By Kevin Moore, Chairman Crossmark Asia Pacific
Having spoken at a few events over the past year, and been asked to comment on some key retail trends around the world, I’ve shared below a quick snapshot of 2 of the key things that appear to be playing out at all levels of retail around the world; not just the big end of town.
In fact, it’s been interesting to see how the big end of town is working very hard to present a smaller and more personal experience to shoppers. To be more intimate and more personal at the store, and online level.
1. Confidence is supporting an appetite for risk and change; Less following and more innovation and differentiation.
As the US and Europe has moved out of recession and into growth again, there are far fewer “follower” strategies being pursued. For a while back there discounting was the only way to do business. Quality, range and service all shrunk as everybody pursued a general low price strategy. With increased sales at retail we’ve seen retailers begin to fan out and individual strategies come into play. Wider ranges, more choice, newer brands and non-core shopping offerings are replacing pure price.
In Australia, Woolworths has backed away from price as its leading message in mainstream TV advertising, replaced by Collectibles for kids, and even more focus on fresh food, in store Sushi and Select own brands. Not to be confused, at store level and in the weekly catalogue the prices and offers for core basket items are still sharp.
Big retailers are really embracing the need to make each store and each interaction as personal as possible. In just the same way as social media has personalised the relationship between the retailer and the shopper out of store, so the need to treat shoppers as individuals in store has grown. One example where I saw it most markedly in grocery, was in Wholefoods and Trader Joes stores in the US. I have never been spoken to and genuinely assisted as much in a grocery store than in those stores. It’s made possible by store associates’ time being freed up from the mundane time consuming tasks like changing printed shelf price labels.
In both of those, 90% of the shelf pricing is via Electronic Shelf Edge Labelling technology changing prices at the checkout and the shelf simultaneously and automatically. This is further supported by store associates being experts and working only in specific aisles. The vitamin lady knew her stuff, just as the guy working the world and craft beer aisle. In store events are also plentiful and well supported with the chance to taste and try things before purchase.
As the year plays out expect to see these 2 trends move across most mainstream retailers, irrespective of retail channel.
About the author:
Kevin Moore has extensive international experience in sales, marketing and general Management. He has held senior positions with multi-nationals in the UK, Western Europe, Canada, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Having lived in nine, and held responsibility for businesses in over 40 countries, Kevin has developed a genuinely entrepreneurial, multi-cultural and commercial leadership style.Over the last eight years Kevin jointly lead the growth of the marketing department (TMD) from a NSW based promotional company of 80 staff to one of the largest Asia Pacific Retail marketing services companies with over 1,000 staff delivering services across 16 countries. In May 2008, he was principal in the merger with international retail marketing services company, CROSSMARK to form an Australian/New Zealand arm that is now the largest provider of retail marketing services in Australasia.
Finally after leading a senior executive team and 2,000 sales, merchandising, marketing, IT, logistics, finance and HR personnel at CROSSMARK in ANZ, Kevin has moved into his role as Chairman of CROSSMARK Asia Pacific.