Sunday 3 April 2011

Choice Retail Consumer Awards

Bunnings won this year’s consumer Choice award scoring best on range, staff helpfulness, after sales service and store environment factors. Unlike a similar survey in the UK where price was paramount, Choice found Australian participants rated product range as the most important factor.
"It seems customers of warehouse-style bargain marts don't demand a good in-store environment, but do require a wide range of products in stock at a low price. Customers still rate upmarket chains well for ambience and after sales service, as well as pricing."
Other findings included –
                Service – the survey found that consumers will visit stores that don’t rate best for price as long as staff are helpful, knowledgeable and plentiful. This is one area where the Queen Victoria Market has an advantage over its competitors. We can provide personalised service to all our customers in a way that department stores struggle to achieve.  Interestingly, online voters also rated service very highly but were presumably referring to aspects like convenience, communication and direct delivery/time saving.
                Staffing – inadequate staffing and particularly waiting in queues was a major turnoff for consumers in this survey. Once again, we have an advantage.
                Price – price is important and has driven many consumers to go online. However, it is not the only factor and, as long as the price differential is not too large, consumers will be influenced by service, convenience and ambience.
                Ambience – 76% of respondents rated a pleasant in-store environment as being important although presumably, with Bunnings as our winner, it doesn’t have to be luxurious. Significant turnoffs included loud and unpleasant music, aisles that were untidy and crowded and poorly regulated climate control (Ed – Wonder how completely unregulated climate control features?).