Shopping Experience Essay
I have taken efforts in this project. However, it would not have been possible without the kind support and help of many individuals and organizations. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of them. I am highly indebted to my mentor, Mr. Asim Mitra for guidance and constant supervision as well as for providing necessary information regarding the project & also for their support in completing the project. I would like to express my gratitude towards my parents & member of ITC WILLS LIFESTYLE for their kind co-operation and encouragement which help me in completion of this project.
My thanks and appreciations also go to my colleague in developing the project and people who have willingly helped me out with their abilities. Introduction: Retail companies have a marvellous machine for creating a “shopping experience”: the store. But wanting to create a shopping experience is not enough. The customer always has some sort of in-store shopping experience but not necessarily positive. The key lies in giving this experience a meaning, i. e. performing a certain “score” that customers and employees can relate to, a “score” that makes the store unique and preferred by its shoppers for non-traditional reasons.
You always feel something when you go shopping. You might, for example, feel excited, bored, surprised or confused, or like a person, a customer or a “number”, or feel that you’re being served, ignored, understood or pressured, etc. In other words, retail companies always provide a certain “shopping experience” Today, retailers face a “world of extremes” characterized by unprecedented complexity, intense competition and marketplace polarization. Customer expectations for what constitutes a satisfying shopping experience continue to rise.
Burdened by different priorities, many retailers have lost focus on the total retail experience and as a result customer satisfaction is down. What must retailers do to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and regain their focus on the customer? How can retailers create a more pleasurable and highly satisfying shopping experience that will meet the needs and demands of today’s customers? The answer lies in delivering a customer-centric store experience that is supported by customer-centricity embedded throughout the retailer’s organization A shop is a “selling machine”, and a big “communication machine” too.
It is a really privileged machine because it can use all the human senses. That really is “multimedia”. When someone uses a multimedia resource (meaning a video with sound: i. e. two senses), I think this is “low-media”, since stores can use up to five sences. If used together, the results are extraordinary and synaesthesia can even happen: the scent of a refreshing perfume or faint image. Thus, this project contains all the elements that determine the shopping experience of customers in WILLS LIFESTYLE store.
It is an empirical study stating the views of customers on different perspectives like the range, taste, preference, staffs, quality, satisfaction, and so on. A proper analysis is also done about the views, so as to see the position of the store in respect of the customers. NEED FOR THE STUDY: Customers and their expectations Customers are people who buy products and services from other people (usually companies of one sort or another). What customers think and feel about a company and/or its products is a key aspect of business success.
Attitudes are shaped by experience of the product, the opinions of friends, direct dealings with the company, and the advertising and other representations of the company. Irrespective of whether a business’ customers are consumers or organisations, it is the job of marketers to understand the needs of their customers. In doing so they can develop goods or services which meet their needs more precisely than their competitors. The problem is that the process of buying a product is more complex than it might at first appear. Customers do not usually make purchases without thinking carefully about their requirements.
Wherever there is choice, decisions are involved, and these may be influenced by constantly changing motives. The organisation that can understand why customers make decisions such as who buys, what they buy and how they buy will, by catering more closely for customers needs, become potentially more successful. Customer requirements The Retail outlet provides a good example of the way in which different groups of customers will have different expectations. Some customers just want to buy standard products at the lowest possible prices. They will therefore shop that offer the lowest prices and provide a reasonable range of goods.
In contrast, some shoppers are seeking such aspects as variety and quality. They will therefore choose to buy from the higher range products. Additionally some customers will have special tastes such as wanting to buy DESIGNER PRODUCTS. Most markets are made up of groups of customers with different sets of expectations about the products and services that they want to buy. Marketing oriented businesses will therefore need to carry out research into customer requirements to make sure that they provide those products and services which best meet customer expectations in the relevant market segment.
Executive summary In an increasingly competitive and polarized marketplace with rising customer expectations, the traditional means of competitive differentiation are being challenged as never before. To respond, retailers need to evolve their focus to become customer-centric in both strategy and execution. With an increased priority being placed on the retail customer’s perspective, the role of the store becomes critical as a means of delivering a differentiated, highly satisfying shopping experience. And, as we are seeing more and more in the marketplace, the cost of not doing so is significant.
What does it mean to be customer-centric? • The organization and the store are built from the customer perspective in, not the retailer perspective out. • The shopping process is easy to understand, and customers have more control over the entire retail experience. • Customer information is appropriately used, by both the retailer and by customers, to enhance the shopping experience. • The shopping experience is tailored to different customer needs and shopping Occasions. Once a retailer has decided to focus on being customer-centric, the next step is to address the following four strategic imperatives:
1. Build an organization that defines a shopping experience that evolves with changing customer expectations: Retailers need to build a dynamic organization that is aligned to listen to the customer so that it can continuously enhance and sustain customer satisfaction. This requires a commitment to innovate and experiment with new concepts and offerings. 2. Provide a truly convenient shopping experience: Stores need to be designed to create an environment that is easy to shop and provides customers with the necessary tools, information, and services needed to make an informed and confident purchase.
