A Must Read for All Retailers,
This review is from: Catching the Chameleon: The Everyday Mistakes Retailers Make (Paperback)
`Catching the Chameleon' starts off with the author's personal story on how her spending and buying habits changed and this started her on a journey to discover why this was.
Using her background in marketing Lynn Allison maintains that the reason people are not buying a particular store's goods is because the owner is making it difficult for the customer and putting obstacles in their way. This book neatly reveals these obstacles and provides the retailer with a road map on how to boost sales and hence profitability.
The central theme of the book is that to be a successful retailer you need to understand your customer's chameleon-like moods, motivations and behaviours. Once you have understood you can then present your goods to match. The book helps retailers prepare for the day when the chameleon appears and customers suddenly change. With the insights this book presents the retailer should be on guard, ready to respond.
As customers we have a lot of internal conversations going on and unwittingly these are likely to affect our buying habits. Wouldn't it be good for retailers to be aware of what these internal conversations could be? Chapter Three delves in to this area and provides useful insights into the customer's constant stream of decisions, motivations, all of which make up their changing needs.
Allison says there is a natural flow to the way customer's buy but many stores are working against this flow in terms of store layout, signage and staff training. Contained in the book are two useful questions retailers can ask customers which will give insight into their criteria and needs, allowing the retailer to respond accordingly.
Very often retailers give little thought as to why customers buy; the retailer has found a great product which he feels will sell. It may do but how much better could it sell if they understood exactly why people buy? Chapter Four is devoted to examining the three main reasons people buy and to a retailer it's worth dissecting each line of this Chapter so they can truly get into the customer mindset.
Shop owners are invariably busy with stock and staff that they don't get the time they need to sit down and think. In writing `Catching the Chameleon', Lynn Allison has done the thinking for you and all that remains is for you to take action. The book can be summed up in one of the recurring messages throughout the book, "Motivation and criteria belong to the customer and influence their product search. The choice of product and the way it is sold belong to the store."
If you're a retailer and you're struggling to find ways to build your business, it will be worth your time reading this book; within its pages are numerous ideas which you could immediately act upon. If you're not a retailer but interested in the psychology of buying, then you'll also find this book very compelling.
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