Has the customer switched to cheaper brands or reduced the number of purchases of favorite brands? How to plan new orders in the face of uncertainty? How to stimulate staff in a crisis? These issues on the Fashion Director forum were resolved both by practitioners who hear the ringing of the cash register every day, and fashion theorists, who can see many non-obvious things from the outside. The forum was organized by BBCG and Fashion Consulting Group. It's nice that the key phrase of the forum was “What have we done in our company in six months”. In this article, we have collected the most interesting experience of Russian fashion companies.
Hesitants can be returned
The client was and remains in the first place, so the topic of relations with the buyer has become central to the forum. A characteristic feature of the current state: on the one hand, clothes fell into products of unsustainable demand: “I will take a break and think”, but paradoxically, the clothes fall into another motive: “Please yourself”, when women who “click on the break” in the end, they break away from the diet and start buying, buying and buying.
Tatiana Komissarova, Research Director of the Market Management Laboratory at the Higher School of Marketing and Business Development of the State University - Higher School of Economics, spoke about the key changes in consumer behavior. According to her, the minimum period for a person to start thinking about a serious change in their habits is 9 months. Given that the peak of the panic was in October-November last year, we are just on the edge of such a change. Therefore, now is the time to act - to retain or attract buyers. To act, understanding that those who left to buy other brands have not left for good - hesitant buyers can still be returned. Because loyalty to a store is not only made up of brand loyalty, it is also an attachment to fit and size, it is also an attachment to loyalty programs that should never be phased out. The options are very different. For example, the Henderson menswear chain has originally modified its traditional advertising with celebrity: in the summer, the company launched the “Dinner with a Star: Shop Online and Get the Opportunity to Win a Dinner in Paris with Gerard Depardieu. Another option. As an experiment, the Vysshaya Liga sporting goods chain in some stores simply reduced prices, in others they held promotions without changing prices. Sales were high in “corporatized” stores.
Price increase price
According to surveys of the Market Management laboratory, when prices for clothes increase both in Moscow and in the regions, people will start to buy less often and buy at sales. These are the two most popular answers. But! Optimism for the owners of fashion business can be inspired by the fact that during the crisis we entered when customers were not “full”, and the current recession is simply pent-up demand.
So that buyers can maintain their usual lifestyle, Tatyana Komissarova recommends that store owners do not look for market niches, but consumer ones. The difference between them is that the market is the niche in which there is real formed demand, and the consumer can be called the niche where the demand still needs to be formed, where it is still latent.
The client comes first - all companies declare. And it is right. Only this first place is in some strange coordinate system. The buyer is studied (like a guinea pig), attracted (like bees to the smell), stimulated (by the way, the stimulus was originally a stick with a sharp end, which was used to drive the bulls), held (as the people say, forcibly cute ...). In any case, it turns out that the visitor in the store is not an equal subject of trade relations, but an object of observation or influence).
But everything can be very different. This is evidenced at least by the experience of the American network Target, a leader in innovation in retail. The independent director of the Target network, the head of Twist Worldwide, Mark Sottnik, outlined two key principles by which they live: “respect the customer”, “work in retail with the speed of life.”
Working with the speed of life for Sottnik means keeping pace with change and exceeding customer expectations. By the way, the main source of information about their expectations is observation, not polls: photographing people on the streets, graffiti, outdoor advertising around the world, people talking on the streets, in cafes, in shops.
The new sales strategy is built on respect. Respect in the understanding of Target director Mark Sottnik stands on three pillars - respect the mind, heart and spirit of the customer.
If you build a strategy only on the ratio of price and quality, then customers will not have a sense of loyalty. But if you give the customer the opportunity to show her creative nature, then she will love you. “Your customers,” Sottnik says, “are not only statistics and demographics! This is an individual identification! ”
Respect for the heart means appeal to the emotionality of the customer (children, love, happiness). Respect for the spirit implies that you know how to please it, and rejoice with it. Respect for the mind - show her that you understand how smart and busy she is, focus on the tasks that she poses in her life.
