Stephen Mader highlights how retailers can help customers make smart purchases by offering more than just traditional value.
Value is a word often used to describe low prices or to justify higher ones. For the future shopper, value will move beyond simply price, to a message from the retailer that the shopper is making the ‘smart’ decision in purchasing from them.
Often, a shopper feeling smart is not necessarily getting the best deal on something, but feeling like they made the right product/retailer decision without getting ripped off.
Retailers catering into the ‘smart’ need state of the future shopper are experts on at least one of the components of the new value equation: price, service and quality.
Some examples – Safeway in the US has introduced ‘Just For U’ pricing that leverages online and mobile applications to take pricing out of the public domain and tailors it privately to individual shoppers based on purchase history. Value propositions can be sometimes be even simpler – in the apparel category, Zappos.com has created an unlimited free shipping/return policy for products bought online, because it identified that shoppers’ concerns about the cost of returning items was a barrier to sales.
In a price competitive industry such as consumer electronics, retailers that can shift the value equation beyond mere price are well positioned to win.
This could be focused on the service aspect – and not just product expertise as a proxy for service.
Going forward, expect shoppers to have better product knowledge than expected, requiring you to find new ways of offering value added service.