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Back to basics – it’s the fundamentals of retail that drive consumers to stores

by Andrew Phipps , 12.03.2014

New data from GfK’s pilot Shopping Monitor Electro study shows that even in a digital world, with so many shopping channels and customer touchpoints, it is the fundamentals of retailing that remain the decisive factors when consumers select a particular store.

Key factors that tend to stay a constant for consumers on where to buy household appliances and electronics remain: (1) offering the right assortment, (2) providing the right experience, (3) offering low prices.

 A relationship can help overcome an overwhelming experience

Many people feel overwhelmed by shopping for household appliances and electronics. Yet a previous positive experience with a retailer or brand helps consumers overcome anxiety they may be facing. Our study reveals:

  • In the UK, shoppers ranked previous experience second highest, with 41% saying it was an influencing factor.
  • Singaporeans said previous experience was the fourth most important point, with 31% using it to choose a store.* 


Wide Selection of Goods

Consumers in all three countries surveyed, were more likely to shop with a particular retailer if a wide selection of goods was offered.

  • It influenced 48% of Singaporean customers as the second-most important factor behind price.
  • In the Philippines, 38% of consumers found a wide selection of goods as being important (the third most important selection criterion).
  • In the UK, 41% said a wide selection was a factor in choosing a retailer.


Fundamentals still matter, but so does communication

The implication for retailers is clear: You need to get the fundamentals right. Price, previous experience and wide selection of goods still make the biggest difference in a shopper's mind, even as the number of shopping channels and touchpoints increases. That said, our survey has shown that touchpoint communication must be effective as well to pull together a strong offering of experience, assortment and price.

Communication through leaflets, websites, and advertising were mentioned as decision-making factors, albeit they were considered less important than price, previous experience and assortment. This means companies must not only focus on the fundamentals; they must also make sure to get communication and advertising right. In other words, the customer must feel that the retailer is communicating to him or her and not to everyone else. For one person, that communication must be about price while the next person might want more information about features and quality. This must be backed up with keeping the promise made in the communications. In the end, meeting expectations is what counts.

*Source: GfK Shopping Monitor ("How in particular do you choose a retailer for purchasing household appliances and electronics?")

GfK Shopping Monitor offers comprehensive and syndicated retail analytics of shopping behavior, shopper preferences, chain image, positioning and retail market trends.

To learn more about your brand, product category or region, please contact Andrew Phipps, Head of Retail, UK, at andrew.phipps@gfk.com.