Understanding retail strategy and shopping behaviour: Perspectives from a developing country
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This research indicates that in order for retailers to achieve their primary objective of increasing the amount of customer traffic into their stores, some powerful, highly effective and strategic tools that retailers possess need to be utilised in an effective manner – in order to meet their objectives. This research has been developed to examine the strategies that retailers can utilise – in order to influence the customers’ preference to shop in their stores. From the multitude of strategic choices available for each decision, a retailer can choose any combination. A survey was conducted, in order to collect data on customer behaviour, recruiting, store design, retail marketing, Supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM) – as well as a few other criteria – in the South African retail sector. This descriptive study establishes whether a retailer who makes an initial choice about which strategy to implement, complies with the existing understanding on the customers’ preferences. Patterns and trends were detected when studying the determinants of various strategic retail combinations for retailers. The data indicated asymmetric evaluations of choices, in combination with a few distinct patterns. Additionally, a few associations between store preferences and price were identified with specific locations for the customers. Some combinations are more alike than others; and a concern exists that the pricing strategy in isolation fails to portray a complete picture. The study reveals that retailers should be more customer-focused; while at the same time, providing the requisite skills to their employees, in order to retain their existing customers, and to attract new customers.