Retail is the sale of goods to end users, not for resale, but for use and consumption by the purchaser. Thus, retailing refers to the sale of goods or commodities in small quantities sold directly to ultimate consumers.
Over the last decade, the retail industry has gone through major changes which have resulted in the emergence and strengthening of domestic and international corporate power within retailing.
Retailing encompasses the business activities involved in selling goods and services to consumers for their personal, family, or household use. Retailing today is an interesting crossroads. On the other hand, retail sales are now at their highest point in history.
With the growing realization that brands are one of a firms’ most valuable intangible assets, branding has emerged as a top management priority. Given its high competitive nature, branding can be especially important in the retailing industry to influence customer perceptions and drive store choice and loyalty. Brand experience affects consumer satisfaction and loyalty directly and indirectly through brand personality associations.
Brand experience is conceptualized as sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments.
Retailers have embraced a variety of technologies to engage their customers. If a small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in retailing are to be competitive in today’s market, they need to master management and production information technologies. Technology can help retailers target appropriate consumers; technology also enables consumers to make better informed decisions about which products or services to consume.
Retailers that can draw effective insights from big data can make better predictions about consumer behavior, design more appealing offers, better target their customers, and develop tools that encourage consumers to make purchase decisions that favor their products.
An important factor in retail store loyalty is interpersonal relationship between retail salespeople and customers. However, relationships can also exist at the person-to-store level.
Trust in the salesperson and trust in the store branded products have positive effects on overall store trust. Store trust, in turn, increases perceived value and loyalty intentions. To foster patronage, retailers have typically invested in price cuts, promotions and loyalty schemes.
Customer experience is a major tool for achieving competitive advantage in all industries. Customer interactions with the environmental stimuli result into pleasurable or unpleasurable response. Positive customer experience leads to enhanced marketing productivity.
Retailers recognize that greater understanding of customers can enhance customer satisfaction and retail performance. Retailers that can connect with their customers by providing targeted information and offering value stand apart and have the potential to create deep customer engagement.