Sunday, August 23, 2009

Category Management To Provide High Quality Customer Experience

I have explained why retailers should focus on delivering a great customer experience. Customer experience is the key leverage of customer satisfaction and loyalty in the retail business, which also explains why I consider it is an art retailers should thrive on.

Now suppliers still have to take an important part in this effort. Category management has been designed for quite a while now and has always emphasis on marketing better the offer, to increase sales for both parties. Nevertheless, brands and retailers are still missing some marketing opportunities, which could raise from their collaboration.

Engaging shoppers in stores is more important than ever, but retailers and brands must team up or miss important perspectives their partners can provide, according to “Enabling the Shopping Process: In-Store Marketing for the Empowered Consumer” by Miami-based RSR Research. The report is based on a survey of 88 retailers and manufacturers this spring. It reveals that without working together, brands “get too promotional and miss the bigger picture of consumer engagement in the store, while retailers lack the more nuanced shopper insights that brands can provide.”

While creating targeted in-store offers and communications is a top priority, many retailers are too focused on optimization and offer-creation rather than promotion-delivery capability, noted Paula Rosenblum, RSR Research managing partner and co-author of the report.

Part of customer experience is indeed the collaboration between retailers and brands, that share a different part of customer knowledge.

I believe brands and retailers are missing great opportunities to get out of the promotional spins by improving customer experience and providing added value versus a competition centered on promotion making.