In What to Dominate, Stand Out or Be on Par in Retail

Promotions and offers have become a minimum condition for the buyer, who assumes that they are the order of the day, brand anniversaries, special dates and seasons are increasingly losing their impact. Today, the feeling that offers and promotions can be found throughout the year is much higher.

The above phenomenon is explained by several factors: the internationalization of retail, which now manages several seasons as well as countries with seasons, the speed with which products become obsolete (especially technology), and the recent devaluation of the peso, which is not yet clear what may be its historical maximum each week, have generated the need for faster inventory turnover and the best way to do this is through promotions and offers. However, the competitive intensity of everyone doing the same thing for the same low price is so intense that it is increasingly losing its power as a competitive advantage.

Under this scenario, the question arises: in what to dominate (be unique), stand out or be at the bottom of the category? I then outline several work axes for retail management*, and in each one of them there are levels that management must decide to have in order to provide clarity to its main customers.

ACCESS. To dominate: you have to focus on the complete solution, anticipate future needs, offer both products and services; to stand out, convenience is the key word, while to be at the competitive minimum making things easy is the way.

EXPERIENCE. To dominate: Intimacy knowing more about the customer than he knows himself, getting things done that no one else can do for him. If the decision is to stand out, show interest and genuine concern for the scheme, and to stay in the game, respect is the minimum standard.

SERVICE: To be unique, the way is to adapt to the needs of each customer, superiority is found by educating them and parity with the competition is given by accommodating yourself or at least try to do so whenever possible.

PRODUCT: It is dominated by inspiring with a great variety of proven quality products, be better than the others by being reliable, be there when they need you, and the minimum is to be credible, at least fulfill what you promise, even if it is little.

PRICES: Achieving dominance is when the consumer is sure that there is no better place to find prices on the key products they need, i.e. the channel is an ally of the buyer, to stand out you need to have constant clear prices that facilitate the buying process and finally, although it seems obvious, a customer will only consider the one that seems honest in handling them.

Management must choose in which areas it wants to dominate, in which areas it wants to excel and in which areas it wants to be above average.

Trends in Colombia indicate that experience and price are highly relevant axes for the buyer, and it is important to take them into account.




* Developed based on the book The Myth of Excellence..