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Retailers facing a challenging environment in which there are too few customers spending too little money may find some ways to improve business by reading the latest book from consumer insights expert Pam Danziger, "Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience." The book offers practical ideas and business-building solutions that retailers can implement immediately to attract more shoppers and increase basket ring.
"Next year, more than ever, retailers need to be at the top of their game," noted Danziger, who is president of Stevens, Pa.-based Unity Marketing. "With shoppers super-cautious about their spending, retailers need to give them a reason to come shopping -- but shopping alone can't be the reason. They need to draw them into the store by offering an experience that makes shopping there fun, engaging, and entertaining. That is the key for retailers to survive in this recession and what my book 'Shopping' is all about."
Shopper behavior research has found two factors to when it comes to be crucial to getting people to spend more money on shopping trips: Increase the amount of shopper time spent in the store, and increase shoppers' interaction in with merchandise and staff.
Danziger discusses seven factors, dubbed the "Pop Equation," that successful stores make use of to transform the shopping experience in their stores. Employing clear, practical examples, her book illustrates how different retailers have used each of these seven factors in the Pop Equation to "make their shop pop."
Those stores that succeed do the following: encourage high levels of customer involvement and interaction; evoke shopper curiosity; have a contagious, electric quality; present a convergence between atmosphere, store design, and merchandise; express an authentic concept; are priced right for the value; and offer an environment that is accessible, nonexclusive, and free from pretensions.
"A shop that pops becomes a destination for loyal customers to visit again and again, not because they need to buy anything, but because they want the thrill of shopping there once more," notes Danziger. "A shop that pops thrives because all the while shoppers are getting their experiential thrill, they are also shopping and spending money."
Fueled by in-depth research about what people want when they shop, "Shopping" profiles nearly 20 retailers who have overcome obstacles to succeed, including Charlottesville, Va.-based upscale food retailer Feast!, where customers are offered generous samples of rare artisinal cheeses and locally grown produce. The store's mission is to "get it in their mouth and make a sale."
According to Danziger: "[The retailers featured in the book] have learned the secret of successful retailing and that is, it is less about what you sell and more about how you sell it. In other words, it is all about creating a shopping experience for the customer. Further, the lessons in 'Shopping' apply to both large national retailers as well as small independent mom-and-pop stores and anyone else involved in retail."
As well as reading the book, retailers can find out how well their stores are creating an experience for customers, and how they can enhance the shopping experience in their stores, by taking the "Shops that Pop" quiz at http://www.whypeoplebuy.com/cms/Home_Page/Pams_Books.php.