to create the most comfortable conditions for a new consumer.
Merchandising without errors
The Russian market of clothing, footwear and accessories is divided into 4 price segments, each of which has characteristic features both in terms of development dynamics and in relation to the organization of companies and consumer behavior.
- Upper price segment (Premium + Luxury, hot couture and prêt-a-porte);
- High and medium bridge (diffuse brands - the second line of designer brands and transition brands - with pricing between prêt-a-porte and the mass market);
- Mass market (low bridge and moderate);
- Low price segment Budget.
The display of goods very clearly indicates that the store belongs to a particular retail segment. The higher the price segment - the lower the density of the weighting and placement of the goods.
In a crisis, everyone is counting on the turnover of goods, since exchange rates reduce margins, but this does not mean that you should neglect the calculation rules. No wonder merchandising is called the "silent seller." Systematization of goods allows the buyer to easily find the right product and not leave without a purchase. Here the rule works: chaos in the product - chaos in sales!
- Do not strive to present the entire product range. Presenting the model in the hall only in a couple of sizes, you demonstrate a certain exclusivity of the product. Do not use the calculation along the entire height of wall racks, do not force passages. Due to the distances between the island equipment, the value value of the goods increases. So the client less often asks the question: “Why is it so expensive!” Do not use (only if you are not a mass market) a two-level suspension: on the upper racks (above 1,6 m) place only accessories, mannequins, posters, POS materials. Alternate the presentation of capsule collections.
- Refuse to purchase models similar in design, with minor differences in finish. In the end, the client will not be able to decide what he likes black stiletto ankle boots and black stiletto heel shoes with a small bow! The choice is ruining the buyer.
- If we have a great depth in color, do not lay out all the colors on the trading floor. If the customer is interested in the goods, inform him of the availability of other colors. Do not litter the store, do not reduce the cost of its appearance.
- Let there be more mirrors in your store: if you are saving on staff, give the customer the opportunity to evaluate the goods when trying on without assistance.
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