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Catching The Chameleon – everyday mistakes retailers make

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I know what your customers really think ...do you?

A new book is promising to revolutionise the way retailers label and display products  through its unique accounts of changeable customer motivations and criteria, by helping them to understand what the world of retail really looks like during each customer's 'journey'.

Marketing expert Lynn Allison, has written Catching the Chameleon (£12.99, Ecademy Press) to highlight the small but frequent mistakes retailers commonly make that could be losing them enough sales to have a significant impact on their bottom line.

A straightforward and personal insight into real behaviour, Catching the Chameleon explains what the world is like according to customers, identifies the barriers that retailers unknowingly raise and shows retailers how to remove them. 

But it also brings with it a stark warning to the retailers who are still lagging behind. As the industry approaches the third year of economic challenge, Allison questions why some retailers are still yet to grasp the changing wants and needs of shoppers, who are placing a greater emphasis on the 'experience' than ever before.

"To see what is happening now, we need look at the wider context.  The recession had started in early 2008; house prices were tumbling, fear of being economically vulnerable caused people to stop spending.  The shops were full of the product lines they normally stocked at that time of year; there were no supply issues, or operational problems that stopped the process of being able to buy.  People stopped spending because of the fear of being left without any money and of being disadvantaged compared to everyone else."

Lynn Allison"So, in fact, I stopped spending at the same time everyone else did.  But clearly my motivation was not economic, I had money and I had time.  What I didn't have was any enthusiasm about what I was seeing in the shops. The reason I am not buying your goods is because you are making it difficult for me and putting obstacles in my way. I need more motivation now; I won't buy things just because they are there - actually it is easier for me to decide that I don't want them and I don't need them."

"So queues to try on clothes or at the cash desk will put me off before I even look at anything; I won't put up with them any more.  Similarly, if I like the look of a rack of stuff but can't see my size or have to wrestle with the item to find the price tag tucked neatly away inside, then that also puts me off quite quickly. So there I am, in the shop, with money and in the mood to buy, but the retailer has put me off, and they don't necessarily know it. It's a kind of hidden behaviour that retailers aren't always aware of despite their detailed market knowledge," adds Allison.

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Better Business Focus p8 - Book of the Month169.67 KB
Happy Shoppers article241.42 KB

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