Let her feel like a heroine - it is with this feeling that a woman should leave the store.
There is nothing more constant than change
The most effective actions in the current situation of fashion retail practice are the rejection of long-term projects, changing priorities, closing unprofitable projects, reducing the cost of inventory on the store, increasing the quick turnaround assortment, working with lessors, reducing salaries and bonuses, reducing the number of suppliers, reducing image advertising due to the transfer of marketing activity to the store.
But at the same time, they consider part of the measures compelled and at the first opportunity they are ready to abandon them. This primarily concerns sales, reduction of advertising budgets and reduction of bonuses for trading partners and store staff.
Director General of the Premier League! Network Alexey Pshenichny shared the situation in the sportswear and footwear market: store traffic fell by 15-45%, but the number of units in the check increased by 25%, and the average check increased by 28%. Regulating the situation, the company changed its strategy, deciding to switch from extensive to intensive development. The company added several new services: increased the warranty period and the return period; introduced the ability to return shoes in any of the stores in the network (earlier this could only be done in the store where the shoes were bought). The company continued sponsoring the best students of sports universities, supporting the best sports schools. According to Aleksey Pshenichny: “We have resolved the issue of reducing commodity balances and maintaining turnover, now we are faced with the task of increasing profitability.”
Daily fight for sales
Any even the best strategy turns to dust if those who engage in daily work with customers do not understand it. That is why working with sellers has become the second pole of the Fashion Director forum.
The head of the marketing department of Watcom, Alexei Knyazev, showed in figures how conversion affects sales. “WatCom” installed visitor counters in the stores of one of the customers, took measurements and came to the conclusion that on the weekend the conversion fell by 0,4%, and this is no less proportional to 617 thousand rubles. per month for one weekend at 50 stores with an average check of 800 rubles. At the same time, during peak hours, there are 37 buyers per seller, it is clear that there is no need to talk about any service. On the other hand, visitors during peak hours bring more money to the store than those who arrive in the morning or evening. As a result, it was decided to change the work schedule: the first seller arrives at 10 in the morning, the second at 11, the third at 12. They also leave in sequence: one at 19, the second at 20, the third at 21 hour. No reduction in staff, plus savings on wages due to the reduction of the working day by 16,5%. Secondly, the company included conversion data in the calculation of salaries and bonuses. There were problems at the implementation stage - local sellers closed the meters. But in the end, dishonest and ineffective left.
In fact, collecting the experience of companies, we did not try to find a recipe for success. We just wanted to show that there are different ways, means and methods of achieving the goal. And what gets only one who tries. But by and large, the goal - sales efficiency per square meter, the opening of new outlets - is needed only in order to start moving towards it, but not valuable. But when you start moving towards her, you acquire some other state, whether it is respect for the customer, inner well-being, calm confidence in yourself, your company and your people.
Details in the journal FASHION report, #8
Ideas on the cuffs. From Anna Lebsak-Kleimans
Two options when brands, without changing their positioning, offer goods for less money. Just Cavalli launched a new line, and lower prices explained that it was a line for teenagers. Banana Republic offered cheaper clothes, but it was announced as a new eco-trend line, and not just a price reduction.
Ideas on the cuffs. From Alexey Pshenichny
For a small percentage, we agreed on bartering with other sports shops: one has tennis shoes, but no running shoes, the other - vice versa. In order not to get into the supplier’s pocket, we have created a small portal for the exchange of such information between the owners of different stores and chains. It helped!
Ideas on the cuffs. From Dmitry Levitsky
One of his firm's clients had two stores in Moscow - in Cheryomushki and on Profsoyuznaya street. Once the directors argued: who will have more sales. But arguing, they made a bet: the one who has less sales will work all day as a cleaner in the store of the winner. It really was a battle! Conclusion: what can be added to material motivation? The game.
Ideas on the cuffs. From Tatyana Komissarova
How will people act next? Most likely, they will switch from brand to brand within the same segment. And a minimum of buyers will move to a cheaper segment, because it is not only cost savings, it is also a decrease in self-esteem.
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