Big retailers are exploring new and innovative ideas to woo prospective customers by travelling a few extra miles. They have started to consider and imply ideas which go way beyond the usual tactics of offering price discounts, free parking spaces, social networking among other potential options.
We can refer to known retailers in this space like Bata India, Spencers, Wills Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop and Future Group. The players have employed various techniques to attract customers and thereby gain an edge over their competitors. Such initiatives help retailers stay connected with the consumers and also get crucial insights into what people crave for.
The services being provided form an interesting lot ranging from home delivery across the country, workshops in residential localities and free yoga classes among others. For instance, Shoppers Stop has already been pursuing its ‘Start Something New Today’ campaign in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to push a different fashion product every week via local advertisements and the social media.
Mr Sanjay Gupta, VP, General Merchandizing and Marketing, Spencer’s retail Limited shares, “We would be launching nation-wide initiative called “At Home With Spencer’s” wherein we will be conducting workshops on cookery, art-of-living, health and hygiene, interior designing, fashion and beauty at the doorstep of the consumers.” Such initiatives make the task easier for the retailers in the sense that they can decide upon newer initiatives and services accordingly.
When we refer to Club Wills, the lifestyle privileges programme of Wills Lifestyle, we can grasp that it takes their relationship with the valued customers beyond fine fashion to the realm of fine living. These range from exclusive in-store benefits such as Priority Garment Availability and Doorstep Delivery anywhere across the country to lifestyle privileges in fine dining, exotic holidays, stay at luxurious ITC hotels and invites to exclusive events and shows such as the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week.
Mr Atul Chand, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC’s Lifestyle Retailing avers, “Club Wills, the lifestyle privileges program of Wills Lifestyle has been carefully crafted to complement the discerning lifestyle of our most valued customers. Each benefit has been designed for an experience that is truly refreshing.”
Shopping being rewarding
The initiatives clearly indicate that shopping could have never been this rewarding! For instance at Wills Lifestyle, the customer earns points on every purchase. Also, earning bonus points can imply celebrating your birthday and anniversary with Wills Lifestyle. Gupta adds, “Almost all retailers in India are talking of discounts and offers to woo the customer. While this is one of the most important things that garners repeats, there has to be something more to create that ‘emotional’ connect with them. And that can happen if retailers go beyond their shopping basket – figure out the smaller, yet finer elements of their life where retailers can play a part, however small it might be and deliver value.”
There are also personalised services which ensure an enjoyable and refreshing experience for the shoppers. These could constitute shopping by appointment (saving time through personalised assistance), priority garment availability and doorstep delivery among others.
Hypercity, Thane has also taken a similar yet interesting initiative. Keeping the ever rising fuel prices in mind, Hypercity is set to provide smart solutions by offering an exciting deal for all its Thane customers. Through this offer, the customers would be able to avail Hypercity coupons of upto Rs 5 off on every litre of petrol and diesel (based on their purchases) while they splurge on a wide array of products!
The primary idea however remains to give customers more and more reasons to come back to a retailer. We could also refer to these initiatives as the ‘wow’ factor which would help a retailer to get that strong brand loyalty he is always to eager to receive!
It’s all about emphasizing how important and valuable the brand’s relationship with the consumers is, giving the customers the special treatment that they deserve and building superior consumer bonding. For example, careful attention is paid to the individual tastes and preferences of the Club Wills members and benefits, privileges and communications are crafted around them.
The current figure for Wills Lifestyle is 1,00,000 when we talk about their loyalists that account for around 55% of the entire sale for the year. Chand concludes, “The result is a mutually beneficial and thriving relationship epitomized by consistent repeat purchases and high degree of customer satisfaction.”