Monday, June 17, 2013

Indian Retail – Point & Counterpoint: Potential of Shop-in-Shop

During one of my regular forays to the various Retail outlets I came across this very well presented Shop-in-Shop (SiS) for a coffee brand. The whole presentation was very impressive, the promoter manning the SiS was helpful and the coffee aroma that was wafting around that place had its own impact.
The fundamental idea was quite simple. The customer chooses the preferred roasted coffee beans, which is weighed and then put into the small machine which grinds it into the powder ready for making filter coffee. The customer whom I saw was so involved in the process that the anticipation of going home and drinking the coffee was clearly etched on his face. Definitely, this was one of the best moments of customer engagement seen by me.
Such SiS seems to be a good option for brands that are keen to engage customers at a retail level as also have a high level of brand visibility. One can see similar examples for color cosmetics in the counters maintained by leading brands in health and beauty as also department stores. However, the key difference was the degree of customer engagement. While the cosmetic counters definitely are very good for brand visibility, it is yet another purchase point for a shopper. Some initiative to engage the customer might increase the impact of such counters.
Lastly, is the all important factor of cost Vs benefit. I think that such SiS score high on this count also as brands are always in a tug of war with regard to visibility with the chain stores. A minimum guarantee for the space being occupied with revenue share would work out well for all concerned. The minimum guarantee can be considered as a marketing expense as it does deliver high brand visibility.
All in all a Win-Win-Win opportunity for the brand, retailer and more importantly the customer.
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Monday, June 3, 2013

Sign of changing times!

Saw this sign about power cut at a diagnostic center recently, which has some relevant points which Retailer's should explore.
  • Adapting to the operating environment - With power cuts being the norm in Tamil Nadu nowadays, this was a good gesture to keep customers informed. I have experienced the few seconds (Which actually feels like minutes) of black out before the generator kicks in in stores. Retailers can consider putting up similar signage where relevant.
  • Flexibility in signage - I really appreciate the small slots where the time of the power cut can be changed depending on when it has been announced. Many stores are littered with irrelevant signage just because they don't have such a flexibility and the staff cannot remove the same. Retailers should always factor in such flexibility in any relevant signage.
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