What They Want, How They Want It.

There is a truism in retail and it has a lot to do with getting out of rhythm with those people who ultimately make us successful – our customers.

We retailers get bored with a lot of what we are doing a long time before our customers do. For many customers, they come to rely on many things we do that we take for granted or don’t acknowledge the value of.

At the end of the day, the best retailers in the world sell customers what they want to buy, the way that they want to buy it. They make sure they stock the products that the customer wants to buy. They don’t put themselves above the customer by dictating to them, enforcing their own beliefs and ideals nor attempting to arrogantly educate or take responsibility away from them.

The best retailers understand how their customers behave and how they want to be served and they work with those behaviours, triggers and drivers to achieve productive “win, win” outcomes.

These retailers do not become boring to shoppers. They understand the customer is always looking for the stimulation of “new, news”. They have genuine customer insight into why, where, when and how customers value the new and the old.

But they never get too far ahead of their customers nor do they waste time, money or effort on things which either, won’t result in a productive outcome or worse still, could undermine current customer relationships and profitability.

Retail is all about relationships.

The customer has the money and they have needs and wants, issues and problems.

Our job is to find profitable ways of meeting their needs and wants and solving their issues and problems.

We should be constantly asking ourselves “Do we stock what they want? Are we selling it to them in the way will buy it in numbers? What are their needs and wants, issues and problems right now and in the near future? How can we profitably make their lives easier and better by meeting those needs and wants, issues and problems in a manner that is in keeping with how they will buy in numbers?”

We are not above them, we are not too far in front of them. We make it enjoyable to shop with us and get the outcome they seek. That is the key to productive outcomes.