More focus needed in the week

Independent retailers purchasing behaviours differ by different days of the week. During these challenging times every customer matters and every customer visit counts so we must ensure we maximise every sales opportunity which exists.

By gaining a greater understanding of how the shoppers purchase behaviours and habits vary by different days of the week, we will then be able to meet their needs more effectively and therefore ultimately sell more to them.

Each year him! speaks to 5,000 independent retailers while they are shopping in cash and carries throughout the UK via its Cash amp; Carry Retailer Tracking Programme to understand what they are buying and why.

During the week (Mon-Thurs) independent retailers tell him! that they are on a planned or regular main shop but at the weekend they state they are on a Top-up or a Distress shopping mission.

These different shopper missions affect how the retailer “shops” the cash and carry and the products they buy. It also has a dramatic effect on what is important to the retailer while they are in depot.

During the week retailers say that prices, promotions, range of products and staff helpfulness are important to them whereas at the weekend it is much more about speed of service and acceptable prices being important. Can your business be flexible enough to meet their changing needs? More importantly do your staff know about these changing priorities?

Interestingly customer ratings for acceptable prices, speed of service, staff helpfulness, product availability, ease of finding/accessing products and promotions are slightly higher at the weekend than during the week. So we are delivering against customers expectations better at the weekend than during the week. Is this because we have extra staff on duty and we are all mentally more geared up to the weekend rush? Therefore do we have enough focus on the retailer shopper missions and importances during the week?

However not everything is rosy at the weekend. At the weekend there are more off licence owners coming to top up on alcohol and cigarettes but there is also more slippage in intended versus actual purchases, particularly in alcohol and tobacco and also in carbonates, pet food and chilled products, than during the week. Retailers tell us this is not all due to out of stocks but down to the fact that they can’t find the products in the depot itself.

Could there be a dedicated member of staff available simply to direct customers to products? Or at the checkout staff simply ask each customer if they have purchased everything had planned to today and if not send a “runner” to go and find that product? Retailers say that they will go elsewhere to find that product resulting in a lost sale for your business – especially if it is a “must stock brand”.

Independent retailers do say that they spend more at their cash and carry at the weekend than during the week. Why? Well 21% of retailers said that they brought something on impulse which they were not intending to buy versus 18% during the week.

Therefore stock availability and visibility is key at all days of the week to drive impulse purchases.

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