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Retail & Consumer Industry - page 46 / 88





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Critical to marketing is the defining of key consumer target segments. Interviewed retailers indicated the significance of the following -

  • Emerging target consumers - While retailers have a main target consumer base, they are aware of new emerging target groups that they may, at a later date, serve.

    • Children and teenagers are emerging target consumer groups for the future. These segments of consumers are strong influencers on household purchasing decisions.

    • Some retailers who direct most of their marketing, communication and media to women, plan to launch selected menswear offerings on a pilot basis.

    • Some retailers are looking at India’s young consumers. These retailers are already planning or plan to work around the purchase occasion, in keeping with this consumer group’s expectations, desires, etc.

  • Developing long-term relationships - Some niche retailers prefer to create customised profiles of customers. These retailers view relationships as a key determinant for repeat sales, referrals and increased revenues. These retailers develop strong relationships with customers, which involves learning more than just purchasing behaviours, price sensitivities, etc.; retailers learn about the consumer’s personal lives, the names of family members, likes and dislikes, etc.

  • Harnessing internal insights - Some retailers maintain dedicated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) departments that are responsible for developing strategies for serving customers. The CRM department then works with front-end staff who execute on the strategies.

  • Serving rural consumers - Few retailers view rural marketing as a long term proposition given that the population in many rural areas is small and accordingly, demand is thin. Most initiatives in this market has been to put money into the hands of rural consumers by supplying essential items such as tractors, cycles, farm equipment, etc. which will improve farmer incomes and thus create a capacity to consume.

Strategic Issues for Retail CEOs* : Perspectives on Operating in India’s Retail Sector

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