Shopping Experience – The Reasons Why

September 6, 2011 at 5:08 am 3 comments

As we’ve discussed in the last few posts, the shopping experience for premium brands in various categories is often less than satisfactory. This post takes a quick look at some of the reasons why this is so. While we started out thinking that low investment in training might be one of the reasons, conversations with a few industry folk told us otherwise.

Part of the reason is a huge shortage of manpower and widespread attrition. People often switch jobs in less than a year – some more than once a year (!); many brands are constantly losing their best, well-trained sales staff, and constantly investing in training to bring others up-to-speed.

To make matters worse, the job is not seen as aspirational by many of the staff, it is merely a stepping-stone, a temporary stint till something better comes along. Somehow, something about having to serve other people makes the job less attractive, more so in the Indian context.

Of course, there are a few other factors at play too, we’ve mentioned these in earlier posts on the topic. In trying to live up to international standards of service and maintain their image, some brands lean too much towards being non-intrusive and end up alienating the Indian consumer who expects more service. There are also a few instances (of a very successful brand) where the sales staff was overconfident and felt that the pull of a powerful brand was enough and they did not need to sell it at all.

Overall though, shortage of appropriate manpower – in terms of attitude, aptitude and skill – seems to be the overarching reason for the mismatch between the brand promise and the shopping experience.

By,

The Escape Velocity Team

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Entry filed under: Luxury Goods, Marketing, Observations, Retail. Tags: , , , .

The Shopping Experience: Electronics Latest updates on Product Placement & Flash Sales

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sagar  |  September 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    You hit bull’s eye in identifying the reasons. A few more pointers from me, not as an industry expert though.

    On the culture front, be it service or sales, instant gratification seems to be the mantra. Focus seems fixated on short term targets and productivity. It is all about closing a transaction to meet targets (or Service Levels, as the case may be), by whatever means, as against providing a good experience. It is the same as between a T20 and a test match – the moolah is what matters. Even training seems to be directed more on sales process efficiencies than on the sales experience.

    Often temps and lesser qualified personnel are hired to save on costs. Not surprising then that people look to jump at the earliest opportunity to the next better paying job.

    Which finally leads to the reluctance of these personnel to get trained, possibly in anticipation of the next job switch.

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    • 2. escapevelocityblog  |  September 7, 2011 at 5:08 am

      Hi Sagar,
      Thanks for your pointers. Overall, I think, a crunch for manpower seems to be the problem across industries, with the IT / BPO sector being most attractive for a lot of youngsters and hiring tons of them.
      Regards,
      Zen

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    • 3. escapevelocityblog  |  September 7, 2011 at 5:08 am

      Hi Sagar,
      Thanks for your pointers. Overall, I think, a manpower crunch seems to be the problem across industries, with the IT / BPO sector being most attractive for a lot of youngsters and hiring tons of them.
      Regards,
      Zen

      Like

      Reply

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