Saturday, August 11, 2012

Convenience Trumps Price

In case you need more proof that not every customer shops on price, a new study on Back-to-School shopping by WSL/Strategic Retail shows that only 26% of customers are chasing BTS price promotions to do their shopping.

Instead they are shopping based on Convenience.  Seventy five percent are going to stores where they believe they can get everything all at once, regardless of the price.  Sure, most of them are going to a big-box discounter, but that isn't the issue.

The key word here is Convenience.  What are you doing to offer that to your customers?  Do you have services like online shopping with same day delivery?  Do you offer a wide selection that covers everything your customer needs?  Do you have an easy-to-get-to location? Front door parking? Delivery?  Personal shoppers?  A fast checkout?  Free gift-wrapping? (Heck gift-wrapping, period.)

Convenience comes in many forms.  The convenience stores that dot every other corner were designed to make shopping quick and easy when you only needed an item or two.  You paid more for a roll of tape or a gallon of milk, but you saved time and hassle.  

Personal shoppers used to be a sign that your store was expensive.  But what is the fine line between a helpful employee and a personal shopper?  You already have the helpful employees. (Right?)

Convenience trumps price.  That is why people will pay more for a bunch of screws at Wal-Mart than at the local hardware store - because they were already at Wal-Mart for BTS shopping.  

You have convenience built into your model in many ways.  The study shows that now is the time to play them up.

Phil Wrzesinski

PS  Not all conveniences are the same.  Be specific about how you are convenient, and more importantly, how it benefits your customers. (We offer free giftwrapping so that you are never late for the party.)

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