Tuesday 26 April 2011

"Customers Aren't Cautious. They're Just Bored" - Is This Just More Marketing Hype?

Another so-called expert has challenged us to excite our customers to break out of the spending drought. Peter Ryan, a retail marketing guru, has two pieces of evidence that suggest the “cautious consumer” excuse just doesn’t hold.
Firstly, official ABS records show that Australia is breaking records in retail sales. Figures are up, admittedly on much higher volumes than the actual sales suggest.
Secondly, some key retailers are doing very well –Super Cheap Group, Coles, Apple and Louis Vuitton are all recording record profits. We can probably throw JB Hi-Fi into that group as well.
There is a view that consumers have just had the biggest double-take of all time. The GFC has forced consumers to re-assess their buying habits and, whilst they may have the resources, they are not going to plunge back into consumerism without good reason. Products like the iPhone have given them good reason and our challenge is to come up with other products that do the same. Now there is a challenge!
It should be noted that the iPhone is not discounted, it is not part of a 60% off everything sale, and it is not being marketed in the same boring way that has typified much recent retail marketing.
So what does all this mean? – and how does it relate to General Merchandise Trading at the Queen Victoria Market? If Peter Ryan is correct, exciting your customers will pay dividends. If you have an exciting product in mind, now might be the time to introduce it. If you don’t have an exciting product in mind, it is time to put your thinking cap on. Not every product range has iPhone potential but thinking laterally may just produce a good substitute.