Shopability Essay

9550 Words Apr 20th, 2014 39 Pages
Retail Shoppability:
A Measure Of The World’s Best Stores
Dr. Raymond R. Burke
The ultimate goal of retailing is to bring together supply and demand; to provide consumers with a selection of goods and services that satisfy their needs profitably. During the last 30 years, retailers have made considerable progress on the supply side, developing sophisticated logistical systems to streamline product distribution, manage inventory, allocate shelf space efficiently, and replenish stocks on a just-in-time basis. Stores can now do a much better job of providing consumers with the right product at the right place at the right time. The news is not as good on the demand side. Retailers continue to have difficulty creating shopping environments
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Sometimes there is no visible difference between competing brands because it’s the chip inside that determines product features. While navigating through the roughly 180 different models of televisions in a consumer electronics store, one customer noted, “It’s too many choices. You can’t just walk into the store and buy a TV these days. It’s like a research project.” Beyond the dizzying growth in the number of products on store shelves, there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of in-store messaging and the number and complexity of consumer promotions. In order to receive a promotional discount, consumers may be required to use a loyalty card or to submit rebate forms to manufacturers or retailers. The high levels of message clutter make it difficult to navigate through the store. These issues are layered on top of the problems that have always plagued retailers, such as high employee turnover, long lines and poor service. Such shopping difficulties have had a substantial negative impact on consumers. A recent Datamonitor survey found that 47% of consumers experience significant levels of stress. According to 1999 research by Sujan, Sujan, Bettman and Verhallen, 45% of the reasons consumers mention for being stressed relate to the in-store environment (can’t find desired product, long lines, messy shelves,

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