RSS FEED Subscribe in iTunes

Main Topic: Service with a buzz

Hosts: Antony Chen, James Stanworth , Clyde Warden

Going to shop can be so much easier when you get good service. The Chinese hypermarket shopper is often disorganized in a Western sense (lists are rarely seen) and see part of the visit to the store as a leisure experience.  Customers are interested in finding new products and bargains so much of the service creates a buzz around products at isle ends and other strategic points in store.

Service is becoming increasingly important in retail settings. In store there are generally plenty of service people.  Some are from the hypermarket itself whilst others work for suppliers with in store racking/slotting space. Staff are courteous and friendly but their objective is to explain the product benefits and create interest around them.  As excitment, curiousity and interest builds so other customers come to see what is so enticing.  

This topic has an accompanying research show (Show 12) for marketing researchers. It includes details on research methodologies and findings mentioned in this show. To view the supplement and other research related shows, register and/or sign in.

With over US$13Bn of sales in the wet/traditional market against around US$4Bn of transactions in hypermarkets the latter format faces a major challenge for growth.  Transactions in the wetmarket have not declined in the last decade showing how this traditional format connects to customer preferences.

Chinese customers take longer to shop, try more products and are more price sensitive than US customers.  Ths result is that much service contact focuses on soft-sell to describe product benefts and attractive prices.  Friendliness is key in contact, given preferences to avoid hard-sell and the possibilites on conflict that arise with that approach.

The Show:

Length: 40 minutes. Download MP3 18.65MB (Right click->Save As).


Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Geant's small carts. Like in Japan these carts hold a shopping basket to save arm strain.  Just about the right size for shopping little and often - Chinese style!
Vid. 2) Typical to most hypermarket, here a Carrefour employee weighs and seal products. These staff aren't always known for being friendly.
Vid. 3) Many hypermarkets still have membership cards.  Originally only businesses coiuld get membership. Creatively many people got memberships through family and friends to access the cheap in store items.
Vid. 4) The representative introduces the mushroom soup and the prices.  Notice the soft sell.
Vid. 5) A soap powder representative takes time to demonstrate the product and describe how the special granules help to clean better than the competition. Some stores, like Carrefour here, have younger sales staff. Others use staff of hypermarket shopping age - 30+ years old.

Show Links:

Category: Podcasts

Login Form

Create a new account or use your GMail credentials to sign in.