3. Develop an integrated view of the customer: Retailers need to achieve a foundational level of customer information integration that includes eliminating customer data silos and integrating fragmented pieces of data gathered across all customer touchpoints and channels. This level of integration allows retailers to deliver more seamless shopping experiences and also deliver more relevant offerings to customers. 4. Deliver a flexible product/service offering: Retailers need to be able to tailor their offerings to meet customer needs across different segments, local markets, shopping occasions and product categories.
The store should be designed and operated with flexible options that allow customers to shop the way they want to shop. Further, while it is critically important to embrace these imperatives, achieving an increased focus on the retail customer’s perspective requires retailers to focus on execution excellence throughout their organization. In doing so, senior managers should focus on six major aspects of their business operating model: organization, people/process, information, tools/systems, format/merchandise, and IT infrastructure.
Organization: Precise execution comes from clarity of approach and alignment of incentives and performance measures that supports a customer focus. In merchandising, for example, a retailer could consider moving the focus from products and product managers to customer segments and segment managers. • People/Process: Since store employees are integral part to delivering a customer-centric experience, it will be important to reduce non-customer-facing administrative tasks and elevate training policies to emphasize “continuing education” versus a one-time event tied to a new capability rollout.
IT Infrastructure: The next generation store is clearly dependent on a robust, flexible and enabling IT infrastructure. Thus, capabilities, such as the following, need to be provided and supported: new applications easily integrated with existing applications, a diverse range of devices and touchpoints for store employees and customers that are easily supported, and the ability to scale new applications and services in a timely fashion. In the constantly evolving retail marketplace, the total retail experience can become a key source of competitive differentiation.
By excelling at the strategic customercentric imperatives outlined in this paper, retailers can deliver a superior shopping experience that could result not only in consistently high customer satisfaction, but might also encourage customers to shop more often and spend more with their favored retailers. Retailers must regain focus on the total experience: The market drivers described above are forcing retailers to reexamine their core value proposition and how it is delivered to customers. Retailers need to reorient their thinking to place greater focus on the total retail experience to differentiate themselves from competitors.
The importance of this shift was highlighted in a prior study, where we found that interactions with store employees and certain elements of the in-store experience were the most important groups of drivers of customer satisfaction. Relative importance of key drivers of customer satisfaction. Person-to-person experience Store experience Pricing and value Marketing and communications Data integration and analytics While there were differences in the relative scores for these two groups of drivers, both are essential to the customer’s total experience and thus to driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Of note, we found that while high-quality customer employee interactions (person-to-person) are a competitive requirement, it is in the store experience area where retailers can really differentiate themselves from competitors. (For more details, see the IBM executive brief “What top-performing retailers know about satisfying customers: Experience is key. ”) Overall though, both people and store environment factors are key to defining the quality of the total customer experience HISTORY AND EVOLUTION ITC Limited or ITC is an Indian public conglomerate company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Its diversified business includes four segments: Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Hotels, Paperboards, Paper & Packaging and Agri Business. ITC’s annual turnover stood at $7 billion and market capitalization of over $34 billion. The company has its registered office in Kolkata. It started off as the Imperial Tobacco Company of India and was rechristened to India Tobacco Company in 1970, I. T. C. Limited in 1974 and finally ITC Limited in 2001. The company is headed by Yogesh Chander Deveshwar. It employs over 29,000 people at more than 60 locations across India and is listed on Forbes 2000.
ITC Limited completed 100 years on 24 August 2010. ITC has a diversified presence in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), Hotels, Paperboards & Specialty Papers, Packaging, Agri-Business and Information Technology. While ITC is a market leader in its traditional businesses of Hotels, Paperboards, Packaging, Agri-Exports and Cigarettes, it is rapidly gaining market share even in its nascent businesses of Packaged Foods & Confectionery, Branded Apparel, Personal Care and Stationery. Meera Shankar joined the board of ITC Ltd as the first women director in its history.
She is an additional non-executive director of the cigarettes-FMCG-hotel major. In 1975, The Company launched its hotel business. In 1979, ITC entered the Paperboards business. In 1985, ITC set up Surya Tobacco Co. in Nepal as an Indo-Nepal and British joint venture. In 1990, ITC acquired Tribeni Tissues Limited, a Specialty paper manufacturing company and a major supplier of tissue paper to the cigarette industry. Also in 1990, leveraging its agri-sourcing competency, ITC set up theAgri Business Divisionfor export of agri-commodities.
The Division is today one of India’s largest exporters. In 2000, ITC forayed into the Greeting, Gifting and Stationery products business with the launch of Expressions range of greeting cards. A line of premium range of notebooks under brand“Paperkraft”was launched in 2002. ITC also entered the Lifestyle Retailing business with theWills Sportrange of international quality relaxed wear for men and women in 2000. The Wills Lifestyle chain of exclusive stores later expanded its range to includeWills Classic formal wear(2002) andWills Clublife evening wear(2003).