Thursday 21 March 2013

Do Customers Really Care About Traders?

The News Media industry is going through its toughest time in decades (maybe in its history) as declining readership, declining advertising revenue, and cost- cutting takes its toll. Do readers really care?

Readers know the difficulties the industry is experiencing, but they constantly complain about lower standards of journalism, avoid attempts by publishers to set up income generating alternatives, and switch allegiances at the drop of a hat. Free digital news feeds are booming.

The same applies to retailing. Our customers don't want to know that we are battling with declining sales, finding it hard to compete with online sellers, paying more rent, and having to work longer hours. There are other problems for traders. We can no longer predict what is going to sell well with any surety and that makes stock ordering very difficult. We are being asked to become digitally aware and embrace a whole new technology and, for many of us, technology is not our strong point. Do customers really care?

The answer of course is that customers don't really care, and that is not a criticism of them, it is just a reality of change. Customers are now more empowered than ever. They demand and expect price transparency, convenience and choice. They want to access goods and services online and in shops, and they expect retailers to work harder for their business.

Many of these customer demands require significant change from retailers. It is particularly difficult for traders who have grown up in a different trading environment. We often talk about QVM being a special and unique place to shop. QVM is special and unique but, we will need to meet the new retail service standards demanded by customers if we are to prosper.

"If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less” -Eric Shinseki