Developing retail strategy to meet customer needs

By Richard Smith

A market leading department store had become aware that the online channel represented a threat to their traditional retail business. They wanted to develop a 5 year strategy to maintain leadership in the sector and to continue to grow their revenue, but needed an in-depth understanding of customer attitudes and behaviours on which to base it.

Given the breadth and depth of the research required, BDRC employed three different research solutions. The first determined the key measures of market share across the nine departments, the second focussed on consumer attitudes to retail and the leading retail brands and the third investigates how browsers could be converted into buyers. BDRC implemented Tri-SightTM, a longitudinal qualitative technique, to elicit consumers’ deeper held views of retail brands and their retail needs.

The results of BDRC’s studies demonstrated that consumers still felt traditional retail was very important, but that the department store still needed to develop a strong complementary online retail position. The study also enabled BDRC to segment customers according to their retail needs, for example some customers who wanted high levels of service to more passive and less confident customers. The client was able to use this information to make improvements to staff training, in-store services and retail experiences across all stores.